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Comic Forums => General Comic Discussion => Topic started by: Sick Nick on February 02, 2017, 09:35:32 AM

Title: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 02, 2017, 09:35:32 AM
If not, why not? It is fucking AWESOME.

As everyone knows, Gail Simone  took over the title and rebooted it – she was one of Dynamite’s hottest ever acquisitions and she took the comic to new heights of popularity and critical acclaim. Before Gail, humour had been hard to come by in Red Sonja stories but she totally changed the tone of the series.

With that said, I couldn’t stand Gail’s run personally because she changed so much about the character. She removed the vow entirely (and openly poked fun at it in one issue) – not just the ‘best her to bed her’ element but the whole path of vengeance and involvement of the Blood Goddess Scathach. Yes, removing all the rape references is no bad thing but it wouldn’t take a brain surgeon to rework the vow, such that Sonja’s granted inhuman abilities and skill in exchange for servitude to Scathach.

Gail’s Sonja was much more pedestrian than the Sonja before her - a highly skilled huntress, sure, but she was no longer the greatest swordsman around. She was formidable in battle because she was ANGRY … a calm swordsman totally embarrassed her in a duel and she only beat him when she dropped her sword and lost her temper. Gail also went to the other extreme, changing Sonja from a virtual virgin to a character who would fuck anything that moved – she was a total slave to her own lust and rage, constantly drunk out of her gourd … basically, she was a caricature of the classic She-Devil.

The comic did great business but as far as I was concerned, as a Red Sonja comic, it sucked.

Then last year, we got another reboot by Marguerite Bennett. The big gimmick about this one was that Sonja’s look was changing substantially, losing the chainmail bikini for a fur hood, cape and tunic … still not the most practical outfit for pitched battle but a huge change from the classic look. I didn’t pay too much attention to this one after the first ish but it only lasted for six issues and just kinda petered out. The writing was OK but nothing special, and the art was bland and mediocre.

Then I heard late last year that the series was being relaunched YET AGAIN and by another female writer … this time, ex-‘Poison Ivy’ scribe Amy Chu, who’d been suggested by Simone. On pencils was Spaniard Carlos Gomez, who’d done a few Marvel bits here and there but was more closely associated with Dynamite.

#0 came out in December for 25 cents or free of charge on Comixology. It wasn’t earth-shatteringly good but it showed real promise, with lovely artwork from Gomez. The bikini was back and briefer than it’s been under most artists. In total contrast to Bennett’s run, there were suddenly loads of gratuitous poses .. .the very first panel, which has been reproduced on the opening of every issue since, has Sonja dashing up a staircase towards Kulan Gath, with most of her naked arse on display. However, Gomez has a really cool style that hasn’t been used on Sonja for a long time, a blend of cartoony and realistic that really works. The closest artist to his style for me is Humberto Ramos but Gomez is MUCH better, with far better background work, facial expressions and movement. The story itself had a brief battle between Sonja and a big, nasty monster, followed by several pages of her dashing through a tunnel, and then a BIG REVEAL at the end.

The BIG REVEAL?


SPOILERS


Sonja had been transported to modern-day New York City.

Yes, this has been done before twice in Sonja team-ups with Spider-Man but those stories never showed Sonja interacting with normal people, just fighting magicians and superhumans. The early issues of this series are all about Sonja finding herself in a totally strange environment, where she doesn’t understand the language, where her opponents have firearms, and she marvels at running water, let along modern technology.

And it is a fucking BLAST

The art continues to impress …  Gomez is as good at drawing cityscapes as desolate Hyborian wastelands. He stills throws in butt-shots whenever he has a chance but he has at least given Sonja a leather jacket to help against the sudden snows that she brought with her from Hyboria.

Amy’s introduced a cool new sidekick for Sonja in young cop Max and there are more supporting cast members to come. Kulan Gath is the big bad but here is a business mogul with eyes and cronies everywhere.

#1 had Sonja facing off with the cops, getting shot in the shoulder, taken down and bundled off to a mental hospital on Gath’s orders. There, Gath’s minions made an attempt on her life but she busted loose and fled to Central Park, grabbing that jacket on the way.

#2 is out next week; I’ve seen most of the pages and it is absolutely fucking incredible. In contrast to Gail Simone’s butt monkey Sonja, here Amy’s giving us a She-Devil who relishes being in a totally alien land and acclimatises to it in record time. Chu’s admitted to not being much of a Sonja fan, outside of the Simone run, but she’s gone back to the classic version of the character. That’s not to say her stories aren’t funny … actually, #2 is the funniest ‘Red Sonja’ story I’ve ever read. There’s none of Simone’s self-referential, knowing humour, it’s more organic. Max, who speaks basic Hyrkanian, calls Sonja ‘naked lady’. There’s a great sequence where, deprived of her sword, Sonja has to catch a duck in Central Park with a wooden spear for her dinner and a guy out walking his dog spots her. Sonja keeps a low profile but in no time, attracts attention to herself in a bar with her unique abilities and goes viral on social media, alerting Gath to her presence – there are pics of the bar patrons posing for selfies with a nonplussed She-Devil.

The action also continues to be kinetic. After the cool escape scene in #1, there’s an even cooler bar scrap in #2 with some outstanding work from Gomez. Chu’s Sonja is also a real force to be reckoned with. On arriving at the bar and necking a beer, she proceeds to crush a load of big guys at arm wrestling (after having been shot in the shoulder in the previous issue, mind). The bar scrap isn’t a few panels of punches and kicks, oh no. Sonja tosses a fucking TABLE one-handed right across the bar into a giant thug with zero effort and in the next panel, slams his head together with that of another huge guy. Amy’s Sonja is a powerhouse … she’s said in a writer’s commentary that if Sonja were healthy, it would take more than three big guys to take her down.

So, yeah, this comic gets my highest recommendation. It’s due to go on for another 3 issues after next week’s but I’m hoping Chu and Gomez stick around after that. Apart from moans about the cheesecake art and the setting, the run’s been getting pretty damn good reviews so far. Chu seems to really love writing Sonja and it’d be interesting to see what she could do with her in a more traditional setting.

I’m getting the comics via Comixology … does anyone know how to post scans from there or is it proof against that kind of jiggery-pokery? If there’s a way to do so, I’ll happily post a few scans here.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Kallor on February 02, 2017, 03:33:53 PM
I just bought them on Comixology after reading your post, so I'll let you know what I think soon.  I also noticed that there are a ton of Red Sonja series available on Comixology Unlimited, so it looks like I'll be able to check out the Simone and Bennet runs too if I want.

As far as posting screens from comixology, the only way I know of is to screenshot the page (I read my comics on an ipad pro) and then take it from your synced photos folder.  The more tech savvy here may have a more direct method.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 02, 2017, 04:42:27 PM
Thanks a lot, buddy, and I hope you enjoy all three Sonja series. It's very early days for Chu's run but for me, it thrashes the others by a country mile. I've been a Sonja fan since the Marvel days though ... the
 Simone series seemed to appeal more to newbies. Dunno how much Sonja stuff you've read up to now.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Gree on February 02, 2017, 09:30:45 PM
Didn't Simone power her down?
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 03, 2017, 04:33:50 AM
Didn't Simone power her down?

Yep, big time, although she kept her hunting abilities at their old levels. She said that Sonja was an incredibly gifted tracker and archer IIRC.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: MTL76 on February 03, 2017, 06:05:39 PM
I was a bit surprised at how easily the cops took down Sonja. Sure, she was disoriented and didn't know what guns were, but a handful of cops shouldn't be able to just wrestle her to the ground.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 03, 2017, 06:18:40 PM
I was a bit surprised at how easily the cops took down Sonja. Sure, she was disoriented and didn't know what guns were, but a handful of cops shouldn't be able to just wrestle her to the ground.

True but she'd just been shot and Max was calming her down when they jumped her. In the commentary, Amy said it took 3 big cops to tackle even a wounded Sonja and at her best, it would take more. Later in the issue, she was too much for that gigantic orderly to handle and he looked to be damn near seven feet tall.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: MTL76 on February 03, 2017, 06:44:23 PM
I was a bit surprised at how easily the cops took down Sonja. Sure, she was disoriented and didn't know what guns were, but a handful of cops shouldn't be able to just wrestle her to the ground.

True but she'd just been shot and Max was calming her down when they jumped her. In the commentary, Amy said it took 3 big cops to tackle even a wounded Sonja and at her best, it would take more. Later in the issue, she was too much for that gigantic orderly to handle and he looked to be damn near seven feet tall.

I know, I know... But going forward I expect her to be tossing motherfuckers through walls.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 03, 2017, 07:17:22 PM
I was a bit surprised at how easily the cops took down Sonja. Sure, she was disoriented and didn't know what guns were, but a handful of cops shouldn't be able to just wrestle her to the ground.

True but she'd just been shot and Max was calming her down when they jumped her. In the commentary, Amy said it took 3 big cops to tackle even a wounded Sonja and at her best, it would take more. Later in the issue, she was too much for that gigantic orderly to handle and he looked to be damn near seven feet tall.

I know, I know... But going forward I expect her to be tossing motherfuckers through walls.

Wait for #2...

After that she'll prolly get her sword back so she'll be slicing and dicing again
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 03, 2017, 07:19:22 PM
In the meantime ...

www.cbr.com/savage-tales-10
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Gree on February 03, 2017, 09:24:48 PM
I was a bit surprised at how easily the cops took down Sonja. Sure, she was disoriented and didn't know what guns were, but a handful of cops shouldn't be able to just wrestle her to the ground.

Same. I want a female Conan
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Dlbiininja on February 05, 2017, 04:21:24 AM
Savage tales.  I'll have to look for that.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 05, 2017, 04:47:28 AM
Savage tales.  I'll have to look for that.

It's available as a trade paperback with the Sonja annuals and "Giant Size Red Sonjas" up to that point. Should be fairly cheap and it's definitely worth a look, although some stories are better than others
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: JookDukem on February 06, 2017, 03:17:15 PM
Explain this Red Sonja character?

Is she Xena and shit or is she way more doper like a Sister of Battle from WarHammer 40k?
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Dlbiininja on February 07, 2017, 12:24:29 AM
Explain this Red Sonja character?

Is she Xena and shit or is she way more doper like a Sister of Battle from WarHammer 40k?

What?  You've never read Red Sonja?  She's been based in Conan's time period for the most part and has quiet a few stories with him over the years.  So, you do get the sword and sorcery spin for her also.  I think for the most part stories with her are pretty good.  Right now Dynamite is printing Red Sonja.  In the past it was Marvel. 
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 08, 2017, 11:12:17 AM
Explain this Red Sonja character?

Is she Xena and shit or is she way more doper like a Sister of Battle from WarHammer 40k?

What?  You've never read Red Sonja?  She's been based in Conan's time period for the most part and has quiet a few stories with him over the years.  So, you do get the sword and sorcery spin for her also.  I think for the most part stories with her are pretty good.  Right now Dynamite is printing Red Sonja.  In the past it was Marvel.

He's being funny.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 08, 2017, 11:59:12 AM
OK, so the issue came out today, and it totally lived up to my expectations. On top of the recap I already posted…



SPOILERS



After Gath sends his people after Sonja, her cop buddy Max finds her in the Harlem bar first, crashed out drunk with her new drinking buddies. I’m guessing he found her pretty damn quickly, as six foot tall redheads (as he describes her to the bar lady) aren’t that commonplace in Harlem. Some time has elapsed, though, as the bar lady asks if Max is settling her tab, which is … $837?!? And all her’s, apparently. They show the receipt … Sonja sank 279 beers by herself. That’s fucking hardcore, man.

Sidenote: when Max is describing Sonja, he doesn’t start talking about metal bikinis. It’s interesting but since the ‘naked lady’ stuff at the beginning of #1, Amy Chu hasn’t mentioned Sonja’s scanty outfit at all. Even Luis doesn’t comment on it when he challenges her to the armwrestle, his buddy just calls her ‘the pretty lady’, and while she attracts a bit of attention on the Harlem streets, nobody takes a second look at her in the bar. I get the sense that Amy’s doing everything she can to take the spotlight off Sonja’s costume; in early interviews, she acknowledged Sonja was back in those togs but skilfully dodged around questions like ‘So isn’t Sonja’s butt going to get cold on the subway?’ I think the costume change in Marguerite Bennett’s series was a resounding failure, so Dynamite have restored Sonja’s classic look, but Amy’s focussing on the story. Even Carlos Gomez has slightly played down the T&A shots in this issue, at least while Sonja’s in public. There’s a big difference between this issue and #0, where there are at least 3 panels of Sonja leaping into action, with her loincloth flapping around and her buttcheeks on full display.

Anyway, I digress.

Gath’s agents turn up … the two mammoths from the mental hospital scene and some Matrix-looking agents. They accuse the barwoman of harbouring an illegal alien or some such, she calls them out and brings up the Matrix thing (I think the lead agent’s even called ‘Smith’). One of the big guys goes to grab Sonja but Luis wakes up, and that’s where we came in with the barfight.
After Max and Sonja escape, they jump on Max’ motorbike and speed away, with Max telling Sonja to stop moving around and her yelling what fun she’s had. Don’t forget this woman knocked back 279 beers by herself not long before. No sign of a hangover … not only that but she stays on the back of a speeding bike without holding on  AND in the fight, she chucked a table across a bar into a big goon with one hand. Fucking hardcore, man. Conan’s got nothing on this. She left that stolen jacket in the bar though, how careless.
Then we have a few pages in Max’ apartment – he wakes up with a bad head, saying he didn’t even have anything to drink. Sonja’s sat there, fresh as a daisy, butt naked and enthusing about the ‘magic tablet’ (TV). She’s managed to work the remote by herself, another sign of her smarts. Chu talked in interviews about how Sonja was a warrior and not an intellectual but she’s so much cannier here than she was under Gail Simone.

