Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Comics Review: "Unbreakable RED SONJA #4" Takes on a Goddess


STORY: Jim Zub
ART: 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. (March 2023)

Rated Teen+

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

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 #4 opens with the history of Tendra the Forbidden, the all-knowing goddess of creation … or so the legend says.  Now, Red Sonja and her younger self take on Father Markon, the religious leader of Tendra's cult and her “living sacrament” a.k.a. the only person who has been in Tendra's physical presence.

Plus, the Sonjas learn that the creatures that have been tracking them are Tendra's “Guardians.”  So when the goddess herself arrives, what will happen?

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 #4, which is one of many, many Dynamite Red Sonja comic books that I have read.

The combination of writer Jim Zub and artist Giovanni Valletta and Adrian M. Garcia recalls the Conan the Barbarian comic book series of the Marvel Comics of yesteryear.  This series has a sense of mystery, and there are a lot of questions, not the least of which is the origin of young Red Sonja.  So, of course, Zub uses this issue to throw in some new ones, a sure way to get us to come back for more.

Francesco Segala's atmospheric colors still perfectly convey the change of pace in the action and drama.  Letterer Carlos M. Mangual, who has done some Marvel work, continues to convey the sense of a vintage Marvel Red Sonja vibe.

I have been intrigued by The Unbreakable Red Sonja from the beginning.  And I still believe that I cannot afford to miss what comes next.

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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