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Savage Red Sonja: Queen of the Frozen Wastes #2

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Savage Red Sonja: Queen of the Frozen Wastes #2

Credits

  • Words: Frank Cho and Doug Murray
  • Art: Homs
  • Inks: Homs
  • Colors: Will Murai
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 20, 2006

Sonja is held prisoner by the queen of flesh-eating Yetis, yet this queen wants the she-devil for more than just blood – she wants Sonja to make Yeti/Sonja babies!

Face to face with a hidden civilization of cave-dwelling, sunlight-scared, abominable snowmen, Red Sonja – sorry, savage Red Sonja – glides directly into form, attacking and slaughtering and fighting her foes, even as they chain her, leash her (no, literally!), and ultimately imprison her. It seems that all the redhead’s venomous might is hardly enough to counter the Yetis’ preternatural strength, intelligence, and near hive-mind solidarity. Thus forced into a mild, tentative obeisance, Sonja is made captive audience for an expurgated history lesson of all things Yeti, as spoken by the eponymous queen of the frozen wastes, the first among the people of the snow. When the story is complete, one thing is certain – Sonja won’t be getting out of this with her modesty (*snicker*) intact!

Frank Cho has devised a marvelous gem of a story by sending Sonja against what is arguably one of the most memorable of culturally mythic monsters. Not only is Sonja-versus-Yetis a great foundational conceit, but Cho and co-writer Doug Murray have additionally crafted a surprisingly complex, three-tiered society of beast, warrior, and royalty, all wrapped around a playful use of cannibalism and its more occult possible effects. Murray (once-writer of Marvel’s cult-favorite The ‘Nam) deserves especial praise for his fleshing out of Cho’s basic ideas, and scripting a fast-paced adventure that still manages to bury the reader with an avalanche of wild ideas. The Yetis in Queen of the Frozen Wastes are, in my considered opinion, the most gloriously unforgettable incarnations of the mythic beast since the Wampa snow monster.

Bolstering Cho and Murray’s fabulous story is relatively unknown Spanish artist, Homs, who, with Savage Red Sonja, gets his first chance to truly strut his stuff solo in an American comic book. The results, more often than not, are utterly gorgeous. There’s a mercurial quality to Homs’ figures that reminded me tremendously of Adam Pollina, with all the sleek dynamism of that artist’s X-Force work. Occasionally, Homs’ figures can trip into the realm of inelegance, as if they were liquefying rather than liquid, but nine panels out of ten his visuals are brilliant, vibrant, and perfectly suggest the ferocity, darkness, and crazy danger that the script’s premise supposes.

So all in all a great read, with a set-up destined to become a classic (or at the very least remembered by those who read it), and art by an outstanding new talent. Plus, who can ignore the covers by Cho himself – yes, Frank Cho, drawing Red Sonja in all her steel-bikini glory! Iconic, everlasting characters such as Sonja, Conan, and other dime-store novel plup heroes of the like were made to inhabit the relatively self-contained adventures that comic book mini-series cater to. As such, it should come as no surprise that Queen of the Frozen Wastes is one of the truly superior Sonja tales to hit the comic stands in recent years. As much as I cheer the existence of an ongoing, it’s minis such as these, where creators get to focus and put all their energy into one single, absorbing tale, that I’d put the meat of my money on, every Wednesday of every month.

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