Max is aghast at Sonja’s nakedosity and throws her a robe, with her being confused about why being in the buff is unacceptable. REALLY funny interplay here. We learn more about Max’ background … his parents died when he was a baby and he was found by another family during a blackout like the one in #0, which preceded Sonja’s arrival. Looks like Max might be from Sonja’s own world…
Max was never really accepted at school but turned to magic, learning a neat trick with a coin, spinning it fast enough to disappear. Probably the weakest page of the comic here, I’m not sure why it needed a whole page but I imagine this coin thing will turn out to be important later on. Sonja’s contempt for Max’ magical ability is amusing though.

Finally, Max tells Sonja to take a bath, she reeks. We get a really funny panel with Sonja in the tub, rhapsodising about the ability to get hot water without a fire; the bathroom door is wide open and Max is desperately trying to look elsewhere. Max says he’s taking the garbage out but suggests Sonja might want to think about closing the door.

Last page: Gath’s agents have found Max outside on the street and are chasing him!!! Those two big gorillas have bandages around their heads from Sonja’s double noggin knocker.

Next issue, Sonja will inevitably spring to the rescue. One of the preview panels on Carlos’ page shows her battling the agents (in her leather jacket and chainmail bikini) with Max in the background (still with his garbage bag). Intriguingly, she’s wielding a sword … wonder whether Max keeps one in the ironing cupboard. It looks like a katana, rather than Sonja’s usual broadsword. She’s meant to get her weapons back in #3 but I wonder if Carlos had to go back and change this panel.

Overall, a fucking great issue … by far the best in this series and it stomps all over anything Gail Simone did with the character. This is definitely the flat-out funniest Sonja issue I’ve ever read and the action was amazing for being so brief. Like I said elsewhere, a lesser writer would just show Sonja throwing a few punches but Amy’s much more imaginative.

Highest recommendation. Chu and Gomez had better stay on this comic for a while.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Dlbiininja on February 08, 2017, 04:10:02 PM
Fuck, I'm working in Portland this week.  Have to call the book store to make my picks this week.  And make sure they add that.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: MTL76 on February 09, 2017, 05:29:21 AM
I liked this issue better.

I agree, Max definitely comes from Sonya's world.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 09, 2017, 09:25:17 AM
This one's been scoring pretty well on reviews, mainly 4/5. Given what a bad rep Dynamite has, that's almost miraculous. Most attention has gone to Sonja's carousing but those last few pages at Max' were the standout for me.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 09, 2017, 10:30:45 AM
If not, why not? It is fucking AWESOME.
I've been quietly reading (not spamming) this thread, getting more curious by the post. The book seems to have many of the things i enjoy (red heads, action, humor, genre mixing, good art).
Read the series online this morning and man, you were on point. This is great stuff, thanks for turning me on to it.

You are more than welcome. I've started on some fanart of this series.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 09, 2017, 05:03:00 PM
Sonja's return to her old togs has turned off a lot of readers, particularly female ones, but Amy Chu is working damn hard to take the emphasis away from that. She clearly loves Carlos Gomez as an artist but she talks about how great he is at action sequences and expressions. Glad your spouse liked it too!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 10, 2017, 04:55:05 AM
Another fucking five weeks away ... 15th March, I think. The following ish is another 5 wks after that. At least the comics are turning up on their scheduled release date though, Dynamite used to be terrible about that in the past.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 10, 2017, 08:27:23 AM
Whoo, 5 weeks is harsh! But yeah, could be worse. I HATE shitty release schedules.
I'll mark the 15th on my calender.
If you get around to posting some art, i'll surely check it out.

Here you go, buddy!

http://conradknightsocks.deviantart.com/art/Red-Sonja-busts-heads-662369322

I'll be working on the second panel over the weekend...
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 10, 2017, 09:46:11 AM
Neat thanks -thumbs up-
Is that you as Gastuon cuz thats awesome!

Fraid so! That's the point when I realised I needed to do some serious work on my arms!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 12, 2017, 01:46:22 AM
I'd trade an inch offa mine for a bit of your skill with a pencil. I'm strictly a doodler.

 :)

BTW,  the next ish might be 5 wks away but with the last issue, Google Books posted preview pages about 10 days ahead of the release date. They included snippets of script so it was quite easy to uncover preview pages I shouldn't have done
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Kallor on February 12, 2017, 03:39:40 AM
Looking on Comixology Unlimited, it appears that they have the first couple trades available for "free" of most Sonja series, there's 6 or 7 issues of the Marvel Roy Thomas stuff in the 70's, the Dynamite launch (looks like Oeming is the writer), "Queen Sonja", Simone, Bennet, the first Conan/Red Sonja crossover and various one-shots and minis like Revenge of the Gods and Black Tower.  Anything I should read, or just that you'd recommend, before jumping into Chu's series?
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 12, 2017, 06:51:01 AM
Oeming's run was fucking awesome, at least the first 20 issues or so - great stories and Mel Rubi's art was beautiful, like Cary Nord's Conan work. I HIGHLY recommend Oeming/Carey's run. People rave about the Marvel stuff but I find it a bit silly and dated. The best mini is Red Sonja: Blue - in fact, I think it's the best Sonja story ever period. Anything by Eric Trautmann is really good, he did his homework on the Hyborian Age and took it seriously. Doom of the Gods is REALLY bleak but I loved it myself. Luke Lieberman's work is generally pretty good too.

Queen Sonja was very good as well but obvs more about Sonja as ruler and general than as adventurer. The recent Vulture's Circle got good reviews but I didn't read it ... it's about a much older Sonja.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 18, 2017, 07:09:40 AM
Amy Chu just sent Bleeding Cool a commentary for this issue. Her commentaries are always an interesting insight into the process behind her stories.

In this case and of relevance to Sonja's abilities, Amy said she did indeed include the duck kill as a demo of Sonja's brute strength and accuracy and to show her destructive abilities without having her hurt a human.

Amy toyed with having a wrestling match instead of an armwrestling match but she went with the latter so as not to disrupt the flow of the scene and to keep in the same location.  I think she definitely made the right choice ... how many bars do you walk into with actual wrestling matches going on? Yet I've had a few armwrestles at pubs myself, one of them even against a former SHC poster. Also, if the ultimate aim is to show off Sonja's strength, it's harder to play the "skill" card with an armwrestle.

Interestingly,  Amy fessed up that there was a typo on the bar tab and Sonja didn'the actually knock back 270+ beers ... she intended to write her matching Andre the Giant's record of 119. The wrong beer price went on the tab. Amy's no-prize explanation was that Sonja bought a few rounds for her new friends.

Lastly, and it doesn't necessarily mean much, Chu off handedly refers to Sonja as a "superhuman" on the commentary to one page...
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on February 27, 2017, 12:35:20 PM
#0 is available for free on Bleeding Cool now. It's not a great issue - mainly a demo of Gomez' art and even then, his art improves as the series goes on, with more detailed backgrounds and less emphasis on the She-Devil Devil's buttocks. There are a couple of weird inconsistencies with the art and story ... OTOH this is the only point in the series so far that Sonja's drawn blood with her sword. Worth a look for free, anyway, and if you enjoy this, you'll love the later issues.

Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on March 17, 2017, 03:33:56 PM
#3 is out but IMO it's a bit 'meh' compared with the previous ish. It's got some really fun moments but it's mostly setting up Sonja's confrontation with Kulan Gath.

Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on April 20, 2017, 06:13:03 PM
It's good ... definitely better than #3 IMO.  The Comic Bastards reviewer, who hasn't really liked the series up to now, reckoned it was by far the best issue yet.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Kallor on April 20, 2017, 06:50:51 PM
I thought the Max reveal was a little rushed, he's just like "I remember" and that's that without any real surprised reaction from him other than anger at Gath.  I guess there's no real reason to draw it out, but it felt like an underdone moment.  Overall good issue, the wait for these hurts.  Do you get these digitally or physical?  The digital versions of #3 and #4 have all the covers, and the cosplay covers are pretty good.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on April 21, 2017, 06:23:03 AM
Digital for me but I WILL be getting the trade when it’s out in July.

#3 was OK but it seemed a bit ambitious … there was too much to cram in to get Sonja face-to-face with Kulan Gath in the space of an issue, and it seemed to silly to do stuff like throwing in a whole half-page of Sonja showing off her new outfit when there was so little space and she was going to be back in the scalemail bikini 5 pages later anyway.

I feel there was also a great opportunity to chuck in a couple of nice fight scenes in #3 but the fights were really rushed. This series is still missing a really good fight scene. Micheal Oeming and Mel Rubi, in the original Dynamite Red Sonja run, used to have at least one fucking amazing fight scene every single issue, but all the fights so far this series have been restricted to about 3 panels.

Despite all the hype from Dynamite, I don’t think the Max reveal should’ve been a surprise to any readers but yeah, his reaction was a bit muted. I loved the sepia page showing his childhood; apparently that was an art experiment by Carlos which really worked IMO. What’ll be interesting now will be to see whether Max eventually goes back to the Hyborean Age with Sonja. He’s grown up in the modern era and enjoys all its comforts but he said he’s always been an outsider, and doesn’t appear to have any friends other than Jay. I’d like to see Sonja with a Joxer-style sidekick.

It’s gonna be a while before we get there though. I saw the solicit for #7 the other day, and Sonja’s STILL in the USA, apparently going on a roadtrip with Max to try to find a way home. I suspect that the original plan was to finish this run up at #5; in an early interview, Amy said it would last 6 issues. We’re up to #7 though, with Amy still on the book and Sonja still in America. I think sales and the critical reception have really pleased Dynamite and they’ve asked Amy to stay on, and she in return has asked to keep Sonja in America a bit longer because she’s more comfortable writing her in that environment. She’s been doing tons of research on Marvel Sonja, so I reckon she’ll eventually take the She-Devil back home … but not for the time being. Apparently, #3 outsold #2, which everyone was really pleased about, and sales have at least matched, if not surpassed, those of Gail Simone’s Sonja at the same stage. That’s pretty good going.

The good news for anyone missing Sonja in her traditional setting is there’s a one-shot out in a couple of weeks by Erik Burnham and Tom Mandrake called ‘The Long Walk To Oblivion’, which will act as a prequel to the current storyline and showing the Meruvians seeking Sonja’s help against Gath. I think the style will be very different from the main book … Mandrake’s style is much darker and more brooding than Gomez’ and I think this will be a much more serious tale but hopefully it’ll be pretty good nonetheless.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on April 21, 2017, 08:14:56 AM
its a (very pleasant!) surprise to hear about issue 7. I was going in what i'd read (6 issues) after you started this thread. Should be fun.

I agree on the fight scenes, though so far, it hasnt detracted from my enjoyment. I AM hoping for her to just cut loose and scare the shit out of everyone in the finale though.

I'm not convinced we're going to see too much more fighting in this arc, although I could be wrong. I think most of the focus now will be on Gath and his Demon Beast vs the good guys, although since Sonja will be of limited use in a magical scrap between Gath and Max, maybe she'll hold off his minions. Who knows?

It's been 5 weeks between issues for the 3 issues but only 4 until the next one. Amy did an interview about #5 but managed to reveal absolutely nothing about it, other than Sonja's going to ride a motorbike again. There are 3 or 4 preview panels on Carlos' page on Instgram but they don't reveal a whole lot except...




















SPOILERS





















Sonja and Max are going to hook up with Jay, Spike and Holly, and end up in Coney Island. There's also a panel seemingly showing Jay shooting at the Demon Beast, so presumably it's going to fight the cops in the streets of New York.

The main cover for #7 shows that Sonja's might be changing up her a look a bit for her trip across the States ... she's wearing a leather jacket and trousers, with the jacket open at the waist to show off her chainmail bikini top underneath. Quite a 70s exploitation movie look, I like it.

Quote
I'd like it if he went, too. He could be the filter Amy needs to help her write a 'period piece' so to speak.
I'd understand if he stays though.
Modern living trumps barbaric; like Howard the Duck shows, everyone's trapped in a world they never made, and one good friend is more than a lot of people have!

I think Amy's worked so hard with Max, I can't see her leaving him in the modern world. She hinted on Twitter that she's written alternative endings.

The humour that works best in 'Red Sonja' IMO is the fractuous banter between Sonja and Max, and general observations about the clash between modern culture and Sonja's own. It can get a little too knowing on occasion but when it works, it works really well. 'Red Sonja' really had many amusing moments since Dynamite took it on in 2005, so I'd like to see Amy continue to bring the funny.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on April 21, 2017, 11:56:02 AM
You are really well informed, and i love spoilers so thanks.
You have a good grasp on what makes the humor work. I hope it keeps up, too.
Couldnt find any of the art you referred to, but this one for issue 5

https://www.dynamicforces.com/images/TNRSvol405CovAMcKone.jpg

Is pretty damn epic.

Yeah, that's a great cover. I LOVED McKone's covers for #2 and 3 as well. Not so much #4 and in his cover for #6, Sonja looks like a 12 year old with Lion-O's hairstyle.

