Monday, December 5, 2022

Comics Review: "Unbreakable RED SONJA #2" is a Good Second Issue


STORY: Jim Zub
ARTIST: Giovanni Valletta
COLORS: Francesco Segala with Agnese Pozza
LETTERS: Carlos M. Mangual
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2022)

Rated Teen+

Red Sonja created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith and Robert E. Howard

“She-Double with a Sword”

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.  The latest is Unbreakable Red Sonja.  It is written by Jim Zub; drawn by Giovanni Valletta; colored by Francesco Segala; and lettered by Carlos M. Mangual.

Unbreakable Red Sonja #2 (“She-Double with a Sword”) opens with more of that story set in a lost time and place and involving an obsession.  Meanwhile, in the present, Red Sonja is still dealing with the shock of coming face to face with her younger self.

She and the child flee the Hyrkanian town called “Thyner's Roost” and head east for the city of Lhasiri.  There, Sonja hopes that mystics in her debt will have answers regarding this uncanny situation.  During the journey, Red Sonja and pre-Red Sonja hope to find a place to rest, but what they find is that an unnatural horror is still hunting them.

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Unbreakable Red Sonja #2, which is one of many, many Dynamite Red Sonja comic books that I have read.

Once upon a time, I read several comic books from writer Jim Zub because he frequently sent me PDF review copies … until he hit the big time and didn't need to send out review copies.  Now, PDF review copies of his work are once again available to me through another source, Dynamite Entertainment.  It turns out that the Unbreakable Red Sonja is an enjoyable Zub comic book.  It reads like classic, old school, sword and sorcery comic books.  It is full of mystery and magic, and just when I thought things were getting a little safe in the story, something gruesome shows up and starts killing.

Artist Giovanni Valletta's illustrations here remind me of old Marvel Comics Conan, and I could imagine Valletta's art being published by Marvel in the 1970s.  Valletta's storytelling is calm until it needs to explode, and explode it does.  Francesco Segala's atmospheric colors are perfect for this art, especially for this chapter's darker aspects.  Even letterer Carlos M. Mangual, who has done some Marvel work, gets in on the vintage Marvel Red Sonja vibe.

I was intrigued by this series' first issue, and this second issue makes me curious about everything that is to come.  Something dark and hellish is coming … I hope, so I am recommending this Red Sonja comic book – although I often recommend Red Sonja.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Red Sonja comic books will want to try Unbreakable Red Sonja.


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

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