Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writers: Gail Simone, Rhianna Pratchett, Leah Moore, Nicola Scott
Artists: Jack Jadson, Naniiebim, Tula Lotay, Doug Holgate
Release Date: 6th November 2013
This issue serves as the first part in a series of short stories that examine the mythos of Red Sonja and some of the events that have helped built up her legend. Rather than just a series of short stories however, this book is tied together creatively with an overarching story that sees ‘The Grey Riders’ – a band of killers and mercenaries – attempting to track down Sonja to exact revenge on behalf of a murdered prince. Their investigations and recollections of previous encounters with Sonja provide the narrative that frames all the individual stories, and I have to say, it works extremely well.
Both of the stories in this first issue – as I would assume the future ones will be – are told from the perspective of a third person, a choice that only enhances the ‘folk hero’ status of the titular character. The tales are already incredibly diverse, featuring both wolf-gods and sea monsters, and while there’s the faint suggestion that things in the tales are being exaggerated by the tellers for dramatic effect, it’s every bit as likely that Sonja’s actions – both in terms of brutality and heroism – are exactly as described.
Each of the stories has a different artistic team attached to it which, far from being distracting, actually enhances the ‘anthology’ style of the book. With the wide array of talent attached to this book, not just in this issue but in future issues as well, there’s no doubt that we’re going to be treated to some brilliantly creative takes on the character, and I’m personally itching to see what happens once the Grey Riders finally do manage to track Sonja down (assuming they even do).
Overall, this is an interesting look at an iconic character, and will hopefully give the reader a chance to explore the legend of Red Sonja from a variety of different perspectives as the series continues. For a character I hadn’t read any of until very recently, I’m definitely finding myself more and more intrigued to find out more about her, and in that respect, this book is perfectly suited for me. Well worth a look.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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