Solicits for #7 are here, together with McKone's cool cover (it's the top one):

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/04/15/exclusive-first-look-dynamites-heroes-fighters-comics-shipping-july-2017/
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on April 21, 2017, 02:45:46 PM
Oh, and I'm not that well-informed ...  there's a guy I discuss Sonja with a lot on deviantART who knows more about the character than anyone. He's an excellent judge of how well a writer's doing and he's really enjoying Amy Chu's run.

I keep an eye out for any interviews or reviews about 'Red Sonja' because it's not that well-known a comic and so doesn't get all that much coverage. Everyone's heard of the character but relatively few read the comic. Gail Simone got tons of publicity when she jumped on board because she's so famous but otherwise, I think people are generally just aware the comic's rolling on.

It's a shame because this run is fucking fantastic IMO. Yeah, if you don't like the old 'barbarian ends up in the modern world' chestnut, it's probably not going to be for you but not only is it different from every barbarian time travel story I've read, it's different from pretty much any Sonja story that's come before it. It's just so much funnier and full of life. It's a real breath of fresh air after Gail Simone's experiment in PC failed miserably and after Simone seemingly used her own run to vent about what exactly she hated about the character and the overall genre. People don't read 'Red Sonja' for restraint and introspective moments, they read it for balls-out action and a babe in a metal bikini swinging a sword. There's a lot of talk about the female readership but even feminist extraordinaire Gail Simone's Sonja spent half her run in the bikini, the character's incredibly popular with cosplayers, and loads of female fans state that they don't care what Sonja wears as long as she drives the plot and kicks arse. Sales are way up on the last volume, so it seems Dynamite has hit on the right formula with the current team.

I'm just really glad you're enjoying the book as much as I am.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on April 21, 2017, 05:03:53 PM
As for spoilers, Amy Chu does everything she can to avoid divulging anything, even in interviews about upcoming issues. Carlis Gomez puts up the odd tantalising preview on Instagram, usually unlettered. .. he's cunning about what he posts so it's really difficult to piece the story together. For example, most of his previews for #4 were of Gath standing around, bar a pic of Sonja leaping into action, a flashback to the destruction of Meru and a panel showing the museum on fire.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 05, 2017, 05:44:44 PM
Erik Burnham's one-shot is out on Wednesday. It's basically the prequel to Amy Chu's series so the ending won't be a surprise but it looks like it's gonna be tons of fun. It's much more of a traditional Sonja story set in the Hyborian Age but Burnham's been paying close attention to Amy's version of the She-Devil, and his Sonja looks like a hoot, griping about having to sit behind a guy on a horse and sinking endless beers. It's not short on action, with a thug getting his nose cut off in the first three pages and a better fight in the first third of the comic than Chu has managed in all of her series so far. Tom Mandrake's art looks great, less flashy and cartoony than Carlos Gomez' but as good in its own way. I'm actually looking forward to this more than #5 of the main series, out the following Wednesday. The Sword and sorcery setting will make a nice change, and TBH I'm getting a bit bored of the Gath storyline ... not Sonja in the modern US necessarily, I think there's loads more mileage there - just this particular arc.

If the rest of the comic lives up to the pages I've seen, Burnham will join Chu as a first-time Sonja writer who understands and respects the character infinitely better than the much-ballyhooed Gail Simone ever did.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 08, 2017, 11:39:40 AM
My astonished takeaway here is Tom Mandrake on art chores. Havent thought of him in years.
I first got to know him on Grimjack, another sword weilding character, in the late 80s.

His art here is fantastic, particularly the creepier pages with Kulan Gath. His Sonja isn't as strong as Carlos' IMO but his Hyrkanian plains and taverns look like suitably wild and dangerous places.

I'd like to see more from him on Sonja. Erik Burnham seemed starstruck to be working with him
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 10, 2017, 07:16:50 AM
That's great to know, imma Google some of his work on this!

Preview is here:

https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Red_Sonja_The_Long_Walk_To_Oblivion_One.html?id=tVu8DgAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y

The first 4-5 pages are available at CBR etc. but if you're smart with search words on Google Books, you might find some of the pages later in the book.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 11, 2017, 02:54:36 AM
Just read it ... this is much more of a basic 'Sonja in the Hyborian Age' story and doesn't really bring anything new to the table but it is WELL worth buying. It's got a fucking awesome fight scene in the first half, where Sonja takes out 5 or 6 guys by herself with ease, lots of humorous little touches and Mandrake's art is really good. Sonja is much cockier here than she is in the main series but she's on her home turf, so that's to be expected. The scene at the end is Sonja taking on Kulan Gath's demon, as she did in #0 but this fight is much better than Amy Chu's take. This is Erik Burnham's first Sonja outing but like Amy, he's immediately understood the character in a way Gail Simone never did.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 11, 2017, 07:17:56 AM
I havent enjoyed Simone's in a long time. I get she's a 'name', though, and so will never lack for work...

I don't think she's got much to do with Sonja now, although she recommended Amy Chu for the writing job. I think she's well-liked by Dynamite and has a lot of sway there if she chooses to use it.

I actually really like a lot of Simone's work, particularly on 'Batgirl' ... that was great. She was good on Wonder Woman as well. I just don't think she 'gets' Red Sonja - she enjoyed writing it but her work came across as a petty attack on everything she hated about the character and the genre in general. Gail thinks the vow is stupid, so she pins it onto another character and has Sonja laughing at him, and also writes Sonja fucking anything that moves. Gail doesn't like Sonja enjoying a few beers, so she transforms her into a raging alcoholic. Gail doesn't like the fact that Sonja's an amazing warrior, so she turns her into a laughing stock ... there's actually a comic where another swordsman trips Sonja up during a fight and then kicks her up the arse as she falls past him. I'm not kidding.

Gail pretty much hated the classic version of Sonja, so she created her own version. They're practically different characters. Luckily, even though Amy Chu's a friend of Gail's, her version is WAY closer to the original version.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: g-train on May 14, 2017, 05:17:30 PM
I havent enjoyed Simone's in a long time. I get she's a 'name', though, and so will never lack for work...

I don't think she's got much to do with Sonja now, although she recommended Amy Chu for the writing job. I think she's well-liked by Dynamite and has a lot of sway there if she chooses to use it.

I actually really like a lot of Simone's work, particularly on 'Batgirl' ... that was great. She was good on Wonder Woman as well. I just don't think she 'gets' Red Sonja - she enjoyed writing it but her work came across as a petty attack on everything she hated about the character and the genre in general. Gail thinks the vow is stupid, so she pins it onto another character and has Sonja laughing at him, and also writes Sonja fucking anything that moves. Gail doesn't like Sonja enjoying a few beers, so she transforms her into a raging alcoholic. Gail doesn't like the fact that Sonja's an amazing warrior, so she turns her into a laughing stock ... there's actually a comic where another swordsman trips Sonja up during a fight and then kicks her up the arse as she falls past him. I'm not kidding.

Gail pretty much hated the classic version of Sonja, so she created her own version. They're practically different characters. Luckily, even though Amy Chu's a friend of Gail's, her version is WAY closer to the original version.

That seems kind of confusing; like if she hated Red Sonja that much why take on the character?

Hell; from what your saying she almost sounds "non-feminist" in her writing of the character; woman tries to become like the male warriors around her, fails horrible and as a result becomes a laughingstock, whorish and an alcoholic?
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 17, 2017, 01:50:23 PM
I havent enjoyed Simone's in a long time. I get she's a 'name', though, and so will never lack for work...

I don't think she's got much to do with Sonja now, although she recommended Amy Chu for the writing job. I think she's well-liked by Dynamite and has a lot of sway there if she chooses to use it.

I actually really like a lot of Simone's work, particularly on 'Batgirl' ... that was great. She was good on Wonder Woman as well. I just don't think she 'gets' Red Sonja - she enjoyed writing it but her work came across as a petty attack on everything she hated about the character and the genre in general. Gail thinks the vow is stupid, so she pins it onto another character and has Sonja laughing at him, and also writes Sonja fucking anything that moves. Gail doesn't like Sonja enjoying a few beers, so she transforms her into a raging alcoholic. Gail doesn't like the fact that Sonja's an amazing warrior, so she turns her into a laughing stock ... there's actually a comic where another swordsman trips Sonja up during a fight and then kicks her up the arse as she falls past him. I'm not kidding.

Gail pretty much hated the classic version of Sonja, so she created her own version. They're practically different characters. Luckily, even though Amy Chu's a friend of Gail's, her version is WAY closer to the original version.

That seems kind of confusing; like if she hated Red Sonja that much why take on the character?

Hell; from what your saying she almost sounds "non-feminist" in her writing of the character; woman tries to become like the male warriors around her, fails horrible and as a result becomes a laughingstock, whorish and an alcoholic?

I think she enjoys writing the character but she didn'the like the 'classic' take and tried to reinvent her. Gail Simone's Red Sonja is pretty much a completely new charafter.  I honestly don't think she sees any difference personality-wise between Sonja and Conan, whereas those differences were stark right from Sonja's first appearance. Basically Gail writes Sonja as a less capable and angrier Xena
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 17, 2017, 01:51:18 PM
#5 is out...

It wasn't very good IMO. Worst issue of Amy's run so far
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: g-train on May 18, 2017, 02:35:26 PM
I havent enjoyed Simone's in a long time. I get she's a 'name', though, and so will never lack for work...

I don't think she's got much to do with Sonja now, although she recommended Amy Chu for the writing job. I think she's well-liked by Dynamite and has a lot of sway there if she chooses to use it.

I actually really like a lot of Simone's work, particularly on 'Batgirl' ... that was great. She was good on Wonder Woman as well. I just don't think she 'gets' Red Sonja - she enjoyed writing it but her work came across as a petty attack on everything she hated about the character and the genre in general. Gail thinks the vow is stupid, so she pins it onto another character and has Sonja laughing at him, and also writes Sonja fucking anything that moves. Gail doesn't like Sonja enjoying a few beers, so she transforms her into a raging alcoholic. Gail doesn't like the fact that Sonja's an amazing warrior, so she turns her into a laughing stock ... there's actually a comic where another swordsman trips Sonja up during a fight and then kicks her up the arse as she falls past him. I'm not kidding.

Gail pretty much hated the classic version of Sonja, so she created her own version. They're practically different characters. Luckily, even though Amy Chu's a friend of Gail's, her version is WAY closer to the original version.

That seems kind of confusing; like if she hated Red Sonja that much why take on the character?

Hell; from what your saying she almost sounds "non-feminist" in her writing of the character; woman tries to become like the male warriors around her, fails horrible and as a result becomes a laughingstock, whorish and an alcoholic?

I think she enjoys writing the character but she didn'the like the 'classic' take and tried to reinvent her. Gail Simone's Red Sonja is pretty much a completely new charafter.  I honestly don't think she sees any difference personality-wise between Sonja and Conan, whereas those differences were stark right from Sonja's first appearance. Basically Gail writes Sonja as a less capable and angrier Xena

Yeah; Red Sonja was less "Warrior Princess" and more Sexy "Warrior Nun" I guess when you factor in her not sleeping around with people code and divine connection for her origin.

Maybe that could have been a way to bridge the two; after what happened when she was young happens, she gets taken in by a religious order, has some kind of possible semi-mystical vision/hallucination, leave it open for how you want to take it, and then trains herself to be an uber warrior with a religious code she has to follow?

Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: g-train on May 18, 2017, 02:38:16 PM
Makes me flash back to the "Dark Sonja" arc or whatever where she goes bad and takes over some place or alterna-history or whatever it was.

Sonja's never really shown the drive to want to conquer or control like that, not even to the extent Conan has.

Seems more like she wonders around and just does random adventures.

So a "evil" Sonja would just be her wondering around causing chaos all over the place but with no real goals or concern for the outcomes of the people around her or the results of her actions.

Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 23, 2017, 06:12:32 AM
Makes me flash back to the "Dark Sonja" arc or whatever where she goes bad and takes over some place or alterna-history or whatever it was.

Sonja's never really shown the drive to want to conquer or control like that, not even to the extent Conan has.

Seems more like she wonders around and just does random adventures.

So a "evil" Sonja would just be her wondering around causing chaos all over the place but with no real goals or concern for the outcomes of the people around her or the results of her actions.

Xena did the same, didn't she? But yeah, there was that dark Sonja arc, around the time Dynamite killed her off for the first time. IIRC, it caused controversy because Sonja was shown ripping off a baby's head or something? An evil baby but a baby, all the same.

Sonja's ended up ruling before and there was a whole series devoted to it, 'Queen Sonja', which was actually pretty fucking good ... probably more consistent than the main title. It was the first time Dynamite's Sonja shed the chainmail bikini because her advisors told her that wasn't a fitting look for a monarch.

Generally, she's more of an adventurer/sellsword and acts more on her own. She's just as good a general as Conan but she doesn't seem to play as well with the others on the whole, and her friends have a nasty habit of ending up dead.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: g-train on May 31, 2017, 06:18:13 PM
Makes me flash back to the "Dark Sonja" arc or whatever where she goes bad and takes over some place or alterna-history or whatever it was.

Sonja's never really shown the drive to want to conquer or control like that, not even to the extent Conan has.

Seems more like she wonders around and just does random adventures.

So a "evil" Sonja would just be her wondering around causing chaos all over the place but with no real goals or concern for the outcomes of the people around her or the results of her actions.

