Thursday, July 14, 2022

Comics Review: 2013 RED SONJA #1 Dynamite Edition


STORY: Gail Simone
ART: Walter Geovani
COLORS: Adriano Lucas
LETTERS: Simon Bowland
EDITOR: Josephy Rybandt
COVER: Walter Geovani
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Walter Geovani; Gracie the Cosplay Lass and Morgan McClung and Happy Trigger (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (June 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.

Dynamite Entertainment is now the publisher of Red Sonja comic books.  One of its recent publications is Red Sonja Dynamite Edition.  It is a facsimile edition of Red Sonja #1 (2013), the debut of the blockbuster creative team of writer Gail Simone and artist Walter Geovani, published with a new cover by Geovani that pays homage to legendary Red Sonja comic book artist, Frank Thorne.  Colorist Adriano Lucas and letterer Simon Bowland completed the 2013 creative team.

Red Sonja Dynamite Edition opens as King Dimath leads his army to victory over the evil Zamorans.  Deep in a Zamoran prison pit, Dimath finds two women that he frees.  One of them is Red Sonja.  A few turns of the season later, it is Dimath that must call upon Red Sonja for rescue.  The Zamorans have attacked again, and Dimath's army has also been decimated by plague.  Sonja is ready to do her part to help the king, but among the enemy is a familiar face.

THE LOWDOWN:   Since July 2021, the marketing department of Dynamite Entertainment has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Red Sonja Dynamite Edition, which is one of many Dynamite Entertainment Red Sonja comic books that I have read.

I have vague recollections of Gail Simone writing Red Sonja, but I don't remember the 2013 series in particular.  As usual, Simone presents some really good storytelling, and her take on Red Sonja results in a rich, multi-layered character.  The story, plot, and setting seem very carefully thought-out.

Walter Geovani's art is good, stronger on storytelling that it is on technique.  For instance, the brushwork on the inks a bit heavy, and Geovani saves his best figure and facial drawing for Sonja.  All the other characters are drawn like stock characters.  Adriano Lucas' colors make everything look pretty enough to make me stop quibbling.  Simon Bowland's letters, as usual, are solid and serves the story's swings from mood to movement.

Red Sonja comic book fans who missed the original first issue would do well to pick up this facsimile edition, Red Sonja Dynamite Edition.  Walter Geovani's lovely cover art is also a nice extra.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Red Sonja, Gail Simone, and Walter Geovani will want to read Red Sonja Dynamite Edition.


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

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