Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Comics Review: "The Invincible RED SONJA #5" is Bad-Ass


STORY: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
ARTIST: Moritat
COLORS: Matt Carter
LETTERS: Dave Sharpe
EDITOR: Matt Idleson
COVER: Amanda Conner with Paul Mounts
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Joseph Michael Linsner; Celina; Frank Cho; Elias Chatzoudis; cosplay
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (October 2021)

Rated Teen+

Red Sonja is female high fantasy and sword and sorcery hero.  She first appeared in Conan the Barbarian #23 (cover dated February 1973) and was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith.  Red Sonja was loosely based on “Red Sonya of Rogatino,” a female character that appeared in the 1934 short story, “The Shadow of the Vulture,” written by Conan the Cimmerian's creator, Robert E. Howard.

In 2005, Dynamite Entertainment began publishing comic books featuring differing versions of the character.  One of those is The Invincible Red Sonja.  It is written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti; drawn by Moritat; colored by Matt Carter; and lettered by Dave Sharpe.  In this recently launched series, Red Sonja finds herself on a spectacular journey filled with pirates, mermaids, princesses, and political intrigue as the fate of two kingdoms hangs in the balance.

The Invincible Red Sonja #5 finds the She-Devil with a Sword is in the thrall of Lord Brelaq.  Now, she has embarked on a blood-soaked adventure, killing the armies of two kingdoms – at his command.  And no matter how many times she is wounded, Sonja can't die!  And she can't refuse her new master!

Meanwhile, as the kingdom mourns King Madacon (killed by Brelaq), his son, Prince Ederik, and his bride-to-be, Princess Zaria, seek help from an ersatz member of the royal family, Bahira Yakootah, the Lord of Thieves.  However, the request butts up against Bahira's complicated past, but it offers him a chance at revenge.  Meanwhile, Brelaq might be having a change of heart...

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is The Invincible Red Sonja #5, which is the second issue of the series that I have read.

Once again, an issue of this series opens under a gorgeous cover drawn by Amanda Conner and colored by Paul Mounts.  Also, once again, Conner and Palmiotti deliver a rousing story.  Or I can be honest and say that it is as thoroughly kick-ass as the best Conan the Barbarian comic books.  Conner and Palmiotti deliver a sterling series of twists and turns that will have readers zipping through this issue.  The Invincible Red Sonja #5 is truly epic because there are enough story elements here for at least two issues, if not three.

Here, artist Moritat's illustrations still remind me of the art of the late Vaughn Bode.  He blends over-the-top action with emotionally charged storytelling, which creates the kind of two-fisted mode that defines sword and sorcery comic books.  Matt Carter's colors give the story some extra edge, and Dave Sharpe's lettering pounds out a murderous pace.  This is the kind of creative team a She-Wolf with a Sword truly deserves.

I did not expect much from The Invincible Red Sonja #4, but after I read it, I suddenly had high expectations for the series.  The Invincible Red Sonja #5 lives up to those expectations, and as the penultimate chapter of this opening story arc, it sets the ground for a hellified ending.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Red Sonja comic books will want to read The Invincible Red Sonja.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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