Xena did the same, didn't she? But yeah, there was that dark Sonja arc, around the time Dynamite killed her off for the first time. IIRC, it caused controversy because Sonja was shown ripping off a baby's head or something? An evil baby but a baby, all the same.

Sonja's ended up ruling before and there was a whole series devoted to it, 'Queen Sonja', which was actually pretty fucking good ... probably more consistent than the main title. It was the first time Dynamite's Sonja shed the chainmail bikini because her advisors told her that wasn't a fitting look for a monarch.

Generally, she's more of an adventurer/sellsword and acts more on her own. She's just as good a general as Conan but she doesn't seem to play as well with the others on the whole, and her friends have a nasty habit of ending up dead.

Xena did that but "post" a career of a warlord but even then she still lead the occasional group or army.

Pre-current Red Sonja never really showed that kind of personality.  Not so much the lack of capacity to do it.

Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on June 08, 2017, 06:57:04 PM
Makes me flash back to the "Dark Sonja" arc or whatever where she goes bad and takes over some place or alterna-history or whatever it was.

Sonja's never really shown the drive to want to conquer or control like that, not even to the extent Conan has.

Seems more like she wonders around and just does random adventures.

So a "evil" Sonja would just be her wondering around causing chaos all over the place but with no real goals or concern for the outcomes of the people around her or the results of her actions.

Xena did the same, didn't she? But yeah, there was that dark Sonja arc, around the time Dynamite killed her off for the first time. IIRC, it caused controversy because Sonja was shown ripping off a baby's head or something? An evil baby but a baby, all the same.

Sonja's ended up ruling before and there was a whole series devoted to it, 'Queen Sonja', which was actually pretty fucking good ... probably more consistent than the main title. It was the first time Dynamite's Sonja shed the chainmail bikini because her advisors told her that wasn't a fitting look for a monarch.

Generally, she's more of an adventurer/sellsword and acts more on her own. She's just as good a general as Conan but she doesn't seem to play as well with the others on the whole, and her friends have a nasty habit of ending up dead.

Xena did that but "post" a career of a warlord but even then she still lead the occasional group or army.

Pre-current Red Sonja never really showed that kind of personality.  Not so much the lack of capacity to do it.

Agreed. It's wrong to think she's a total loner, as some do but she never really had Conan's ambition and if she found herself ruling, it was because the Crown was forced on her. She was definitely happier as a rank and file soldier at Marvel and didn't have many allies back then. At Dynamite she's led several mercenary bands and rallied the people of Hyrkania when Thulsa Doom tried to crush them but she has never been shown as a conqueror. It probably doesn't fit with her life mission of vengeance.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on June 08, 2017, 07:02:47 PM
Google Books has a few preview pages up for #6. After the disappointment of the last issue, this one looks like a fucking DOOZIE  with wall-to-wall action featuring Sonja fighting Kulan Gath on top of Coney Island's Wonder Wheel.

Solicits are out for the next couple of issues...

SPOILARGH








Sonja travels West with Max to find a way home, getting in trouble on the way. She's back on the motorbike and looks to have sorted herself out with a leather jacket and trousers to go over the usual outfit.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on June 09, 2017, 09:38:00 AM
Looking forward to downloading 6...!

I've seen 10 out of the 20 pages and this is a really good issue
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on June 12, 2017, 02:57:37 AM
Make that 15 out of 20 pages and it's out a week Wednesday. Sucks that I keep spoiling it for myself. The good news is the following issue is out only 3 weeks later. Carlos has already posted a couple of preview pics on Instagram, one showing Sonja on her hog in her new outfit and drawing her sword, and the other showing her being chased by a bunch of angry bikers.

Here's my last 'Sonja in New York' pic:

http://conradknightsocks.deviantart.com/art/Red-Sonja-vs-Wall-Street-commuters-684927081

I've got a friend on dA who's a fantastic colourist and I sent him the B/W version so he could take a shot at it.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on June 12, 2017, 07:38:00 AM
I like it...-thumbs up-
The poor guy in the blue suit looks terrified!!! ;D

He's my piss-poor attempt at Shia LeBeouf!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on June 25, 2017, 12:16:01 AM
I like it...-thumbs up-
The poor guy in the blue suit looks terrified!!! ;D

He's my piss-poor attempt at Shia LeBeouf!
Read #6 this week. Pretty good!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on June 25, 2017, 04:21:42 AM
I like it...-thumbs up-
The poor guy in the blue suit looks terrified!!! ;D

He's my piss-poor attempt at Shia LeBeouf!
Read #6 this week. Pretty good!

I was gonna say. I still liked #2 best in the series but this was probably the most well executed issue. Great action and the first big surprise of the series for me
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on June 25, 2017, 06:13:40 AM
I like it...-thumbs up-
The poor guy in the blue suit looks terrified!!! ;D

He's my piss-poor attempt at Shia LeBeouf!
Read #6 this week. Pretty good!

I was gonna say. I still liked #2 best in the series but this was probably the most well executed issue. Great action and the first big surprise of the series for me
I liked how it took a combined effort to save the day.
Looking forward to the road trip...
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on July 06, 2017, 05:07:54 PM
I like it...-thumbs up-
The poor guy in the blue suit looks terrified!!! ;D

He's my piss-poor attempt at Shia LeBeouf!
Read #6 this week. Pretty good!

I was gonna say. I still liked #2 best in the series but this was probably the most well executed issue. Great action and the first big surprise of the series for me
I liked how it took a combined effort to save the day.
Looking forward to the road trip...

Next ish,  Sonja has a punch up with a biker gang. Carlos has posted pics on Instagram. Comic's 2 weeks late unfortunately.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on July 07, 2017, 05:54:00 PM
I like it...-thumbs up-
The poor guy in the blue suit looks terrified!!! ;D

He's my piss-poor attempt at Shia LeBeouf!
Read #6 this week. Pretty good!

I was gonna say. I still liked #2 best in the series but this was probably the most well executed issue. Great action and the first big surprise of the series for me
I liked how it took a combined effort to save the day.
Looking forward to the road trip...

Next ish,  Sonja has a punch up with a biker gang. Carlos has posted pics on Instagram. Comic's 2 weeks late unfortunately.
Two WEEKS?!?
Shit.





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on July 09, 2017, 03:39:42 PM
I like it...-thumbs up-
The poor guy in the blue suit looks terrified!!! ;D

He's my piss-poor attempt at Shia LeBeouf!
Read #6 this week. Pretty good!

I was gonna say. I still liked #2 best in the series but this was probably the most well executed issue. Great action and the first big surprise of the series for me
I liked how it took a combined effort to save the day.
Looking forward to the road trip...

Next ish,  Sonja has a punch up with a biker gang. Carlos has posted pics on Instagram. Comic's 2 weeks late unfortunately.
Two WEEKS?!?
Shit.





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.

Make that 3. Dyamite's back to its old tricks. Dunno whether it'a writer or art problem or what. The next issue's meant to be out 2 weeks afterwards ... yeah, right.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Imperial on July 09, 2017, 08:25:40 PM
I am up to the point of Sonja and Max messaging Kulan Gath with an up yours. Sonja doing that while also sticking her tongue out makes me laugh.

Quite enjoying this series so far. To the point where Sonja is becoming one of my more favored characters.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on July 12, 2017, 02:40:43 AM
Sneak peek from next ish ... Sonja goes hunting! This could be a fun issue.

(https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/s320x320/e35/19764666_738634789670985_4599033079133110272_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on July 12, 2017, 06:50:49 AM
Sneak peek from next ish ... Sonja goes hunting! This could be a fun issue.

(https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/s320x320/e35/19764666_738634789670985_4599033079133110272_n.jpg)
Oh man, the hat just KILLS IT for cuteness...!





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on July 12, 2017, 07:57:09 AM
Sneak peek from next ish ... Sonja goes hunting! This could be a fun issue.

(https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/s320x320/e35/19764666_738634789670985_4599033079133110272_n.jpg)
Oh man, the hat just KILLS IT for cuteness...!





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.

It's awesome. At first, I was all, like 'ZOMG, they stripped Sonja of all her dignity' but actually that backward baseball cap look is TOTALLY Red Sonja. In the other pics posted, in the bar and on her bike, Sonja's in a leather jacket and jeans but what would KILL it would be if Sonja's basically wearing her scalemail bikini and biker boots with the baseball cap, kinda like Ashley Massaro's old outfit in WWE.

Looks to be loads of fun ... a fight on the road, a fight in a roadside bar and now a bit of shooting practice in the desert.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on July 12, 2017, 08:29:11 AM
Wow, been a long time since i thought of Ashley!

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/xXI5kDbZpSo/hqdefault.jpg)





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 11, 2017, 07:04:06 AM
Issue 7 finally came out this week. It was a blast!





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 23, 2017, 02:49:22 AM
Issue 7 finally came out this week. It was a blast!





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.

New issue's out today. Dynamite have done really well to minimise the inevitable delay after last issue was three weeks late.

I thought #7 was a great start to the new storyline overall. I wish they'd stuck to one artist, instead of using 3, but clearly Carlos Gomez was having problems with the deadline. Going on how many pics he's been posting on Instagram, it looks like he'll be handling ALL the art for the next few issues and has got his shit together. That said, the third artist in #7 was really good, I thought. My other big criticism of #7, apart from the story switching instantly from night to day and back for no reason, was Carlos once again bunging in a giant splash page of Sonja posing, which could've been better used for action. There was an opportunity for a great bar fight between Sonja and the 4 bikers in #7 but it basically consisted of Sonja knocking a guy's knife out of his hand with his sword. That was it.

OTOH, snatching a thrown knife out of the air in a dark graveyard without looking more than made up for it.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 23, 2017, 06:03:52 AM
Out today?
Great to know; i wouldnt have bothered checking for at least a few weeks!

You've a good point on the action, a bar fight would have been nice. Still, she wound up taking them out pretty definitively anyway, down the road, which is good.

I think her musing about changing her name to 'Red Sonja, Crazy Bitch with a Sword' may be the funniest thing i'd read all month!





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 23, 2017, 10:36:49 AM
Out today?
Great to know; i wouldnt have bothered checking for at least a few weeks!

You've a good point on the action, a bar fight would have been nice. Still, she wound up taking them out pretty definitively anyway, down the road, which is good.

I think her musing about changing her name to 'Red Sonja, Crazy Bitch with a Sword' may be the funniest thing i'd read all month!

I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.

Yeah, that was good.

Amy Chu loves using the word 'bitch' in her scripts, it turns up again in #8, which I've just read. My overall thought on '8' is 'Meh', it's got 'filler issue' written all over it. One page of action and that's it, although Max features more heavily this month. Good art throughout by Gomez, funny script and Amy works hard on differentiating Holly from Spike but nothing really outstanding about this issue IMO. Amy reminds us how much Sonja likes hot baths and rare steak though.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 23, 2017, 05:58:18 PM
Dang it, i'm not seeing 8 at the site i download from. Must wait... :-[





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 28, 2017, 05:48:44 PM
Out today?
Great to know; i wouldnt have bothered checking for at least a few weeks!

You've a good point on the action, a bar fight would have been nice. Still, she wound up taking them out pretty definitively anyway, down the road, which is good.

I think her musing about changing her name to 'Red Sonja, Crazy Bitch with a Sword' may be the funniest thing i'd read all month!

I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.

Yeah, that was good.

Amy Chu loves using the word 'bitch' in her scripts, it turns up again in #8, which I've just read. My overall thought on '8' is 'Meh', it's got 'filler issue' written all over it. One page of action and that's it, although Max features more heavily this month. Good art throughout by Gomez, funny script and Amy works hard on differentiating Holly from Spike but nothing really outstanding about this issue IMO. Amy reminds us how much Sonja likes hot baths and rare steak though.
I rather enjoyed this issue!
The Max subplot's looking promising.
Sonja trying/not liking guns was neat.
The road trip vibe is doing a good job at bringing Holly & Spike's personalities, too.
While i wouldve preferred more action too, it overall read smoothly.
The reaction to the stolen Lambo? Hilarious.
Wondering about this 'wizard' professor's role in this.
The FBI's involvement is nice, that needs to be expanded.
Wondering if the showdown with the gang is going to give us a bunch of generic bad guys, or a memorable leader.





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 30, 2017, 08:48:05 AM
I think the gang issue is just something good to kill a few issues while we see what Max is up to. I have no idea why Sonja's headed to New Mexico when the gang boss was said to be in Amarillo

Next ish looks like it's gonna have a fucking humdinger of a fight, though, between Sonja and Las Aranhas ... and Las Aranhas won't be walking away. Sonja finds the prof in #11 according to the solocit ... my buddy on deviantART reckons the prof will turn out to be either Kulan Gath or a time-displaced Max
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 30, 2017, 05:49:46 PM
That last would be kind of a let down for me, i'm hoping for a new character.
I mean if its written well all is goid, just my initial feeling on it.





I broke Scourge. Poor Scourge.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 27, 2017, 06:41:12 AM
New issue's out and it's the best since #6. The meat of the issue is Sonja taking on Las Aranhas in their own HQ.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 28, 2017, 05:49:28 AM
New issue's out and it's the best since #6. The meat of the issue is Sonja taking on Las Aranhas in their own HQ.
Got it last night, gonna read it today.
Going by just a quick look, its pretty much all action. While i've enjoyed the 'talky' issues, i have NO problem with a whole issue of Sonja kicking ass!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 28, 2017, 08:12:20 AM
Enjoy! There's some amazing action in this one but important new characters are introduced, people listen to Elvis and a baby armadillo nearly gets run over.

