How Valkyrie Became Valkyrie
Get caught up on the story of Brunnhilde and Annabelle Riggs ahead of 'Asgardians of the Galaxy' #10!
WAR OF THE REALMS continues to rage through every corner of the Marvel Universe as Malekith leads his forces against the people of Midgard. Some heroes have fallen and others have risen—two of whom shared one body: Brunnhilde A.K.A. Valkyrie and archeologist Annabelle Riggs! These two heroes also co-star in ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, which is undergoing some big changes now that the War has started impacting its team...
To understand all of that, we'll have to jump back to another event: FEAR ITSELF. At the end of that one, Freyja tasked Valkyrie with forming and leading a new eight-member Valkyrior squad from the women of Midgard, including its large Super Hero population. Instead, Valkyrie shirked her responsibilities to Asgard and appeared in SECRET AVENGERS, AVENGERS, and even AVENGERS VS. X-MEN. That all caught up to her when FEARLESS DEFENDERS launched.
In the first issue of this series, readers met archaeologist Dr. Annabelle Riggs who had hired her old pal Misty Knight to retrieve a statue of Asgardian nature. Upon investigating the relic, she accidentally activated a supernatural song that caused those interred in a nearby mass Viking grave to get back up. This also garnered Valkyrie's attention. After the hero saved the scientist, Annabelle planted a kiss on Val who smashed the statue, ending the undead threat.
With that, the trio began working together to stop the menace of the Doom Maidens, Odin's original shield maidens who had been corrupted by mysterious forces. They had been summoned because Valkyrie waited too long to reestablish the Valkyrior. During a battle with the Doom Maidens, Valkyrie told Annabelle and an assemblage of female heroes that Riggs was, in fact, a Valkyrie herself.
Shortly after, Brunnhilde lost herself in a berserker rage. As the only standing person in opposition to her, Annabelle picked up a sword and confronted her friend. Her pleas to Valkyrie's good side worked, but only after the evil side killed the mortal. The act earned Riggs a place in Valhalla, but she never felt comfortable there among the godly revelers. Feeling guilty about the death of her friend, Valkyrie worked with Clea the mystic to return Annabelle to the land of the living, but the pair had to share the same body! Though Valkyrie did not know this, Annabelle was assigned a mission to counteract her new partner's rage by Freyja herself.
Throughout the rest of FEARLESS DEFENDERS, Valkyrie and Annabelle shared the same body to face ninja-bred Brood, the misguided Buzzkill Brigade, and other threats sent out by Caroline LeFay. When Val found out about the deal with Freyja, she felt betrayed, but the partners made amends.
Later, when Angela needed to put together a team to stop Nebula's evil plots, she asked for Annabelle to accompany her. In ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, she joined Skurge, Thunderstrike, Throg, and a Destroyer secretly controlled by Kid Loki. The newly formed group failed to keep Nebula from a horn that would call forth Ragnarok by way of Naglfar, an army of the dead, soulless bodies left over when any god from a pantheon has died and been resurrected into new flesh.
Riggs helped the team with her growing expertise in all things ancient Asgardian while her other half waded into battle on the regular. Along the way, they met the Shi'Ar Imperial Guard, the Nova Corps, the Ravagers, and defeated Nova and Ego. She even scored a Nova Helmet for herself, thanks in-part to one of Kid Loki's spells.
But when Malekith's War of the Realms raged forth, they landed on Asgard where Heimdall told them they needed to head to Earth and aid the Lords of Midgard. Though in the middle of a great battle, Annabelle forced Val to change into her Midgardian form so she could check on her girlfriend Ren. Their reunion proved short-lived as Riggs was transported away by Odin to fly with the Valkyries who wanted her counterpart.
In WAR OF THE REALMS #2, Brunnhilde did her part and fought like the warrior she was, but ultimately fell to the Dark Elf king himself. Carrying on into this week's ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9, Ren was devastated by the news. Clea appeared and asked for her help in bringing Riggs back. And when they heard, Thunderstrike, Throg and Skurge offered to go along as well.
Annabelle met with Valkyrie in the mists surrounding Valhalla. Brunnhilde told Riggs how important it was for the Asgardians to see her and the other Earther people fighting in this war. Clea and the others then appeared and took her back to her own realm where she will continue proving her mettle in the War of the Realms...