Friday, March 10, 2023

Comics Review: "Unbreakable RED SONJA #3" Reveals the Series is Still Strong


STORY: Jim Zub
ARTIST: Giovanni Valletta with Adrian M. Garcia
COLORS: Francesco Segala with Agnese Pozza
LETTERS: Carlos M. Mangual
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (February 2023)

Rated Teen+

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

“The Fury in Lhasiri”

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 Volume 1.  It is written by Jim Zub; drawn by Giovanni Valletta; colored by Francesco Segala; and lettered by Carlos M. Mangual.  This series finds the She-Devil with a Sword teamed up with what is apparently a younger version of herself.

Unbreakable Red Sonja Volume 1 #3 (“The Fury in Lhasiri”) opens in the wake of the massacre of Blard's Bleeders, with whom Red Sonja and her younger self sought shelter.  Wounded, Red Sonja sees but one hope, and that is to travel to the city of Lhasiri, where she hopes mystics will tell her why a monster is after her and the girl.

To get to the city however, the duo will have to travel through the mountain range known as “Reiner's Ridge.”  And nothing will be what the warrior and child expect.

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 #3, 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.  The Unbreakable Red Sonja is allowing me to enjoy Zub's entertaining storytelling anew. 

The combination of Zub and artist Giovanni Valletta recalls the Conan the Barbarian comic book series of the Marvel Comics of yesteryear.  Francesco Segala's atmospheric colors perfectly convey the change of pace in the action and drama.  Even letterer Carlos M. Mangual, who has done some Marvel work, gets in on the vintage Marvel vibe.

I have been intrigued by The Unbreakable Red Sonja from the beginning.  Zub's story and Valletta's art create a sense of mystery that permeates every corner of this narrative.  That creates a sense that the reader cannot afford to miss what is next, and I certainly feel that way.

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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