SPOILER

Red Sonja #9 ... when you absolutely, positively have to read a comic about a six-foot red-headed Amazon in a scalemail bra crashing a tractor trailer into a drugs lab ... accept no substitutes.

Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on October 09, 2017, 04:29:54 AM
Preview from next issue ... Amy Chu's Sonja is a powerhouse.

(https://scontent-ams3-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/22220989_120563841952523_6500269871048163328_n.jpg?ig_cache_key=MTYxOTYyMjMyMzA1NzI0NDcyNA%3D%3D.2&se=8)
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on October 09, 2017, 05:54:35 AM
^^^yeah she is, thats a great piece!

Forgot to come in and say, really enjoyed last issue. Balls (or boobs, really) to the wall action.
Max really won me over with his fair mindedness, too.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on October 09, 2017, 08:09:06 AM
^^^yeah she is, thats a great piece!

Forgot to come in and say, really enjoyed last issue. Balls (or boobs, really) to the wall action.
Max really won me over with his fair mindedness, too.

I thought it was easily the best issue this storyline and maybe the best all-round issue in the series so far. Normally there's a couple of continuity gaffes or moments of fuzzy logic but this issue was airtight pretty much, except for Sonja leaving her sword behind for the infiltration and then letting Spike use it, and Carlos' weird sense of scale with the troll ... in the panel where he's charging the horses, he looks easily 20 feet tall but when he's sat down by Max, he's nearer to 8. That's real nitpicking, though.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on November 01, 2017, 10:21:40 AM
The latest issue is basically a giant fight scene padded out with a teensy bit of plot progression for the supporting characters ... but that doesn't bother me at all. 'Red Sonja' SHOULD be about fighting and action first and foremost; a lot of the series so far has seen too much emphasis placed on Sonja's buddies and too much of Sonja in the background, not leading the charge. Sonja even says at one point 'It's too long since I had a good fistfight'.

This issue makes up for that. It's pretty much a 'Double Dragon' stage, with Sonja going to a casino and then smashing her way through waves of giant thugs with gusto.

Loads of fun ... Carlos Gomez draws a fucking amazing fight scene and it's good to see him finally set loose.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on November 01, 2017, 10:09:24 PM
I got the issue this morning but only flipped throuh it. Did she punch out a vulture? She punched out a vulture. Ha!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on November 02, 2017, 05:58:09 PM
Yep! That was like a shout-out to 3 things at once: the 'Conan The Barbarian' movie where Conan bites a vulture TO DEATH while he's hanging from The Tree Of Woe; #2 where Sonja kills a goose in Central Park for her dinner; and Conan punching the camel in his first movie.

In her Reddit chat, Amy Chu said her Sonja is strong enough to punch out a horse but she was too nice to ever do so except as a last resort, so that vulture panel surprised me with how graphic and brutal it was. Could be that Amy's done her homework though ... Hyrkanians are famed for their archery and horsemanship, and Sonja's usually treated her steeds better than most people. She realises what a valuable asset they are. That vulture was a valuable asset too in a New Mexico desert where starvation was a very real possibility.

I liked Max moaning about the two warrior-women snoring ... reminded me of Sonja doing the same with Holly and Spike back in the motel 3 issues ago. If she'd been able to sleep that night, she would've avoided this whole mess with Las Aranhas.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on December 08, 2017, 07:54:58 AM
Wonder if you've gotten issue 11 yet, you usually get your copies ahead of me.
Man, all HELL broke loose this time out!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on December 08, 2017, 02:32:40 PM
Wonder if you've gotten issue 11 yet, you usually get your copies ahead of me.
Man, all HELL broke loose this time out!

Really good ish, covered shit loads of ground. I’m a bit bored of Gath but I wasn’t expecting that ending. Intrigued to see what happens next. Sonja was drawn about 6’4’’ throughout this issue
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on December 08, 2017, 03:42:25 PM
^^^Statuesque like mofo yeah!

The ending was pretty good i agree...
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Imperial on December 08, 2017, 05:05:40 PM
The covers on this series are to die for.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on December 08, 2017, 05:12:26 PM
The covers on this series are to die for.

The motorbike and giant snake variants for this ish were amazing. The main cover for next ish though has the most hideous Sonja I’ve ever seen. She looks like Gollum
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on December 08, 2017, 05:19:17 PM
The covers on this series are to die for.

The motorbike and giant snake variants for this ish were amazing. The main cover for next ish though has the most hideous Sonja I’ve ever seen. She looks like Gollum
Ew, really?

But yeah, that bike cover was great! 
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Gree on January 01, 2018, 12:44:25 PM
The covers on this series are to die for.

The motorbike and giant snake variants for this ish were amazing. The main cover for next ish though has the most hideous Sonja I’ve ever seen. She looks like Gollum

I hate snakes
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on January 01, 2018, 03:26:27 PM
The covers on this series are to die for.

The motorbike and giant snake variants for this ish were amazing. The main cover for next ish though has the most hideous Sonja I’ve ever seen. She looks like Gollum

I hate snakes
I love motorcycles.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 05, 2018, 06:51:52 AM
I am 'meh' about snakes riding motorcycles.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on January 05, 2018, 08:33:30 AM
I am 'meh' about snakes riding motorcycles.
I just dont see how they'd manage it... ???
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 05, 2018, 11:09:30 AM
:)

I've cancelled my subscription but more through personal circumstances than anything else. The increasing delays are annoying though ... this next issue is 3 weeks later than originally scheduled.

The good news is Erik Burnham, who wrote the cool 'Long Walk To Oblivion' one-shot, is coming on board to help Amy out with writing duties. She's handling the plotting and he's focussing on dialogue and details. Hopefully that'll mean there are fewer delays - it'll be interesting to see what impact he has otherwise, as Erik writes a meaner Sonja than Amy but also seems to have a better instinctive grasp of the sword and sorcery genre. Amy's taking on more and more titles and I think her days on 'Sonja' are probably numbered.

There's been some talk of Gail Simone doing another mini-series and I have to think it's only a matter of time until we see a Sonja/Wonder Woman crossover, based on the reception for the Conan/WW crossover.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on January 05, 2018, 06:25:49 PM
I havent heard anything good about the WW/Conan crossover. Mostly negativity to ambivalence.
I myself wasnt caught up by the first issue to keep reading.

Sorry about your cancellation.
You being so into this book was responsible for getting me back into collecting, believe it or not.
I now get 30+ ongoings.
So, thanks Nick!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 08, 2018, 04:16:44 AM
No probs, RIV. Dynamite hasn't done much to promote this series, given Amy was handpicked by Gail Simone and the Dynamite execs put Simone on a pedestal and will do whatever she wants. Sales have been pretty good though, close to Simone levels and much better than the last series by Marguerite Bennett. It's amazing how many people there are who read the Simone issues but who aren't even aware there's a current series.

I'm sure I'll pick up the odd issue, I'm really curious to see what happens with this new storyline. The last storyline wasn't great IMO, there was too much aimless messing around while the She-Devil made her way across the States. I think there will be a lot more going on in this arc, with two separate Sonjas and Gath coming back into power.

I have to admit, I think the WW/Conan crossover has picked up since #1. The art is amazing and Simone's doing a great job writing Diana. She's also getting shitloads of credit for her Conan writing as well, though, but like with Sonja, she's fundamentally changed the character. Simone's Conan is a damn sight more feminist than he should be and much nicer overall. That came across a bit in the Sonja/Conan crossover Simone did a while ago too. I'd be really surprised if Simone had read many of the original Howard novels or even much of the classic Marvel stuff, her Conan seems pretty generic. Still, the plot's just taken an interesting twist as Wonder Woman's started to regain some of her superhuman powers.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on January 08, 2018, 05:55:19 AM
Despite that positive review, i just cant see picking up the book; i like my Conan salty!
If and when you pick up Sonja though, hope you hit up this thread, you'll always have at least one response. -thumbs up-
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 08, 2018, 06:52:57 AM
Despite that positive review, i just cant see picking up the book; i like my Conan salty!

Me too. I find it odd that Gail went out of her way to turn Sonja into such an asshole but writes such a cuddly Conan, relatively speaking. Conan definitely looked dumber than Sonja in the crossover Gail wrote, which is only fair ... he is dumber than her. However, he also looked much more compassionate and naive, and he shouldn't be.

Quote
If and when you pick up Sonja though, hope you hit up this thread, you'll always have at least one response. -thumbs up-

I will do, and I have every intention of getting the next issue. In the meantime, RIV, you should keep an eye on this guy's page at deviantART. He reviews every Sonja issue and I've had a ton of long discussions with him about this run:

https://redsonjaart.deviantart.com/

He doesn't think Amy Chu's done a flawless job but is much keener on her stint than Gail Simone's. Like me, he loved Erik Burnham's one shot and is pretty optimistic about this next storyline.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on January 08, 2018, 06:10:26 PM
Good deal, and thanks for da link!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 15, 2018, 09:42:48 AM
Preview pages are up on Google Books for the next issue and it looks pretty fucking awesome...



SPOILERS










After Professor Wallace's wacky spell last issue, we've got TWO Red Sonjas and two Wallaces and even they don't know which are clones and which are the real deal nor how long the clones will last. It looks like one pair goes to the pub and hears about some cool quest, which leads to a scrap with some Ray Harryhausen killer skeletons in the desert. Oh and Sonja ditches the Lara Croft shorts and boots and gets back in the bikini.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on January 18, 2018, 05:46:22 AM
Everything played out as you said; it was a fast paced enjoyable read. There's different ways i wish this comic might have gone with the Sonja in the present idea, but i'm not disappointed with with the way it has.

I did like the shorts, though!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 18, 2018, 06:12:32 AM
Everything played out as you said; it was a fast paced enjoyable read. There's different ways i wish this comic might have gone with the Sonja in the present idea, but i'm not disappointed with with the way it has.

I did like the shorts, though!

I'm glad Sonja's back in her usual gear although have to wonder why the barman had a chainmail bikini handy??!

Really fun comic, though, I loved this one. Sonja punching out the bruiser in the tavern was awesome, as was the skeleton fight. Interesting to see Max on Gath's side. Carlos was on fire with the art for this issue, especially the shot of Shamballah.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 18, 2018, 06:27:15 AM
FWIW I also read the latest issue of Conan/Wonder Woman. This one advanced the plot nicely, with WW now getting most of her powers back, Hippolyta getting the Amazons involved and they cleared up some of the backstory with Conan and 'Yanna's friendship as kids. It wasn't as fun as the last issue though, which featured Diana getting shitfaced and a nice bar-room brawl. At least Gail didn't try to pretend that Conan vs Diana is anything like a fair fight.

It sucks that this series will probably outsell Red Sonja 3 to 1 but the Sonja series is so much better. The best thing about the Conan/WW crossover is definitely Aaron Lopresti's art; I'd love to see him do a Red Sonja story.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on January 18, 2018, 07:32:29 AM
Everything played out as you said; it was a fast paced enjoyable read. There's different ways i wish this comic might have gone with the Sonja in the present idea, but i'm not disappointed with with the way it has.

I did like the shorts, though!

I'm glad Sonja's back in her usual gear although have to wonder why the barman had a chainmail bikini handy??!

Really fun comic, though, I loved this one. Sonja punching out the bruiser in the tavern was awesome, as was the skeleton fight. Interesting to see Max on Gath's side. Carlos was on fire with the art for this issue, especially the shot of Shamballah.
I'm a big gan of skeleton fights (not even kidding, ever since watching the old Sinbad movie as a kid) so that was a treat.
Not even gonna get into wondering what else was in the bar's lost & found, though!
This had some of the better art/panel to panel flow of the book so far it seems.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 18, 2018, 09:49:58 AM
I'm a big gan of skeleton fights (not even kidding, ever since watching the old Sinbad movie as a kid) so that was a treat.
Not even gonna get into wondering what else was in the bar's lost & found, though!
This had some of the better art/panel to panel flow of the book so far it seems.

Yeah, great sequences with that desert scene from Sonja and co trudging moodily across to the flight to the pyramid and the big revelation at the end. For a comic that's had so many mini-storylines going on simultaneously in the past, it was really cool to see such a long scene unbroken by catch-ups with the rest of the cast. The skeleton ripping out the big guy's throat was particularly nasty, reminded me of something out of 'The Walking Dead' or a George Romero movie. There were a couple of other stand-out panels ... I LOVED that half-page panel of Sonja telling Wallace they're going to fight and decapitating that skeleton.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm glad we didn't see Spike and Holly in this issue. I wonder whether they hooked up with the other Sonja and Wallace though? Gath's troops supposedly went through that first portal, I'm guessing Spike and Holly did too.

I feel kind of sorry for Professor Wallace, Sonja sure doesn't have a lot of respect for him. Erik Burnham joined on scripting this issue and I think it really showed; Sonja came across as way more hard-edged and less patient.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on January 18, 2018, 06:26:28 PM
I noticed an upswing in the dialogue.
I think this change really helps. I kinda missed Spike & Holly, but i liked them more than you did i know. It was nice to see Big Red have girlfriends!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 19, 2018, 04:45:20 AM
I noticed an upswing in the dialogue.
I think this change really helps. I kinda missed Spike & Holly, but i liked them more than you did i know. It was nice to see Big Red have girlfriends!

