Saturday, June 24, 2023

Comics Review: "Unbreakable RED SONJA #5" Offers a Softer Ending Than I Expected


STORY: Jim Zub
ARTIST: Adrian M. Garcia
COLORS: Francesco Segala with Agnese Pozza
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
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 and Adrian M. Garcia; colored by Francesco Segala; and lettered by Carlos M. Mangual and Taylor Esposito.  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 #5 opens … somewhere.  Past, present, and potent futures collide as Sonja parlays with “Scathach, the Warrior Maiden.”  For Sonja, this journey through time is most important if she and her younger self are going to survive Tendra the Forbidden, the all-knowing goddess of creation.

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

The Unbreakable Red Sonja has a creative team, writer Jim Zub and artists Giovanni Valletta and Adrian M Garcia, that recalls the creative teams of old Conan the Barbarian comic book series.  This series is like something from the Marvel Comics of yesteryear.

However, the final issue is a bit of a letdown.  It reads like a rushed ending.  Zub built up the engaging mystery over four issues and suddenly wraps it up with some low-rent mysticism and time-shifting shenanigans.  Still, I recommend that readers who passed on this give it a try in the eventual trade paperback collection.

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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