Red Sonja #1


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Red Sonja #1


  • Words: Michael Avon Oeming and Mike Carey
  • Art: Mel Rubi
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Caesar Rodriguez and Richard Isanove
  • Story Title: The Message
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jul 20, 2005

Red Sonja’s comic book adventures officially begin anew, and boy, is it fun to ride alongside her.

Let’s see, we’ve got a main character who is a gorgeous Amazon-like warrior with blazing red hair and a very sharp sword and a story taking place in the Hyborian Age. What can we expect from her? Well, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to think that she might be doing some killing. And that killing might get her into trouble. Well, if that’s what you want, you won’t be let down. Sonja debuts in her new series by first wandering around the country, in search of adventure, and soon finds it on a battlefield, where she assists a stranger in surviving the onslaught. This assistance leads to her traveling alongside this new comrade as he heads home to deliver some important news to his town.

It must be stated that without the renewed interest in the Conan comic book published by Dark Horse (and kudos to the creative team for the mention of the Cimmerian in the opening caption), we would unlikely be seeing the reemergence of Red Sonja as a comic book heroine. And that would be a shame because this series is going to be a lot of fun. Which is where The Mikes (Oeming and Carey) come into play.

Oeming and Carey do a wonderful job with this issue. Whereas the Zero Issue was a bit of a tease, giving a glimmer of all the aspects this series would touch upon, the writing team starts to stretch their wings a little this issue. Being the introductory issue, the writers keep things simple for the reader, not bogging them down with too many characters. They give equal time to Sonja herself and her interactions with a few others, keeping the character and her motivation grounded and simple, and even making a funny comment about her outfit. But really, this series is going to be about action and the two writers include some great battle sequences that don’t feel forced. Not only that, but Oeming and Carey hit the trifecta and carefully include a few magic influenced scenes, as not to omit any important element of the Red Sonja mythos.

Like the story and the main character herself, the artwork in the book is very much influenced by that of Dark Horse’s Conan. However, that is more related to the coloring of Caesar Rodriguez and Richard Isanove than the artwork of Mel Rubi. And it’s not a bad thing either. The digital painting scheme, made famous by Isanove in Marvel’s 1602, fits perfectly here. It adds the much needed sense of fantasy to Rubi’s artwork, because whereas the coloring maintains the fantasy, Rubi’s work is very much grounded in reality. His images of the characters are well drawn, and it’s obvious that he puts extra energy into his drawings of Sonja herself. Equally beautiful and dangerous, Sonja is wonderfully rendered in every scene by Mel Rubi. His battle scenes are almost perfect, highlighting everything that needs to be seen in the panel and even giving focus to some things that must have been as much fun to draw as they are to see. He still struggles sometimes with static full body shots, but luckily, he has some time to get this settled because this book is going to be all action.

Aside from the Brigette Nielson vehicle, there is never a time it’s not good to read and/or just oogle Red Sonja (and even Nielson was young enough in that movie to look good). This series just gives you ample reason to read about her too.

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