I'm pretty sure we haven't seen the last of them. While Amy's on the book, I think she'll find a way to include those two and Max.

I wish Dynamite would produce a second, more traditional Sonja title with sword and sorcery tales because as long as Amy's around, there will be that tie to the 21st century. Part of why I really liked this issue was because it was the closest the book's been to a regular Sonja-style story since Amy took over.

Like my buddy at dA pointed out, if Holly and Spike *didn't* go through time with Sonja, they're going to have a HELL of a lot of explaining to do to the FBI back in California. Chances are, they'll go to prison for the rest of their lives based on the amount of lives Sonja's taken, villainous or not.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on January 19, 2018, 06:15:39 AM
It was the non traditional nature of this book (as i read your descriptions of the early issues) that got me interested, ironically!
As a kid, What If numbers 13 and 43, and more importantly, Sonja in Marvel Team Up 79 were among my favorite books ever.
I guess its just an idea thats stuck with me.

BUT

I totally get wanting a more traditional book. The fish out of water deal can only be mined for so long before it gets strained. Plus it'd be nice to give fans of the character (but not the current setting) a choice.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 19, 2018, 08:46:42 AM
It was the non traditional nature of this book (as i read your descriptions of the early issues) that got me interested, ironically!
As a kid, What If numbers 13 and 43, and more importantly, Sonja in Marvel Team Up 79 were among my favorite books ever.
I guess its just an idea thats stuck with me.

BUT

I totally get wanting a more traditional book. The fish out of water deal can only be mined for so long before it gets strained. Plus it'd be nice to give fans of the character (but not the current setting) a choice.

I'm all in favour of a Sonja stuck in the modern day book as long as there's more traditional fare as well. At one point, I thought it would be cool to do a buddy cop comic about Max and Sonja solving crimes in New York City. Obviously, you couldn't have as much blood as in a standard Sonja story but the interplay between the characters would've been great. However, revealing Max as a Meruvian wizard has kinda thrown a spanner in those works. It also doesn't help that Amy writes Sonja as such a quick study, picking up English in the space of a couple of issues, learning to ride a motorbike just by watching Max etc. Half the fun would've been Sonja getting to grips with modern American customs but she's too smart to struggle with that.

I'd like to see another Sonja title, though, or at the very least, maybe have the odd issue that's a standalone adventure or quest; that's how all the old Frank Thorne issues were. Sonja would get a mission at the beginning of the comic, she'd do it and then she'd be off to do something new the next issue. At one point, Dynamite had two big-selling Sonja ongoing titles plus they've done so many one-shots, crossovers and mini-series over the years. Sonja is one of the company's most popular brands and with a video game coming out and a possible movie, she's never been more popular. No reason why a second title couldn't sell well with a capable creative team.

Did you ever read the second Sonja/Spidey team-up? It's not earth-shattering but it's worth a look. It came out soon after Dynamite relaunched Sonja and was drawn by Mel Rubi, who handled the Sonja relaunch and who is fucking AMAZING when he's on his game.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on January 19, 2018, 08:53:38 AM
That cover is still the fucking worst BTW. In a world where people buy comics just for variant covers, I have no idea what Dynamite were thinking allowing that one to see print. I'm sure the artist was trying to make some kind of feminist point but it was a boneheaded business decision to give them the all-clear.

It's interesting ... me and my buddy on dA interpreted the opening pages in different ways. I thought the Sonja/Wallace on page 1 were the same as those in the rest of the comic and that Holly and Spike went through the portal with Gath's troops and the first Sonja/Wallace. The other guy, though, thought that the Sonja/Wallace who went on the desert adventure were the pair who went through at the end of the last issue ... hope that makes sense, my head's starting to spin. What did you think, RIV?
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on January 20, 2018, 08:21:22 AM
Quote
Did you ever read the second Sonja/Spidey team-up? It's not earth-shattering but it's worth a look. It came out soon after Dynamite relaunched Sonja and was drawn by Mel Rubi, who handled the Sonja relaunch and who is fucking AMAZING when he's on his game.
Nah, i lost touch with this character ages ago till you turned me back on to her.
Might pick it up, though, i have fond memories of Marvel Team Up 79...

Quote
It's interesting ... me and my buddy on dA interpreted the opening pages in different ways. I thought the Sonja/Wallace on page 1 were the same as those in the rest of the comic and that Holly and Spike went through the portal with Gath's troops and the first Sonja/Wallace. The other guy, though, thought that the Sonja/Wallace who went on the desert adventure were the pair who went through at the end of the last issue ... hope that makes sense, my head's starting to spin. What did you think, RIV?
I think...i'm very confused right now.
I was of like mind with you, but now i need to give the book a second read, with your bud's theory in mind.
Man, i really should not have read your posts while drunk...you freakin' me out!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on March 03, 2018, 05:26:14 PM
Have you read the latest issue yet, RIV?

I thought Amy might be leaving after this arc but looks like she’s sticking around for a storyline centred around Sonja’s sword.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on March 03, 2018, 05:44:51 PM
No actually, i havent gotten around to it yet, i need to get to that, damn!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on March 20, 2018, 12:32:23 AM
Fiiinally got to this.
It wasnt bad. Once i saw Set was involved i was expecting the betrayal. That part should have been written differently.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on March 21, 2018, 08:43:22 AM
Yeah it was OK ... never boring but for me this issue was kinda rushed and the battle scene in the middle got too confusing with people joining all the different sides. Carlos’ sketches for next issue look fun though.

It also looks like there will be at least one more storyline after this one, involving Sonja's sword which she apparently took from a Cimmerian.gail Simone and Walter Geovani are doing a Sonja/Tarzan crossover in May but I’m not bothered about that
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on March 24, 2018, 06:20:30 PM
Rushed is real good description. Its like the creative team wants to get to the next step.
That sword story might be pretty interesting, as we only ever see Cimmerians in one way.

Cant really wrap my brain around a Tarzan crossover...:P
 
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on April 14, 2018, 07:49:40 AM
Issue 14 was a nice chance to catch everyone up on the adventure, and synopsize what Kulan’s been doing.
Sonja seems in a foul mood, and i cant really blame her.
I’m thinking that ending cant be as clear cut as it seems, either.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Dlbiininja on April 14, 2018, 01:10:24 PM
I missed a few.  Think like from 6 on I just forgot about it.  Have to get the back issues.  I have picked up the stream punk ones of late.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on April 16, 2018, 07:39:52 AM
I heard the Legenderry Sonja stuff is good.

I think Gath got himself an evil Sonja clone at the end of the last issue.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on April 16, 2018, 06:30:02 PM
I missed a few.  Think like from 6 on I just forgot about it.  Have to get the back issues.  I have picked up the stream punk ones of late.

#6 was the end of the first arc. The second storyline is Sonja travelling across America ... starts off slow but it really picks up towards the end with 3 great issues stuffed with awesome fight scenes.

I’m not gonna bother getting the trade but those last few issues are pretty fucking cool ... Sonja taking on a load of uzi-toting bikers with a crossbow in their own hideout, Sonja beating the crap out of a gang of thugs in a Vegas casino etc.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on April 17, 2018, 12:41:09 AM
If only she’d gone to a strip club... :o
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on April 17, 2018, 03:42:21 AM
If only she’d gone to a strip club... :o

Ha, I could totally see her doing that! Sonja’s well used to brothels and harlots ... hell, towards the end of the first Dynamite run, she went undercover in a brothel disguised as a whore - her costume was basically a jewelled head dress plus her usual outfit!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on April 17, 2018, 06:03:02 AM
^^^haha!!!

Yeah, they missed out on a funny scene or two not using that idea.
So, evil Sonja clone, is the theory, eh?

Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on April 17, 2018, 07:50:44 AM
Definitely a clone and the fact she isn’t trying to tear out Gath’s throat means she’s probably on his side

Mind you, the Sonja and Wallace who went through hell could be the clones, for all we know...

I smell a Sonja vs Sonja battle coming up. Won’t be the first time that’s happened.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on April 17, 2018, 06:32:13 PM
I like the smell of THAT!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on May 04, 2018, 01:41:10 AM
We definitely got that battle, you called it.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 05, 2018, 05:22:36 PM
Apparently it was a late addition ... co-writer Erik Burnham’s idea.

This issue was BADASS, kicking off (no pun intended) with Sonja booting a guy in the face and later you’ve got that clone fight and even a Star Wars tribute leading to Sonja bursting out of heavy chains. Apparently she was intended to be bound with loose ropes but Carlos Gomez LOVES drawing Sonja pulling off feats of strength and it was his idea to upgrade to steel chains. The scene with Gath persuading the clone to join him was really effective too.

Fantastic issue all round but predictably it was completely overlooked in the excitement surrounding Gail Simone’s Sonja/ Tarzan crossover.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on May 06, 2018, 12:53:22 AM
TBH i havent even glanced at that crossover.

I’m in agreement that this issue was good, though. Clone Sonja being wooed by Gath made me sad for her. The chains were -much- more effective at getting across Sonja’s badassery than mere ropes would have been.

And how in TF could a Sonja/Sonja fight -not- have been a first draft idea?!?
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 07, 2018, 05:29:55 PM
Apparently Amy intended the teo clones to remain behind in Cali and die as soon as Sonja amd Wallace went through the portal ... but Erik saw an evil Sonja as a great opportunity. He hinted in his commentary that she might not be done for good...
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on May 07, 2018, 05:48:54 PM
Her coming back would be cool. See how she turns out after time on her own, not beholden to Gath.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on May 09, 2018, 05:00:53 PM
The next storyline sounds like an interesting change of pace set n Hyboria with no Gath.

That chains panel was fucking sick though. There’s doubt over its validity but I couldn’t see even Cap or Conan snapping those things. Proper superhuman feat
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on May 09, 2018, 05:34:32 PM
If a mere ginger wench could snap those chains, two manly men such as Cap and Conan surely could as well!!!! ;)

You said the next story line’s about Sonja’s sword, right? Thst -will- be a nice change.
Enough Gath.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on June 06, 2018, 11:06:42 PM
For a story that ran on a little too long, and had its ups and downs, it came through w. a satisfying ending.
I especially liked the epilogue, as it might be what we were hoping for a couple of posts back.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on June 26, 2018, 08:48:58 AM
#17 comes out tomorrow and the preview is here:

https://graphicpolicy.com/2018/06/26/preview-red-sonja-vol-4-17/

Carlos Gomez has handed over the art reins to Daniel HDR for this one so that they can catch up with the scheduled release dates and his art looks bloody good. He draws a muscular, tough-looking Sonja and makes every single panel count. His style is maybe a bit more ‘traditional western comics’ than Carlos’ but it really works. When Carlos inevitably leaves the title, Daniel HDR would make a superb replacement. #18 is due in about two weeks and Carlos will be back for that one, although I am 99.9999% sure they’ll push back that release date by a week or two.

Going on the (very good) review it received from Super-Powered Fancast, #17 will probably be a set-up issue for the rest of the arc, which involves Sonja seeking out Lord Skath, the previous owner of her blade. I think the rest of #17 is going to be Sonja finding out about Skath and then declaring she’s going to find him, so quite a quiet issue action-wise but that’s OK. The rest of the storyline sounds like loads of fun, with Sonja travelling to Cimmeria and ending up as head of security for some evil aristocrat running an auction of Cimmerian holy relics. According to the solicits, we won’t meet Skath until #21 but there’ll be plenty of adventure on the way.

I’m glad that Amy didn’t skip over the fact that Sonja’s returned to the Hyborian Age slightly outside of her own time, so like Skath, she’s going to be something of a faded legend herself. I also love the big ‘unkillable’ lug in the preview … that was a great way for Sonja to find somebody both recognisable and formidable to spar with during an age that barely remembers her.

I enjoyed #16 overall. Could’ve done with Sonja more in the limelight and Gath was pretty easily beaten after such a big build up. Max didn’t figure as much in his defeat as I’d thought he might. I loved the ‘Return Of The King’ multiple endings, though – this was really a three-story saga, with the NYC, cross-country trip and Hell/Meru arcs running into each other. Such a huge story deserved a proper ending. I also loved that Amy looks to have drawn a line under Max, Wallace and the modern world. It’s gonna be all Hyborian Era from hereon hopefully. That ending with Gath’s amulet being stolen though … ugh. So ‘Flash Gordon’. Even worse, it sounds like that amulet may well figure into this upcoming storyline, even if Gath himself doesn’t.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on June 26, 2018, 03:20:54 PM
NICK!
Thought you’d taken off for parts unknown.

Great post as usual (didnt realize this was a 3 act play until you said it), and your link really wet my appetite. I really hope we’ve seen the last of Gath for a long time.
The amulet though, i thought might have been nabbed by Dark Sonja? 
Or did i miss something?
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on June 26, 2018, 05:38:54 PM
No, I reckon you might be right, RIV. Clone Sonja’s body mysteriously vanished after all. The big Sonja fan I chat to at dA thinks evil clone Sonja with the amulet would be a great villain for Erik Burnham
To use if Amy Chu decides to leave the series after this storyline
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on June 27, 2018, 12:04:38 AM
I think she’d be pretty good to see that way, too.

Not gonna lie, Sonja in modern times is what drew me to this book to begin with, but, i’m willing to keep going, as i’d forgotten how much i liked the character.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on June 27, 2018, 04:52:28 AM
Just read #17. Daniel HDR’s artwork is really good, reminds me a lot of Phil Jiminez and makes a change from Carlos Gomez’ manga-influenced style. The bulk of the story is about the legendary Cimmerian warrior Lord Skath and his fall from grace and it’s told beautifully … sort of a cautionary tale about excessive arrogance. Sonja sees plenty of parallels between herself and Skath and sets out to find him and return his sword in exchange for a reward.

