Giant-Size Red Sonja #1


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Giant-Size Red Sonja #1


  • Words: Michael Avon Oeming & Roy Thomas
  • Art: Ron Adrian, John Buscema, Howard Chaykin, et. al.
  • Inks: Ron Adrian, Dick Giordano, Howard Chaykin, et. al.
  • Colors: InLight Studio, Jose Villarrubia, Mike Kelleher, et. al.
  • Story Title: “Revenge is a Bitch”, “Episode”, et. al.
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: May 2, 2007

In honor of Red Sonja’s 35th anniversary comes an oversized issue containing four stories and multiple pin-ups from the character’s past and present.

Many fans may find it hard to believe that 35 years have passed since the "She-Devil With a Sword" first graced the pages of comic books. This special displays just a small sampling of that long and varied history, although it must be noted that only one story in this collection is original and modern.

The first tale told of Red Sonja, "Revenge is a Bitch," is from the scribe on the current ongoing series, Michael Avon Oeming. He chooses to look at Sonja through the eyes of another – a woman who, in other circumstances, may have been a kindred soul to Sonja. An offense given in the past, however, has made this woman Sonja’s enemy and she is determined to have her revenge in the blood of the red-haired warrior. The other three stories were all written by the legendary Roy Thomas and are reprints from Marvel Comics’ run of Red Sonja. Each of the three stories gives an interesting insight into Sonja and her world. Here we see the magic and the strange sides this land she lives in as well as the unique code of honor that she survives with. Readers also get a look at the events that forged an innocent young girl into a weapon.

While Oeming and Thomas each have their own styles they do unite well to provide different views of the character. While the character’s costume is clearly exploitative of the female form, Oeming and Thomas, each in their own times, sought to go below the surface and the obvious cheesecake to create mood and atmosphere. They also sought to make the character more than just her costume and the tales presented here prove that they succeeded.

Along with each story and pin-up comes different sets of artists. Ron Adrian has the benefits of modern techniques and tools and it shows with his clean lines, expressive figures, and deft touch with the action scenes. The reprints and pin-ups, however, are from some of the most heralded names in comics... John Buscema, Dick Giordano, a young Howard Chaykin, Estaban Maroto and more. The art on these older stories has a look and a style that clearly mark them as part of the Bronze Age and yet, there is an indefinable quality to them that is captivating and immediate – something that has been lost with modern styles, inks, and coloring.

While long-time fans may be disappointed to see so many reprints and old pin-ups – which are probably already a part of their collections – Giant Size Red Sonja #1 is actually a good place to start for newer fans or those who are interested in getting started with the character. When you get past the costume readers are treated to stories of myth, mystery, and magic along with the triumph and tragedy of a warrior.

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