Red Sonja Volume 1: Queen of Plagues
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Walter Geovani
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Rating: 5 Stars
Let me say right off that I am not a huge reader of comics. I love good storytelling in any genre and I love good comic books. Most of the time I don’t find a lot to keep me interested these days. I am a sucker for classic sword and sorcery books and comics. So when I saw this new series from Dynamite starring everyone’s favorite redhead with a sword I was excited. Gail Simone has written some great stuff over the years and this volume is no exception.
This is classic Red Sonja material. It is also something new and fresh. Sonja’s story has been updated for this new run. Of course the old themes and images are there. What would a Robert Howard character be without seeing her family butchered and then taking revenge. What’s nice in this arc is that Simone takes time to give us brief flashbacks of Sonja’s past. She makes these interesting. The flashbacks are long enough to give us a scene, but short enough that they don’t slow down the narrative.
In the story a king who once saved Sonja from a horrible fate is in trouble. Sonja comes to the rescue. We meet a lot of new characters. The sisters Ayla and Nias are very interesting. The character of Dark Annisia is well written. It’s great that our She Devil has an opponent who is equally strong and a woman.
Sonja is a difficult character to write well. After all, this is a woman who is supposed to be this amazing warrior. She is an expert with every weapon and every form or fighting. She is a strategist and an unstoppable killer. She manages to do all of this while wearing a bikini suit of armor. The question is how does one take this character seriously, yet keeping the classic look. Simone manages this with great skill.