This was really a meat and potatoes story and the writers couldn’t really have gone wrong but they added a bit of lustre to plot points like Sonja discovering her sword isn’t quite up to snuff and the inclusion of tons of flashback pics is great for new readers jumping on at this point.

Really strong start to this new story.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on June 27, 2018, 05:52:35 AM
Sounds good, hopefully i’ll get this today!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on June 30, 2018, 05:10:32 AM
Great read, you were right; it was a quiet issue but it flowed really well.

Not sure what Skath could have done to appease the Shemite, he apologized and said he hadnt done it on purpose after all. The guy wasnt in the mood to listen.   
The story seemed more a cautionary tale on taking one’s religion to the extreme.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on July 02, 2018, 09:56:28 AM
Great read, you were right; it was a quiet issue but it flowed really well.

Not sure what Skath could have done to appease the Shemite, he apologized and said he hadnt done it on purpose after all. The guy wasnt in the mood to listen.   
The story seemed more a cautionary tale on taking one’s religion to the extreme.

You're right. In his commentary for the issue, Erik Burnham said that even though the physical design for Skath was basically Conan with a beard, he and Amy wanted to make Skath less bloodthirsty, somebody who only fought when other options had been exhausted. Rather than leaping straight into battle, he extended the olive branch first. I guess what I meant by 'excessive arrogance' was Skath trusting too much in his sword and the invincibility it gave him.

That's an interesting parallel with Sonja herself, who would never shy from a fight but who's much smarter than Conan when it comes to talking her way out of needing to shed blood. Not only that but Amy's Sonja is more pragmatic than most writers' versions of her. Remember #2 when Sonja's walking through Harlem in her scalemail bikini with locals hollering at her and she takes no action. Why should she? They don't pose any danger. She's canny enough to distinguish between a jackass blowhard who's essentially harmless and a legit threat ... look at how she handled Luis in the bar. Gail Simone's Sonja would've cut his arm off for belittling her in front of others but Amy's Sonja opts to simply thrash him at armwrestling in front of all his buddies and embarrass him. Her instincts didn't betray her when the big lug jumped to her defence as Gath's thugs tried to kidnap her.

Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on July 03, 2018, 12:18:18 AM
You have a good grasp on the intricacies of the character, its always fun to read your posts on RS. :D
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on July 11, 2018, 03:32:04 AM
New issue's out today and it's awesome, stuffed with action and funny moments. I won't spoil anything except to say you were wrong about who stole the amulet ... !
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on July 11, 2018, 04:51:05 AM
Quote
you were wrong about who stole the amulet ... !
Dang it; I was gonna start calling her ‘Dread Sonja’!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on July 11, 2018, 11:08:18 AM
I still don't think we've seen the last of her...

SPOILERS







Somebody's watching Taya and Lera ... we're supposed to think it's Red Sonja but that would be too easy. Dread Sonjeyquin is the next best option.


This is a fucking great issue, this month. Way more action than I'd expected and loads of development for Taya and Lera ... amazingly, I've started to find them interesting. Taya is bugged by the amount of trouble Sonja brings them, Lera seems slightly afraid of Sonja but at the same time doesn't want to be parted from her. There's some kind of debt that Lera is holding over Taya's head, much to Taya's disgust. Wonder if the amulet's going to compel Lera to try to assassinate Sonja at some point?

Otherwise, this ish has got it all:

Evil zombie necromancers - check

Pitched combat with Kulan Gath disciples - check

Flashbacks to the last storyline - check

Sonja chucking a human head like a baseball to kill an attacker - check

Killer spiders the size of ponies - check

Evil profiteering bastard who looks like Jaffar - check

Sonja punching a fat man in the face because he called her a 'wench' - check

The team face a dilemma in the next issue and I'm really looking forward to finding out how they'll resolve it.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on July 13, 2018, 12:07:08 AM
^^^You fogot Sonja using the word tourist!
Its small thing, but i like that she retained it.

This was a ‘high adventure’ issue and i had fun throughout.
The amulet angle has the potential to end very badly, and i hate when a character has to put down a friend, but we’ll see.
Jafar was a nice change from the usual warrior leader bad guy one might expect. Kudos to the team for writing someone more original.
The ending promises an interesting continuation i’m eager to read!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 04, 2018, 12:44:53 AM
Issue 19 was interesting, i guess. It went really fast, over before i realized i read the whole thing.

Lera’s just digging a bigger hole for Sonja to bury her in, imo, but i cant help but hope she makes it out okay.
Taya’s kind of pissing me off, as she’s just letting this happen.
The thing to do is get it all out in the open, for safety’s sake if nothing else.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 06, 2018, 06:26:09 AM
Issue 19 was interesting, i guess. It went really fast, over before i realized i read the whole thing.

Lera’s just digging a bigger hole for Sonja to bury her in, imo, but i cant help but hope she makes it out okay.
Taya’s kind of pissing me off, as she’s just letting this happen.
The thing to do is get it all out in the open, for safety’s sake if nothing else.

Yeah, that'd make the story more boring though, wouldn't it?

I've been discussing this issue a lot with my buddy on deviantART and I don't think things are going to go well for Lera - I don't see her surviving this storyline. In fact, I reckon she's going to finish up falling victim to Clone Sonja, who will take the amulet for herself. It'll be interesting to see what happens to Taya ... perhaps Lera will kill her when she threatens to tell Sonja the truth, although I want to hear a bit more about this blood debt that Taya owes her. Maybe Taya will survive and accompany Sonja in her next story (#22 has Sonja travelling back to Hyrkania and falling foul of a witch on the road) or maybe she'll end up a victim of Sandak. After all, Lera promised Sandak a warrior for Sonja to slay in an exhibition ... perhaps Taya will end up being the Apollo Creed to Sonja's Ivan Drago.

Not sure what happens with Skath/Sonja, except Sonja will end up fighting a shark at one point. My buddy on dA suggested it'd be cool to have Skath/Sonja fight at some point, perhaps in Sandak's exhibition match. Skath could be armed with his own blade, which Sonja gives back to him, and ends up losing the fight but keeping his life. He learns as a result that his sword wasn't magical, he simply hadn't met his match until he met Sonja.

Going on a few preview sketches I've seen for #20, I guess Sandak's men arrive early next issue and throw Skath into a dungeon, while Sonja makes a decision on whether to return his sword and help him reclaim his land in Cimmeria, at the same time playing along with Lera and Sandak's moneymaking scheme.

I enjoyed this issue ... still plenty of action but it was good to see some scheming and plot advancement. When Taya and Lera were introduced, I was worried Amy was going to write them as Sonja clones but the rocky relationship between the three of them has been really well handled and Lera's a really intriguing character. I loved that tavern scene as well, with Taya lampshading that wherever the women have travelled, Sonja's been kicking the locals' arses at bar games to score free grog.

I think this has been the best storyline of Amy's run yet. What do you think? I know you really liked the time travel stories, did you like the NYC one better?
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 07, 2018, 01:41:55 AM
One problem books like this (character walk the earth) have, is lack of supporting cast (oddly, one of the best S&S books to pull off a large stable of interesting recurring characters imo is Groo), so, the attention payed to Taya and Lera is a welcome surprise.
I thought they’d be Sonja clones too.
However their stories end and/or continue, i’ll care, because they were fleshed out.
Even w. the info you’ve provided, i’m not going to try and guess how this will play out. Should be fun, though!

I did prefer the modern setting (i love the barbarian in modern times idea), but i’m still into the characterization here, so no complaints.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 07, 2018, 10:35:45 AM
One problem books like this (character walk the earth) have, is lack of supporting cast (oddly, one of the best S&S books to pull off a large stable of interesting recurring characters imo is Groo), so, the attention payed to Taya and Lera is a welcome surprise.
I thought they’d be Sonja clones too.
However their stories end and/or continue, i’ll care, because they were fleshed out.
Even w. the info you’ve provided, i’m not going to try and guess how this will play out. Should be fun, though!

I did prefer the modern setting (i love the barbarian in modern times idea), but i’m still into the characterization here, so no complaints.

The story could go in any direction from here ... all we know from the solicits is that Sonja finds out Lera's secret, fights a shark and survives to travel back to Hyrkania. That's it! Even then, solicits have been wrong before ... one solicit for one of the second storyline issues talked about Sonja and Max travelling together across America, even though Max was in Meru at the time! The events described in the solicit for #20 actually happened last issue i.e. 'Sonja goes to a tavern to find out about Skath', 'Sonja acts as head of security for Sandak'.

If the deathmatch proposed by Lera goes ahead, Sonja's opponent could be Taya, Skath or even the shark. We don't know which side Taya will end up on, although I think she'll end up opposing Lera ... in fact, I reckon she'll end up being killed by Lera directly or indirectly. Sonja may actively help Sandak out with his festival or she might use it as an opportunity to free Skath. Skath might get chucked into prison by Sandak next issue or he might bide his time until the festival and then make a play to reclaim his title and castle.

It's wide open but half the fun is in speculating.

One great supporting character who hasn't been used recently is Ram, the Meruvian envoy who sought out Sonja to battle Kulan Gath in the first place in 'Red Sonja: Long Walk To Oblivion'. He'd be a great character to bring back ... he's clearly an accomplished warrior but he's not a chiselled one-man army like Conan or Sonja, he's relatively soft-spoken and he's a family man. Sonja's supporting cast in previous runs have often been loud-mouthed beefy he-men and Ram is much more nuanced than that.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 07, 2018, 12:27:44 PM
Dont kid yourself, you put more energy into your posts re: Sonja than anyone else who’s been in this thread!
It was your enthusiasm that got me to try it out.

That envoy seems worth revisiting. The current baddy is someone i hope survives and comes back. Only 2 appearances but he has potential.
I can only hope Sonja’s trip back home isnt her mourning Taya and Lera...:(

 
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 08, 2018, 06:43:12 AM
Dont kid yourself, you put more energy into your posts re: Sonja than anyone else who’s been in this thread!
It was your enthusiasm that got me to try it out.

That envoy seems worth revisiting. The current baddy is someone i hope survives and comes back. Only 2 appearances but he has potential.
I can only hope Sonja’s trip back home isnt her mourning Taya and Lera...:(

That's a good point about Sandak ... chances are he'll end up dead but it may be Skath decides to throw him into prison instead or even keep him as a jester or something. Obviously he's evil but he's 'real estate developer' evil, not a genocidal maniac like Kulan Gath. He's got no regard for human life, that much is shown by his suggestion for how Sonja and co should deal with any villagers who provide resistance, he's obviously greedy, scheming and untrustworthy but if his resources are taken away, does he still pose a threat? Skath seems like a smart guy who realises Sandak's potential danger, so I can't see him exiling him but you never know. It depends how much damage Sandak does between now and the end of the story. I can't imagine the Cimmerian people will want to see him survive but who knows?

The solicit for #22 doesn't mention Taya and Lera at all but that's not to say either or both of them won't appear. If Erik and Amy truly intend to stay on the book for the long haul, it'd be nice to see Sonja making allies in different lands to connect with later on ... Skath in Cimmeria, Taya in Hyrkania, maybe even Ram in Meru. What's surprising is that this has been one of the longest creative runs in the history of 'Red Sonja' ... Amy Chu's now been writing Sonja longer than Gail Simone did.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 08, 2018, 08:53:15 AM
Chu seems to have a real affinity for the character. While i’ve always liked Sonja, her personality never really stood out to me in any real way, until this book.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 09, 2018, 06:48:31 AM
Chu seems to have a real affinity for the character. While i’ve always liked Sonja, her personality never really stood out to me in any real way, until this book.

She's changed quite a bit over the years. At Marvel, she was basically a swashbuckler type, a bit more smart-mouthed than Conan and more of a wheeler-dealer. In the Dynamite relaunch, she was much more sombre ... she had her moments of humour but was haunted by the death of her family and also seemed cursed to lose anyone who became close to her - otherwise, she was pretty similar to the current version ... brash on occasion, unwilling to suffer fools but basically compassionate and honourable.

Simone's version was incredibly popular because she had personality in spades ... problem for me was that her personality was nothing like any Red Sonja that came before her. She was constantly in a shit mood, had no patience, spent her time either grousing at other characters or mocking them and was always looking for either booze or sex. As Gail said from the outset, 'The two things about my Red Sonja are that she's a drunkard and a braggart'. Gail got rid of the slightly archaic sword and sorcery speak, and had Sonja calling people 'horses asses' and such. I can see why she appealed to a lot of readers but to me, whatever she looked like, she wasn't Red Sonja.

Chu's take can still be waspish, especially since Burnham hooked up, and she's definitely rash and quick-tempered but she knows when not to rush into a situation headlong, she finds it easy to make friends and to trust people, and she's got a strong moral compass and sense of honour.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 09, 2018, 07:50:09 AM
The Dynamite version never appealed to me, like you said, too sombre.
Simone’s version sounds like a writer shoe horning a personality onto a character regardless of it making sense or not. Granted, Sonja doesnt have the history of a WW, but her fans (like you) would notice.
I honestly like her work better on original characters.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 14, 2018, 11:46:42 AM
The Dynamite version never appealed to me, like you said, too sombre.
Simone’s version sounds like a writer shoe horning a personality onto a character regardless of it making sense or not. Granted, Sonja doesnt have the history of a WW, but her fans (like you) would notice.
I honestly like her work better on original characters.

