Review – Red Sonja Vol. 3 #5 (Dynamite)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Story: Marguerite Bennett
Artwork: Aneke
Release Date: 18th May, 2016

Two pages.

That’s all it took for this latest installment of Marguerite Bennett’s run as Red Sonja writer to become my favourite issue of the series so far.  And if you take a moment to cast your eyes down to the preview artwork at the bottom of the page, you’ll see exactly why.

This brand new arc has adopted a fairly cerebral approach to this point, with Sonja’s spurned former lover Savas becoming the King of Hyrkania, helped in no small part by his success in stirring up the Xenophobia of his people.  And while there have been brief flourishes of action along the way, this has been more a war of minds and propaganda than one of swords and shields.  However, as you can see below, with Sonja heading off and attempting to capture a mother-frickin’ Roc in order to bring the full might of her revolution to Savas’s doorstep, it’s pretty obvious that business is about to pick up in a major way.

In just a handful of issues with the character, Bennett has developed a strong, unique voice for Sonja.  A lot more thoughtful and contemplative than in some of her previous incarnations, this is a She Devil who shines far more in her conversations than in her swordplay (although, y’know, the Roc-wrangling is pretty damn awesome).  Bennett has also done an impressive job of establishing an solid cast of supporting characters for the arc, with actress and scribe Midyan – herself another of Sonja’s former lovers – really coming into her own during the course of this issue, proving that she’s so much more than a mere “damsel in distress”.

Once again, Aneke’s artwork features the same strengths – and the same flaws – as previous issues.  Sonja herself looks fantastic, but the worrying similarity between her female characters, both in terms of facial structure and body type, can be a little distracting at times.  That said, she absolutely nails the aforementioned Roc sequences, filling the pages with a sense of kinetic dynamism that has been sorely missing from the series so far.  The colours, provided here by Jorge Sutil, round things out nicely, remaining solid for the most part but absolutely exploding to life in – yes, you guessed it – those damn Roc sequences.

Overall then, while the pacing has been a little uneven thus far, this issue manages to bring everything together effectively, setting the table for what should be a brutal and dramatic showdown.  Sonja is undoubtedly a character whose appeal can ebb and flow depending on the writer behind her, but in Marguerite Bennett, the She Devil has found an exciting new voice and a wholly unfamiliar situation to thrive in.  Highly recommended for any and all fans of this iconic character.

Rating: 4/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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5 Comments on Review – Red Sonja Vol. 3 #5 (Dynamite)

  1. JAMES MCCALLUM // May 23, 2016 at 6:52 pm // Reply

    Well what you can expect from an artis who VOTES FOR HERSSELF on Amazon! What an ego and what pooly say about her.

    • Seems to be a lot of you using the same IP address to criticise Aneke’s work. We’re all for input and feedback, but six of you now on the same computer? Is there some sort of club we aren’t aware of? :P

      Thanks for the comments though. All feedback is appreciated.

      • O-o My opinion for that (I do not normally write on posts).

        “GUYS” with the Ip:

        I prefer to follow Benett on Boomshels, also I just prefer Galindo. I don’t think that Aneke is as horrible as you said, it’s just he’s not good to be on a main serie. He went up so fast and without a improvement at his art. I’m sure he can find a way into alternative comics. Maybe it’s not good but it’s not necessary to be so cruel. He need just to change the style and draw better, change way of the page distribution, or go comic class not just drawing one.

        But maybe you don’t know him and he is just 20 or like that. Dynamite hires people too young to work, but it’s ok. Also galindo gots a higher quality level and I think that maybe you can’t compare both… And I think the publisher will reealize that and not hired Aneke, but what you win with that? Are you a penciller who wants the work? Just don’t buy the comic if you don’t like it!

        Aneke is not my kind of reading but I hoipe he finds a way into alternative, that’s all.

  2. The Force in Rai // May 20, 2016 at 9:34 am // Reply

    The problem for me, as you Said, are the pencils. :/ I really get lost. And I asume with the sales chart in Hand that Many people too. Hope Dynamite realizes about Aneke’s work.

    • And the continuity!! God, Anke should learn on little series before came in to a meyor one!!! continuity in Roja’s faces…. a little birds cryed for that during Phoenix battle. Maybe you can think is a coorist work but I have the digita edition and it’s ’cause Aneke does not mark them! Y_Y

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