Sunday, August 28, 2022

Comics Review: "SAMURAI SONJA #3"


STORY: Jordan Clark
ART: Miriana Puglia
COLORS: Kike J. Diaz
LETTERS: Jeff Eckleberry
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Clayton Henry
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (July 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, and it publishes a number of titles featuring alternate versions of the character.  The latest is Samurai Sonja, Volume 1.  It is written by Jordan Clark; drawn by Pasquale Qualano and Miriana Puglia; colored by Kike J. Diaz; and lettered by Jeff Eckleberry.  This series is set in feudal Japan and introduces a brand new Sonja, a samurai serving a sea goddess in order to slay an oni shogun – with her life and family name on the line.

Samurai Sonja, Volume 1 #3 opens in the Sengoku period of Japan.  Sonja's journey to the fortress where she will confront the demon lord, Shuten Doji, brings her to a vast bridge.  It is guarded by a terrible and humongous oni.  Now, Sonja must use the lessons of the sword that she has learned if she is to defeat this three-eyed oni giant.

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 Samurai Sonja, Volume 1 #3, one of many Red Sonja-related comic books that I have read.

Writer Jordan Clark is taking the time to write an epic comic book that not only respects the publishing history of Red Sonja the comic book character, but also explores the possibilities of a character that turns out to be filled to the brim with possibilities.  I imagine that Samurai Sonja is meant to be short-lived, but I think Clark could run this on as long as some classic manga series.  Samurai Sonja is another Red Sonja comic book winner.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Red Sonja will want to read Samurai Sonja, Volume 1.


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

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