Wednesday, September 13, 2023



STORY: Jim Zub
ARTIST: Giovanni Valletta
COLORS: Francesco Segala with Agnese Pozza
LETTERS: Carlos M. Mangual
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (October 2022)

Rated Teen+

Red Sonja is female high fantasy and sword and sorcery hero.  She first appeared in Conan the Barbarian #23 (cover dated February 1973) and was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith.  Red Sonja was loosely based on “Red Sonya of Rogatino,” a female character that appeared in the 1934 short story, “The Shadow of the Vulture,” written by Conan the Cimmerian's creator, Robert E. Howard.

In 2005, Dynamite Entertainment began publishing comic books featuring differing versions of the character.  The latest is Unbreakable Red Sonja.  It is written by Jim Zub; drawn by Giovanni Valletta; colored by Francesco Segala; and lettered by Carlos M. Mangual.

Unbreakable Red Sonja #1 opens in a lost time and place and with an obsession.  The story moves to the present, in the Hyrkanian town called “Thyner's Roost,” west of the Talakma Mountains.  Here, Red Sonja is in a tavern – drunk and fighting would-be paramours.  Here, Red Sonja's past and present will collide and come together for a journey into forbidden magic.

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Unbreakable Red Sonja #1, which is one of many, many Dynamite Red Sonja comic books that I have read.

A decade ago, I was reading a lot of comic books written by Jim Zub, but I have not read any of his recent Marvel Comics work.  Some of this work included a stint writing Conan the Barbarian comic books for Marvel, and Unbreakable Red Sonja #1 reminds me of old Marvel Conan comic books.

Artist Giovanni Valletta's illustrations here remind me of old Marvel Conan, as does Francesco Segala's atmospheric colors.  Even letterer Carlos M. Mangual, who has done some Marvel work, gets in on the Marvel vintage Conan vibe.  And that's a good thing.  I like vintage Conan.

I'm intrigued by this first issue, intrigued because all the creative elements work.  We'll see as far as the long term.  I'll wait for the second issue before I drop a grade.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Red Sonja comic books must read Unbreakable Red Sonja.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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