Legends of Red Sonja #2

The Grey Riders are still hunting down Red Sonja, ready to exact their revenge for her doings against them. 

Meljean Brook’s “The Undefeated” was my favorite of the two tall tales. Told to the Grey Riders hunting Sonja through the eyes of The Beheader, a fierce warrior; Red’s armor gets even skimpier. He says that her prowess in inflated, that the stories take on a life of their own. A drunken wager between The Beheader and Red Sonja lead them on a quest to pry a ruby from the jaws of an elephant beast. The Beheader paints her as a coward who hides behind men. The ruby around his neck proves he won the wager, right? Maybe Red Sonja isn’t as fierce as lore makes her… uh huh..

Image

In Tamora Pierce’s story, the Grey Riders are greeted by a child whose family has recently employed Sonja to protect her mother, a Goddess. Cassandra James’ art here was rather weird. Belly buttons in odd places, Sonja’s face crooked. It didn’t have the swagger of the first story. Interestingly, Red’s tale by Tamora Pierce is told through the eyes of a young girl, since Pierce is well known for the Young Adult series the Beka Cooper trilogy and Song of the Lioness featuring young female protags, it certainly added another dimension. 

Through out all this, Sonja is lurking in the shadows, making sure the Grey Riders are drawn off course. 

Next Month: January 22nd: Rhianna Pratchett, author of the Lara Croft video game origin story entertains us with a “legend” along with writer of Sherlock Holmes/Damsels/Raise the Dead Dynamite comics superstar Leah Moore. Nichola Scott, who worked with Gail Simone on Birds of Prey makes some art.

Legends of Red Sonja #1

Dynamite’s favorite Ginger, adventurer and swordslinger, She Devil with a Sword RED SONJA!

There are 3 parts of Red’s Legends contained in this issue, the first piece and framework, “Legends of Red Sonja” by Gail Simone who is currently writing the main Red Sonja series art by Jack Jadson (all female writers, no gender protocol for artists, as Gail Simone said, the men need a chance). The second, “Eyes of the Howling God,” written by Nancy A. Collins, Bram Stoker award winning horror author, who created a character, Sonja Blue, as an homage to Red. And the third, “La Sonja Rossa,” written by Devin Kalile Grayson with art by Carla Speed McNeil, Grayson has written loads of comics Batman, Catwoman and a 5 year stretch writing Nightwing.

Image

A band of assassins are hunting Red Sonja. Hard to believe, amirite? They are united only in their hatred of Sonja. Driven by their need for vengeance. The Learned Assassin, Eles, has been hunting her the longest.

He met her when she was a thief. Sonja was prying the ruby eyes out of “the Howling God” statue when she was caught by monks with moons on their foreheads, seems she was defacing their religious idol. They try to grab her, then their leader threatens her with a ‘unique’ punishment since she’s the first female out of many thieves to try to deface their god. He says she can be “the temple whore” or she can face him in combat.

What does she choose? “Do you need to ask?”

Their leader goes all “Howling God” himself, turning into a wolfman. She stabs him through the chest and beats him dead then she goes about her business thieving. Eles was there that day, blind in one eye from facing her. He trained and learned the dark arts to face her once more and settle the debt for her blinding and slaying his god.

“Red is Her Name. And crimson follows her like vultures to a corpse.”

One legend rolls into the next as night turns into day and the Grey Riders meet with Captain Vitale Boulos who claims that Sonja sunk with his last ship. Red wasn’t the only beauty aboard the ship. There was another woman. And that woman? She summons a Kraken. She found out she was going to be sacrificed to a god, so no one can really blame her. “They say it is a great honor to be so chosen, but she, you know, perhaps she felt unworthy.” 

Sonja fights the creature from the deep with everything from her sword to her teeth. The Captain says she went down honorably, died fighting. But the riders don’t buy it, they’re sure she made it out of the water.

So they search on, but we have to wait for the next issue for the Legends of Fiction to tell the Legends of Red Sonja.

It’s no secret the Red Sonja and Gail Simone are my faves. (and all female authors adding their own twist? How could I not L<3VE this series?) So far the tales have been epic and extraordinary. A Wolfman and a kraken in the first issue? Awesome. The different phases were woven together perfectly, the art, the violence? Amazing. Very tall tales, by using perspectives of different travellers and adventurers, it creates an atmosphere where the stories are larger than life, like the history of great legendary tales passed down through oral traditions. Clever. Next issue features YA fantasy writer Tamora Pierce and steampunk romance author Meljean Brooks. So it will be interesting to see what authors from outside the action/comics realm bring in to the story. Word should travel quickly about the Legends of Red Sonja.

