Fantastic Female Friday- Hot Ice Hilda (Outlaw Star)

The mere mention of her name gets a strong reaction from Outlaws, pirates and space forces alike. She steals and android from notorious Chinese pirate guild, the Kei Pirates, and in an altercation that ends with the death of their leader at her hands.. she loses one of them, and an eye. She gets a cybernetic arm and swears vengeance! Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Sadly, Hot Ice Hilda only lives 2 episodes in to Outlaw Star.

Hilda’s pursued by the Kei pirates across space and crash lands on Sentinel III. With her ship and arm in disrepair she plays innocent under the identity of a blonde rich girl named “Rachel Sweet” and cons Gene Starwind into helping her out with materials and repairs. She also enlists him as a bodyguard. When Kei pirates catch her scent, her true identity as the infamous outlaw is revealed. Gene attempts to complete the job he agreed to. He shoots the pirates with the magical and obsolete Caster Gun while Hilda chucks grenades, they make it to the barn where the ship is hidden, Hilda thanks Gene …and then shoots him and takes Jim hostage to finish repairs.

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Gene doesn’t die and she ends up taking him along into space (which he’s always been afraid of) they get into various shenanigans and the two have sex. Hilda has the stereotypical warrior/traveller viewpoint and just wants a warm body next to hers. She on the “masculine” side, she yells at Gene when he is scared she is demanding and doesn’t do anything in the way of being sympathetic -but she still encourages him. After a brief stop over on Blue Heaven (where guns are not allowed and she fights with her badass robot hand and a taser) she, Gene, Jim and Melfina return back out into space and they are attacked by Kei Pirates and the outlaws The MacDougal Brothers. Hilda proves that she will do anything to the Kei Pirates. Even if it means her own life… Her message to Gene?  “Outlaws never go down easy, now matter what happens to them.” And she dies taking out the last pirate there to fight.

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Hot Ice Hilda is responsible for the whole plot of the series! Hilda was the one searching for the Galactic Leyline. She didn’t know what it was, she just knew Kei pirates wanted it, so she wanted to get it first. And you really can’t argue with that logic. She’s vengeful, but mature and rational, capable, savvy and utterly ruthless. She was the one responsible for getting Gene into space and off Sentinel III where he was a big cocky fish in a small pond. She was the catalyst for so much of the plot. And she was fridged. But she provided more than emotional turmoil for Gene (although there certainly was that), her infamy brought them enemies, her disregard of an order from a Ctarl-Ctarl ship brought the wrath of Aisha Clan-Clan down on Gene and co., her death left Melfina’s existence a mystery and a treasure to be searched for. 

It’s just really awesome to have this REALLY not girly, not conventionally feminine love interest who gets some unassuming man caught up in the adventure of his life. In many adventure fantasies it is a woman getting dragged behind as the plot unfold because of the drive of a man. But in this one everyone else is just along for the ride, whether they want to be or not.

Too bad that she was too badass for a story about some guy with red hair and his 11 year old business partner. (Just kidding I love this show, but it would have been totally different if she hadn’t left Gene alone in space to have his adventure and get vengeance)

Legends of Red Sonja #3 + Red Sonja #7

Red Sonja double review special:

With Legends of Red Sonja #3, we jump right in to “The Palace of the Necromancer” which was written by Leah Moore. Writing comic books is in Leah Moore’s DNA, Alan Moore is her father, and she has written for the Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes comic book series; proving that she’s no stranger to writing strong lead characters. In this tale a traveler has joined up with the Grey Riders to hunt Sonja because long ago Sonja offered to destroy Zaul. Zaul is a necromancer caught in stasis, draining the life from nearby crops, who is guarding a vast treasure. The man breaks the spell and a hoarde of zombies rises. He blames it on Sonja, of course. Not on the fact that he’s a greedy hog who couldn’t resist the treasure. Nicola Scott’s Gertrelle’s Lament finds a witch women who scapegoats Sonja as well. The old woman was piecing together an old and powerful ritual, only to have the sacrifice made into Sonja’s supper. This story was my fave in the issue, the art by Doug Holgate was quirky and cartoony and fit well with the attitude of that particular ‘legend’. In “Gerd’s Story: What lies beneath” written by Rhianna Pratchett, art by Naniiebim, Sonja is in her alternate costume: full sleeve chainmail and red hotpants. This was long ago, when Sonja was new to being a warrior. Gerd made Sonja her chainmail bikini: diversion tactic. Anyway, Red Sonja infiltrates the Grey Riders while they are deciding whether or not to keep hunting her, and she kills the leader with an arrow through the eye she didn’t take.

Red Sonja #7, Gail Simone and Walter Geovani triumphantly return with a new story arc and new mission for Sonja. She’s sent to recruit to world’s 6 greatest artisans for a shindig for a dying ruler, Samala. The utilitarian Sonja doesn’t care for such festivities, but Samala says that if she is successful, he will set over 1000 slaves free. So she goes to a swamped area inhabited by cannibal foodies in search of the world’s greatest chef. They have him captive. Red Sonja gets followed by the bogmen who criticize her dinner of rabbit on a stick, which she kills one with, and through a series of events she gets captured and put on the menu. She meets the cook, Gribaldi, and finds that the cook has been deceiving the bogmen and feeding them infant reptiles and setting the captured free. All hell breaks loose when the giant gator people get wind of their cooked young. “There’s the problem with exotic cuisine, sometimes, it simply refuses to be eaten.” Sonja keeps herself and the cook on the top of the food chain!