Red Sonja (2017) #1 (Dynamite)


CREDIT: Dynamite

Rating: 4/5 – Sonja Is Displaced in time.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Brunell

I was on board with the last volume when writer Marguerite Bennett and Artist Aneke brought an older and wiser red Sonja to the table. With a much more covered and boldly dressed Sonja, I couldn’t help but take the plunge and reap the benefits of what would be a short lived but amazing run with Bennett and Aneke’s take of a classic heroine. With a little time to let the dust settle Red Sonja is back, wearing her trademark bikini made of scaled metal at what appears to be a possible earlier time in Sonja’s life. Readers are brought a new adventure that brings Sonja into a realm that she has not traveled to before (at least in the Dynamite incarnation of the character), the future.

Writer Amy Chu and Artist Carlos Gomez are a pair of talented creators that have been able to keep me going on this series after Bennett and Aneke’s run. After the 25 cent #0 issue was released I was skeptical; I wasn’t too into the younger bikini’d Sonja in the#0 issue, and honestly I was not positive I would continue. I don’t mind change, but abrupt unexplained changes are tedious to me.  But I gave it one more issue and Lo and behold, when I grabbed issue #1 of this series, I thought it was fantastic. Not only is the future, (New York City) unknown to her, but she is considered a relic there. Constant bubbles of conversation from New Yorkers put Sonja in a frustrated and confusing state because they speak in a language unknown to her, but Amy Chu provides a rather interesting and humorous translation. These new world characters constantly make jokes and comments about how underdressed Sonja is, and how her constant need to be unclothed is a bit too much. It’s a great conversational topic to be brought into the story and added volumes to the story for me. It seems to be a way to appeal to the hardcore Red Sonja fans, but also appease new readers that may find our heroine’s mode of dress a bit too revealing.

Issue #2 continues the great story, but things seem to have gone a little astray. The beginning kept things interesting, but from the middle of the comic to the end was just down time of Sonja removing all her clothes and with the narrative jumping all over between panels. By the end of the issue I had to double check if I was missing a page, because the panels jumped over major gaps in time that could have been explained with more clarity. One scene goes from a moment in an apartment, straight to the character in the apartment being chased in the street. The art alone is phenomenal; Gomez delivers captivating panels that are crisp, clean, and captivating. I also have to give a shout out to colorist Mohan for supplying great color tones to the characters to keep things interesting and a bit more concealed.

Red Sonja is a longtime character that has been gone through different dynamics and concepts over the decades. The thing with Sonja is that she always seems to come back to her roots, or at least the artistic direction is to bring back the metal bikini. I find nothing wrong with that, as long as the story can make everything work together. Chu and Gomez bring the story and art to the table that does just that.  The series has an interesting premise with the New York City “fish out of water” setting.  Hopefully the minor inconsistencies in story flow that bothered me in this issue will smooth out moving forward.

Reviewed by: Adam Brunell
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