Army of Darkness/Re-Animator One Shot!

Ash, transported through time and space by the necronomicon again is dropped in front of Herbert West …Medical Doctor, who is just doing typical Miskatonic University quality stuff digging up graves. Ash starts to ask questions and Herbert bashes him over the head.

Image

It’s 1922, Ash convinces West to call him Elvis Presley. West gives him a new dead hand while he’s unconscious for two weeks and then holds the Necronomicon Ex Mortis hostage and enlists Ash to be his assistant. So Ash is trapped, getting called Presley, digging graves and serving the pretentious and ill-tempered West. West has taken over the Miskatonic and many of his known cohorts are dead or “missing” …Ash is moderately concerned, and becomes more concerned when a dead man with a missing hand shows up.

West: “I am working to extend human life”

Ash: “Well for Chrissakes, eat kale and stay out of the sun!”

West recounts his earliest experiments and confesses how he turned the Dean into a rampaging ghoul, and later, during WWI, he enlisted as an Army medic to have access to fresh corpses and body parts. After this freakish tale, Ash takes in a classic flick and plots on how to get the book back. His hand takes on a mind of it’s own. Ash has been down this road before! The hand goes on a killing spree separate from West’s killing spree. Tension builds.

West, his experiments ruined, gets desperate and recites an incantation from the Necronomicon to speed up his work. WHAT? West, a true man of science driven insane in his quest for academic success, would never resort to magic. Murder, decapitation, kidnapping? Certainly. But using magic? pfft.

But say he would: Deadites everywhere.

I won’t spoil the rest.

Image

I love cross-overs, and from a couple from my favorite(ish) 80’s camp movies? I like it. The art is spot on and the spastic one-liner spouting Ash playing off of the infuriatingly persistent West is just awesome.

I give it 4 Stars, which would impress Ash and infuriate perfectionist Herbert West.

This rad one-shot was written by Mark Rahner, who also penned the HP Lovecraft derived comic “Cthulhu Tales” and Dynamite babe Vampirella’s current series.

Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Slash #2

This was the only comic I was supposed to be picking up today. If you follow me on twitter you know that is not remotely what happened. But it’s  the first one I read.

I try to be punctual and stuff, but I’m still unpacking and I have 8,327,737,390 things to do. Reviews are coming. Don’t panic. I’ll be back on the radio this week. HOORAY

So, anyway…

Image

Killer cover, amirite? Cassie Hack, kicking deadite ass while Ash grabs hers. Eh, maybe. It’s funny? Whatever. anyway…

On the inside, the story begins with Ash being attacked by 2 large naked men in a prison shower. No kidding. Local do gooder, Banerjee all of a sudden turns psycho killer. Ash accurately suspects the Necronomicon/demonic possession/dopplegangers. Banerjee is in prison and is the last person to come into contact with whoever is selling pages of the book. Cassie devises a plan, Ash infiltrates the prison using what she terms, the “reverse Shawshank” (it’s crawling through a sewer pipe), Ash is not amused. Cassie gets in using her… uhhh… sexiness. Ash makes some effed up comment about her ex-partner, Vlad. Cassie is not amused. Not one to settle matters with snide remarks: she cracks him across the jaw.

After a really gross amount of violence, electrocution and decapitation. They set off in the right direction to find The real Banerjee.

“When Hack and I are working we’re like those old married couples you see at a restaurant. Nothing needs to be said. No thought, just action. Except instead of shoveling salisbury steak and green beans into our faces while staring out at the scenic Wal-Mart parking… we’re serving up evil dead destruction with a side of looking damn good.”

It’s true. Chainsaw through a dog’s head, and Banerjee is rescued and kicked off to the ER… after spilling his guts about where he got the page. A CULT WITH A SELF PROCLAIMED MESSIAH whose followers wear dead men’s faces. Classic tactic.

I’m enjoying the play between Cassie and Ash. Him lusting after her and her “knee high athletic sock things” while admiring her handiwork.

Cassie Hack is completely a manifestation pandering to male audiences. She’s wearing little more than fishnet and knee socks, she’s all T&A and using her vagina to get what she wants from people she can’t kill.

But that bat, though:

Image

Bitchin’.

Looking forward to seeing what they do with a female villain.

Best comic to read in Bruce Campbell’s voice.

Image

Speaking of female villains. Check back later for the Poison Ivy #1/Batman Detective Comics #23.1 Villains Month special! Yeahhh Yo