She Devil With a New Zip Code … Red Sonja #1
Red Sonja started out as a 16th Century swashbuckler in stories written by Robert E. Howard back in 1934. Her iconic chainmail bikini came about when Roy Thomas wrote and Barry Windsor Smith drew Red Sonja into the 1970’s Conan comic book from Marvel. Tweaking her origin and moving her from the 16th Century and into Conan’s Hyborian Age of barbarians cemented the character into our pop culture hall of heroines. She had her own major motion picture in 1985, she was the titular character in an episode of the Conan TV series back in 1997 and, of course, she headlined a multitude of her own comic books. Dynamite Entertainment is the current license holder for Red Sonja and has printed numerous mini-series, one-shots and three regular series since 2005.
Well here comes Red Sonja Vol. 4 #1 from Dynamite.
In our current comic book market, a new chapter for the Queen of the Hyborian Age requires a new first issue. But this time around things are a little different for Sonja. Instead of fighting strange mystical forces, plundering barbarians and the hostile environment of Hyrkania she is facing grid lock, low battery warnings on an iPhone, Starbucks lines and that infamous hospitality of modern NYC. The town so nice they named it twice. Faced with more questions than answers Sonja has to find her way through the modern world, past the NYC Police Department, the local hospital and the NSA and figure out how she got there and why. And what time traveling mystery would be complete without an evil looking dude in a corporate board room of a company that is obviously a front for an evil organization bent on global domination?
Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, KISS) does a good job as the writer but with only so much room in a first issue you can’t help but feel you have seen this story before. So, don’t expect the series to really hit its stride for a few issues until Amy gets past all the introductions and setups. Carlos Gomez‘s (Dresden Files) art is really dynamic with some sharp camera angles and a pleasing style which was well complimented by Mohan‘s colours. This introductory issue has quite a few “bums and boobs in metal bikini” images but since the story is set in the winter time I’m expecting Red’s costume will become a bit less of a titillating focus as the series goes on.
While my socks were not blown off by the first issue there was enough potential there to spark my interest in picking up issue #2.
Issue: Red Sonja Vol.4 #1 | Publisher: Dynamite
Writer: Amy Chu | Artists: Carlos Gomez & Mohan