Overview

Red Sonja #0

Review

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Red Sonja #0

Credits

  • Words: Michael Avon Oeming and Mike Carey
  • Art: Mel Rubi
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Caesar Rodriguez and Richard Isanove
  • Story Title: She-Devil With a Sword
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $0.25
  • Release Date: Apr 27, 2005

With the recent success of the Conan releases by Dark Horse, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to start a new series with Robert E. Howard’s female adventurer. And while it is slightly disappointing that Red Sonja is not within the same comic book universe as her former compatriot Conan, it doesn’t look like she’ll miss him too much. In this 15 page preview book the reader gets a good glimpse into what the world of Red Sonja will look like. She remains in her signature attire, which leaves fairly little to the imagination, not that that’s a bad thing, mind you. And like all her stories, this one contains a fair amount of violence. We see Sonja arrive in a town pub, drink herself silly, then get attacked, pretty much by the whole town. A scantily clad Amazon in a bloody bar room brawl…isn’t that why we all started reading comics in the first place?

It remains to be seen how they’ll work on this series, but it certainly appears that Dynamite Entertainment picked the perfect writers for this series in Michael Avon Oeming and Mike Carey. Both writers are known for their love and inspired writing in the realm of fantasy. The only problem is that it’s unknown to this reviewer how they split up the writing duties between them and therefore impossible to know who to praise for what, but seeing as how I can’t find anything bad to say, they’ll both be happy. Being a short issue #0, the writers don’t mess around, they get right to it. The book maintains a quick pace, moving through the setup and getting straight to the action. The dialogue sounds authentic as well, and never seems to bog down the pacing. There isn’t too much exposition in terms of filling pages with captions either. These guys know exactly what the reader wants and give it to them without problem. While I said that I didn’t know which writer handled what with the book, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that this book does indeed highlight the continued growth of Michael Oeming as a comic writer. Already a great artist, Oeming is quickly becoming one of comics' new auteurs.

Mel Rubi likewise handles the art chores incredibly well. There are some instances where I would have liked Sonja to look a little sexier, but with her signature outfit it becomes hard to complain. Rubi does well with all of the characters and captures all of their emotions. The backgrounds and settings are also well done and seem to have just the right amount of detail. But the most important part of this book is obviously the action. Rubi handles that swimmingly. He doesn’t try anything fancy with perspective, and therefore never leaves the reader confused at all. We know exactly what’s going on. The scenes of her fighting show all the power and rage that Sonja possesses and easily makes up for the earlier complaint of her slightly lacking sexuality. The painted style coloring made famous by 1602 and used wonderfully in Conan has made its way here as well. It seems that anytime someone wants to tell a fantasy story set in "old times" they fall back on it. And why not? It brings a sense of wonderment and awe to the books, highlighting their existence in a realm of fantasy. It brings grandeur and wonderment to a book that certainly benefits from it.

Let’s recap. For the price of one quarter, you get a scantily clad Amazon warrior who drinks, great dialogue, and a bloody bar room brawl. Really, for the price it will cost for this, you can’t afford to not pick this book up.

-Sam Moyerman

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