Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Comics Review: RED SONJA Black White Red #5


STORY: Jacob Edgar; Oliver Gerlach; Frank Tieri
ART: Jacob Edgar; Alex Moore; Lee Ferguson
COLORS: Giorgio Spalletta; Alex Moore; Kike J. Diaz
LETTERS: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Joshua Sway Swaby; Jae Lee; Lucio Parrillo; Rachel Hollon (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2021)

Rated Teen+

Based on the characters and stories created by Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Robert E. Howard

Conan the Barbarian #23 (cover dated: February 1973) saw the debut of a high fantasy, sword and sorcery heroine, Red Sonja.  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 Robert E. Howard (1906-1936), the creator of the character, Conan the Cimmerian.

In 2005, Dynamite Entertainment began publishing comic books featuring differing versions of the character.  One of those is Red Sonja Black White and Red, an anthology comic book featuring stories from well known comic book writers and artists, with the art presented in black, white, and red.

Red Sonja Black White and Red #5 is comprised of three stories.  The first is “The Hunted,” which is written and drawn by Jacob Edgar; colored by Giorgio Spalletta; and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elahou.  The second is “The Chill Touch of Sorcery!,” which is written by Oliver Gerlach; drawn and colored by Alex Moore; and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elahou.  The third is “Erik the Black, He-Demon with an Axe,” which is written by Frank Tieri; drawn by Lee Ferguson; colored by Kike J. Diaz; and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elahou.

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

“The Hunted” by Jacob Edgar, Giorgio Spalletta, and Hassan Otsmane-Elahou:
Baron Raaf wants someone to bring him the head of Red Sonja.  Is that “Yul, the Eternal,” called an immortal because no man has ever drawn his blood?  Are Wenyl and Fenyl, speedy and skilled with a dagger, the men who can kill the She-Devil?  Can an archer take her down?  Who is the hunted?

“The Hunted is a thoroughly enjoyable story.  Like many of the short stories in this series, “The Hunted” is for Red Sonja fans because they don't need the narrative to unveil Sonja's character as they know her.  Readers only need a clever plot, and this one is.

“The Chill Touch of Sorcery!” by Oliver Gerlach, Alex Moore, and Hassan Otsmane-Elahou:
Red Sonja is pursuing a sorceress across a treacherous, icy landscape.  It is a good story, but not a great story.  I do like the artist's use of page design here.

“Erik the Black, He-Demon with an Axe” by Frank Tieri, Lee Ferguson, Kike J. Diaz, Hassan Otsmane-Elahou:
In a bar full of assassins, pirates, thieves, barbarians, she-bitches, etc., everyone gives Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword a wide birth … except Erik the Black, He-Demon with an Axe.  He says that he is here to kick “the fine, metal bikined ass” of Red Sonja...

Writer Frank Tieri offers his usual meaty, violent storytelling, which I enjoy, but with a neat twist.  Lee Ferguson's art fits this story's “tale of” back-story aspects.  It all works.

It is not hard for me to pick a favorite story of the three offered in Red Sonja Black White and Red #5.  It is “The Hunted” by Jacob Edgar, Giorgio Spalletta, and Hassan Otsmane-Elahou.  However, “Erik the Black, He-Demon with an Axe” is a nice runner-up and would be my favorite otherwise.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Red Sonja will want to try Red Sonja Black White and Red.


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

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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