Red Sonja #6

After the big review in #5 that Bazrat was behind bringing Sonja and Annisia together as combatants, the two women are still in the arena. Bazrat, with a woman at his side, one whose husband was killed by Bazrat; reveals that he spread “the plague” to destroy armies that stood in his way. Worse, he assembled Annisia’s army without her knowledge, so she has killed for him. Again.

Annisia, haunted by those she killed in battle, and now those that she has murdered, loses her already weak grip on reality. She lashes out at Red Sonja. Then at Bazrat. Generals Ayla and Nias corner Annisia’s soldiers and threaten them with flaming arrows.

It happens quickly, alliances made and broken, curses, threats, avenging those long gone and recently deceased.  The last issue of the first story arc ends both in sadness and celebration for Sonja.

Red Sonja gets her vengeance against the one who killed Dimath. Ayla and Nias become full grown bad-asses. Annisia gets some peace. The Taverns get reopened.

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Dar Annisia was certainly a complicated “villain” (I’m using the term loosely). She thought she was doing the right thing, she couldn’t live with what she had done and it drove her crazy. Real crazy. Massive survivors guilty, PTSD. And she was furious with Sonja for being able to move on. But how much has Sonja “moved on”? Sonja drinks too much and can’t stay in one place too long, she has trouble relating to other people. She deals with her past better than Annisia, but that’s all.

The ending of this issue was such a surprise that I don’t even want to explain too much, it’s just better in color.

Certainly a great wrap up for the first story arc. Sonja’s past is behind her now. Enemies vanquished. I wonder what’s up next for our red haired warrior. And I do hope that Nias and Ayla make an appearance again soon.

This came out on my BDay, Gail Simone tweeted HBD to me!

This came out on my BDay, Gail Simone tweeted HBD to me!

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.

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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.