Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review: RED SONJA Volume 2 #1


WRITER: Gail Simone – @GailSimone
ARTIST: Walter Geovani
COLORS: Adriano Lucas
LETTERS: Simon Bowland
COVER: Nicola Scott
VARIANT COVERS: Amanda Conner, Fiona Staples, Jenny Frison, Colleen Doran; Stephanie Buscema (subscription cover)
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.

Rated T+

Based on the character created Robert E. Howard and Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith

For Conan the Barbarian #23 (cover dated February 1973), writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith created a high fantasy sword and sorcery heroine.  She was named Red Sonja and was loosely based on “Red Sonya of Rogatino,” a female character that appeared in the short story, “The Shadow of the Vulture,” written by Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Cimmerian.

Red Sonja has appeared in comic books for forty years, with the character spending the last decade at Dynamite Entertainment.  Dynamite Entertainment is re-launching their ongoing Red Sonja comic book series with Gail Simone as writer and Walter Geovani as artist on a new title, Red Sonja, Volume 2.

Red Sonja, Volume 2 #1 opens with a brief look into Red Sonja’s past.  Three years later, she is sleeping off a drunk, which is interrupted by thieves and by Nias and Ayla – her self-appointed bodyguards.  Now, a former benefactor (so to speak), King Dimath needs Sonja’s help.  Sonja agrees, and her reward is a ghost from her past.

In interviews she has given for Red Sonja, Volume 2, writer Gail Simone has spoken of taking the character in a direction that is different from past interpretations.  Simone is one of the few female writers who have broken into the white boys’ club that is comic book writing for Marvel and DC Comics in a way that has allowed her to be prolific and influential.  And she is not really like her male colleagues.

Simone’s Red Sonja is fiery and aggressive, not icy and reserved – as the character has been in the past.  She is not really an alpha female.  It’s like this: because it is a penis or royal penis does not mean Sonja has to submit or bow to it.  Simone’s Red Sonja is truly liberated from having her life defined by men being in control.  Simone’s presentation of the character makes this book worth a look, because the plot is merely standard sword and sorcery material.

Fans of Red Sonja and of Gail Simone will want to try Red Sonja, Volume 2.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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