Red Sonja #9


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Red Sonja #9


  • Words: Michael Avon Oeming
  • Art: Mel Rubi and Pablo Marcos
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Brian Buccelleto
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Apr 19, 2006

Lone she-wolf and cub? Sonja takes on an apprentice in a mission of vengeance.

When a group of raiders ravages the town of Arrowhead, Red Sonja takes a young traumatized girl under her wing. Empathizing with her pain, she teaches the girl how to track, how to survive, but most importantly how to hunt. And their chosen prey is of course the men responsible for the heinous attack. As Sonja helps the girl channel her anger and leads her to their intended targets, she remembers the darkness and loss in her own past. Will this mission soothe the young woman’s pain or merely perpetuate the cycle of violence?

Michael Oeming continues to lend intriguing depth to Red Sonja in his stories, elevating this series above the simple cheesecake it could so readily become. There is a steely hardness to the character, an unwillingness to let anyone get close, and as more backstory unfolds in this arc, we now see the reason for this. Her interaction with the young girl is also telling as the only comfort she is able to provide is a means for revenge. Oeming even finds a semi-plausible explanation for the element of this book that has often bugged me—that damn chain mail bikini. Sonja knows her suggestive garments make her a target and she relishes it, finding an excuse to unleash hell on arrogant, lascivious men.

There was an aspect of the storytelling though that I felt could have been handled better. Last issue’s flashback ended with the murder of someone close to Sonja. This issue, the location and number of victims seems to have changed, one of the attackers lies wounded, and young Sonja mutters perplexing words about a goddess speaking to her. I hope this is expanded upon in the next issue as we seem to be missing how the scene went from Point A to Point B.

The artistic side of the storytelling is without flaw however. Mel Rubi’s clean and detailed line work contributes greatly to immersing the reader in this fantasy world. He also captures facial expression quite admirably in this issue, with circumstances alternately bringing anger, confusion, and regret to Sonja and her apprentice. Rubi is joined by Pablo Marcos who handles the distant dreamlike atmosphere of the soft focus flashback sequences. Overall, this comic is a beautiful package.

Though Red Sonja seems unable (or unwilling) to escape her violent life, as long as this creative team is in place there will be much about it for fans to enjoy.

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