Monday, February 14, 2022

Comics Review: RED SONJA Black White Red #7


STORY: David Avallone; Shannon Watters; Bob Q
ART: Jonathan Lau; Ro Stein; Bob Q
COLORS: Kike J. Diaz; Ted Brandt; Bob Q
LETTERS: Jeff Eckleberry
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Phil Hester
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Joshua Sway Sway; Bob Q; Phil Hester; Gracie the Cosplay Lass (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (February 2022)

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 #7 is comprised of three stories.  The first story is “Blood on Snow,” which is written by Ron Marz; drawn by Mirko Colak; and colored by Kike J. Diaz.  The second is “Unbowed,” which is written by Phil Hester and drawn and colored by Heidi Blair.  The third story is “Sonja's Gambit,” which is written Amy Chu and drawn and colored by Andres Labrada.  All the stories are lettered by Jeff Eckleberry.

I'll comment on each story individually.

THE LOWDOWN:   In July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Red Sonja Black White and Red #7, which is the sixth issue of the title that I have read.

“Blood on Snow” by Ron Marz, Mirko Colak,  Kike J. Diaz, and Jeff Eckleberry:
The story opens in snowy Nordheim.  Wounded, Red Sonja finds herself pursued by the men of the chieftain she just killed.  The She-Devil with a Sword takes shelter in an ancient temple.  Now, the two sides face off, but whose blood will stain the snow?

“Blood on Snow” is a classic Red Sonja tale pitting her against men with murder on their minds.  The story has a cool monster twist, and it is effectively done with nice art by Mirko Colak.  Also, this could be a classic Conan tale.

“Unbowed” by Phil Hester, Heidi Blair, and Jeff Eckleberry:
Red Sonja has a mission – return the body of a former teacher to the convent they both once called home.  The path she takes brings her into conflict with the “Wolf Clan.”  Can Red Sonja make it?  Is the She-Devil with a Sword like her late teacher, unbowed?

“Unbowed” is one of the best stories I have read in this anthology series.  Heidi Blair's art captures the subtly poignant mood that Phil Hester gives this story.  However, don't think for a minute that “Unbowed” lacks hacking and slashing.  It is simply that the drama here is so strong.

“Sonja's Gambit” by Amy Chu, Andres Labrada, and Jeff Eckleberry:
The story opens somewhere near the southern border Hyrkania.  Thamyris, a queen, traps Sonja in a magical game of chess.  Unfamiliar with the game, Sonja must make a gambit...

I like Andres Labrada's art in this story, and although “Sonja's Gambit” isn't a great Red Sonja tale, it is a nice little magical story.

It is hard for me to pick a favorite story from the offerings in Red Sonja Black White and Red #7.  I'll go with “Unbowed,” although “Blood on Snow” is a close second.

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 © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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