I loved Simone's run on 'Batgirl', that was fucking awesome. I kinda liked her 'Wonder Woman' but thought it was a little inconsistent and I hated that Genocide baddie. One of my pet peeves is writers running out of ideas for decent villains so they just create a bad version of the good guy. Somebody had already done that with WW not long before Simone came on board.

Gail Simone's Sonja was basically Conan with tits. She took away everything that made the character unique, such as the vow, the devotion to Scathach etc. and turned her into a cookie-cutter barbarian woman, and then added a bunch of cheap gags. A ton of people liked her run, including some existing Sonja fans, but I sure as hell didn't.

On a separate note, Carlos Gomez mentioned on Instagram that he's finishing on Red Sonja soon and he used the word 'we' ...

No other news at the moment but I suspect Amy Chu's going as well. She's finishing up a load of different projects right now and it could be that Dynamite's bringing in a new creative team or might even do a new volume of the series. Given how well Amy's series has sold, I doubt they're going in a new direction though.

Hopefully Erik Burnham will stay on as writer, he's done an amazing job since he joined about six months ago.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 14, 2018, 11:30:49 PM
Hmm. Not sure how i feel about the possible creative changes/new volume. Chances are good i’d drop the book at that point. :(
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 15, 2018, 05:50:23 AM
Hmm. Not sure how i feel about the possible creative changes/new volume. Chances are good i’d drop the book at that point. :(

Even if Amy stayed, Carlos is a fucking HUGE loss. Still, Dynamite's loss is Marvel's gain and I'm sure there are loads of other good artists who can pick up the baton.

I'd like to see somebody in the same vein as Carlos though, using a slightly cartoonish style that's not ashamed to emphasise Sonja's assets while still drawing her as a strong woman and not a stick woman supermodel. Carlos is like a mixture of Mark Bagley and Humberto Ramos (but much better than the latter IMO). A lot of the fill-in artists have been decent enough but have a much more realistic style which looks a bit gloomier. Tom Mandrake would be good if he's available, he's done some great Sonja work. Vincenzo Viska, who's covering for Carlos on the first few pages of #20, has a style much closer to Carlos.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 15, 2018, 06:31:03 AM
Thats a good observation on the art (and who Carlos’ style reminds one of). A more realistic art style just wouldnt be as much fun on this book.
Past or present, what i’ve enjoyed is the ‘high adventure’ feel of the series (its one reason i’m glad they moved away from Gath somewhat, he was gloomying things up too much), and the art has contributed heavily to that, of course.

 
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 17, 2018, 06:46:53 AM
Thats a good observation on the art (and who Carlos’ style reminds one of). A more realistic art style just wouldnt be as much fun on this book.
Past or present, what i’ve enjoyed is the ‘high adventure’ feel of the series (its one reason i’m glad they moved away from Gath somewhat, he was gloomying things up too much), and the art has contributed heavily to that, of course.

Well, the solicit for #23 has just been released, so the series isn't ending straightaway. This one's carrying on the 'high adventure' feel ... after the Skath storyline, #22 is about Sonja nearly trampling a witch on her way back to Hyrkania and falling out with her, and then #23 is about retrieving a minor god's treasure from a monster or something.

For a 'high adventure' feel, probably the best Sonja run of all is Eric Trautmann's, which ran for about 25 issues from around #50 of the first Dynamite series. It's basically Sonja travelling across a wide range of lands, usually with a band of mercenaries in tow, going to environments from icy Vanaheim to Khitai in the East (the Hyborian equivalent of Japan), Atlantis, desert wildernesses and adventures on the high seas in between. Sonja's characterisation is pretty close to Amy Chu's version but Trautmann really did his homework on the lands and cultures of the Hyborian Era. There are a number of different artists, most notably Walter Geovani who is Gail Simone's Sonja artist of choice and Marcio Abreu, who is more along the lines of Ed Benes in style.

Should be pretty easy to find the trade paperback cheap on Amazon or Comixology. I strongly recommend it.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 17, 2018, 06:53:05 AM
Good news on the book, thank you! I’ll enjoy this book until something major changes, writing wise.

Trautmann, eh? I’m gonna check this in a bit, thanks times two!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 17, 2018, 04:29:13 PM
Got the first 4 issue arc of Trautmann’s run. Very enjoyable. You strike again!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 20, 2018, 10:23:54 AM
Got the first 4 issue arc of Trautmann’s run. Very enjoyable. You strike again!

Trautmann's globetrotting tales were so cool with Sonja mixing it up with everything from giant sea serpents to samurai warriors. His battles were unparalleled and cinematic.

There's an amazing issue where Sonja throws down with the avatar of a Stygian scorpion god and his army of 50 men. She easily wipes out the soldiers, then ends up grappling with the scorpion god's disciple over his sword. Dozens of scorpions sting her while she wrestles with the superhuman disciple but she musters her strength and overpowers him, twisting the sword round so it impales him. You can practically hear the Basil Poledouris score in your head during those panels. Trautmann said that was his big Conan moment for Sonja.

See below:

http://comicsbulletin.com/red-sonja-60/
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 23, 2018, 06:16:47 AM
Big news ... the original team's back together! Roy Thomas, creator of Red Sonja (the comics version at any rate) has teamed up with Esteban Maroto on a new story - Maroto's the inventor of Sonja's trademark scalemail bikini!

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/red-sonja-returns-an-all-new-graphic-novel-1136386

The artwork on this looks fucking amazing and it's gonna be interesting to see how this dovetails with what Amy and Erik have been doing on the monthly comic. This story was released in Spain a few months ago, so perhaps the creative team has been stalling on doing Sonja's origin until this came out.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 23, 2018, 07:52:58 AM
^^^ooh, this i will keep an eye out for, nice!!!

Got the first 4 issue arc of Trautmann’s run. Very enjoyable. You strike again!

Trautmann's globetrotting tales were so cool with Sonja mixing it up with everything from giant sea serpents to samurai warriors. His battles were unparalleled and cinematic.

There's an amazing issue where Sonja throws down with the avatar of a Stygian scorpion god and his army of 50 men. She easily wipes out the soldiers, then ends up grappling with the scorpion god's disciple over his sword. Dozens of scorpions sting her while she wrestles with the superhuman disciple but she musters her strength and overpowers him, twisting the sword round so it impales him. You can practically hear the Basil Poledouris score in your head during those panels. Trautmann said that was his big Conan moment for Sonja.

See below:

http://comicsbulletin.com/red-sonja-60/
Wound up getting Trautmann’s entire run, and you were right, it was pretty cool!
The stories kicked butt, and artistically it was solid. I loved that her outfit changed periodically. Thats simething i really appreciated.
Great recommendation on your part!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on August 30, 2018, 05:10:24 PM
Glad you liked it!

I hate to say it butI thought #10 was a mild letdown. Be interested to hear what you thought, RIV
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on August 31, 2018, 01:02:23 AM
Did you mean 20?
I kinda liked it. Skath screwed the pooch, didnt he? It was nice seeing him tell the tale of his own undoing, though.
Sonja’s last 2 panels of the issue were hilarious and hot, respectively.

The simplicity of the story/events u can see unsatisfactory, but, i dont want this dragged out, either, so i’m okay w. the lack of depth.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 01, 2018, 04:38:54 AM
Fair enough. It just seems to me that the writers threw out a few red herrings that were more interesting than what actually happened. This issue just seemed really predictable - the only surprises were Lera fighting against Sandak and Skath being hammered for the big push. I know there’s s lot to get through for the end of the storyline but no amulet or Clonja this issue? Why did Sandak dump his prized shark
in a moat where no one can see it? How did Skath, a guy who probably hasn’t fought in ten or twenty years and who has to be at least sixty, get to the point in an hour or so where he can stalemate or beat the mighty Red Sonja in a sparring bout?
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 01, 2018, 06:07:07 AM
Well that last question is easily answered. He’s Cimmerian, by Crom!

Your other questions are what i meant by simplicity, and how unsatisfied some will be with how things turned out.
Truthfully, i was, too, a little, but, i also didnt want the story dragged out, so to me its not all bad.
The most realistic part of the whole story was Skath getting shitfaced after getting everybody all hopeful. As someone who’s dealt w. drunks and been a drunk, i have to say thats about par for the course!
Really looking forward to the shark fight (which yeah, would have been better in a giant tank), and fully expecting a last minute Skath rescue of the whole uprising.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 03, 2018, 06:11:52 AM
Yeah, Skath will inevitably be the difference maker ... it's interesting that Sonja never really gets to save the day in Amy's run though. In the first arc, it was Max who really took down Gath. In the second arc, it was Wallace and in the third, it was the Demon Beast.

Skath being plastered was realistic and did take me by surprise ... I also like that Amy's differentiated between Skath, a full-on alcoholic, and Sonja, who just enjoys a few beers when she gets a chance, whereas Gail Simone straight up said her Sonja had a serious drinking problem

The shark thing is different at least and came from a time when Amy and Erik were stranded in the Mall Of America during a snowstorm after a con and went to look at the sharks there. I asked a friend who's read pretty much every Sonja story about whether she's fought sharks before and she's done so 3 or 4 times ... in one case, she took down a monstrous demon shark the size of a megalodon. No idea how big this shark is supposed to be but I wish Carlos had drawn that panel like the Jaws poster with Sonja on the surface and the shark's head looming underneath. There's a preview panel on Carlos' Instagram showing Sonja throwing a punch and while it's not clear, it looks to me like there's a load of water spraying around here and something that looks like a giant shark tooth flying through the air in the foreground!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 03, 2018, 07:21:47 AM
Sonja punching out a shark. Yeah, they grew women TOUGH in the Hyborean age!!!
The JAWS poster is what that last panel reminded me of, only this time, the shark’s not going to get away w. it. A straight up homage though, like you wanted? Thst would've been pretty dope!

 
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 04, 2018, 07:37:19 AM
Sonja punching out a shark. Yeah, they grew women TOUGH in the Hyborean age!!!
The JAWS poster is what that last panel reminded me of, only this time, the shark’s not going to get away w. it. A straight up homage though, like you wanted? Thst would've been pretty dope!

I've got all the respect in the world for Carlos but I think he dropped the ball with that panel. I loved how he drew Sonja, especially her hair ... I don't think he's drawn her with wet hair since #3 and he does that really well. The shark, though, is kinda just a black blob in the background. We can't get any idea of its size. There's so much empty space as well for the water.

A Jaws homage would've worked better. I remember Marvel did a story of Zabu, Ka-Zar's pet sabretooth, and the artist did an amazing Jaws homage, a long-angle shot of him kittypaddling across a river with a MASSIVE crocodile swimming up at him from underneath.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 05, 2018, 05:53:38 PM
Nick, what the heck is this...?

(https://image.ibb.co/kPE5LK/A4_A9_CCE1_4_C10_4072_9_ABF_31_C84_F198_E12.jpg)
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 06, 2018, 04:08:38 AM
Looks like 'Legenderry', which is a steam punk take on Sonja. Apparently, it's VERY good.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 07, 2018, 01:13:13 AM
Never heard of. Must seek!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 08, 2018, 05:28:10 AM
Quote
I remember Marvel did a story of Zabu, Ka-Zar's pet sabretooth, and the artist did an amazing Jaws homage, a long-angle shot of him kittypaddling across a river with a MASSIVE crocodile swimming up at him from underneath.
Was this it? Its pretty damn cool....:

(https://image.ibb.co/hGhqaU/61_FF2414_F7_B8_4550_9_AC3_26_BE228_F98_E3.jpg)
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 10, 2018, 11:35:20 AM
Yeah, that's the one ... I love that pic! That's one monster crocodile, more in line with the prehistoric Sarchosuchus or Deinosuchus than modern salties or Nile crocs.

Even cooler is that Zabu get dragged down and then kills it offpanel in next to no time.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 10, 2018, 05:36:59 PM
I know! That was cool.
Also, he looks so cute just paddling away though...!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 21, 2018, 06:47:34 AM
I just read an advance review of Red Sonja #21 and...

SPOILERS

















yes, Sonja punches a shark in the face! Do fish have faces???!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 21, 2018, 04:34:59 PM
Not after Sonja punches them!!!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 25, 2018, 10:49:08 AM
 ;D

Sounds like this is gonna be a good issue! I've read the first 7 or 8 pages via official previews and Google Books ... we've got Sonja surfing a giant great white shark as it leaps out of the water and then smashing it in the face, which is the most rock n'roll thing I've seen this week.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 26, 2018, 12:54:08 AM
OMG, that sounds great!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 26, 2018, 11:19:18 AM
I'm gonna be lazy and just copy and paste my review from dA...

Horribly disorganised mess of thoughts and comments about Red Sonja #21:

SPOILERS, NATCH
 










 
I hadn’t mentioned this before and I don’t normally like to zero in on covers/variants preferring to focus on what’s inside. but I’m not sold on the main cover this month. It’s not bad, it’s just very meh … a bit boring and unimaginative, just a staid pose. Caldwell’s covers can be a bit cute for my liking sometimes and I still haven’t forgiven him for that ‘Gollum’ cover but I liked his variant so much better than the main one.

Art throughout was sterling … Carlos isn’t resting on his laurels as he goes out. Quite the opposite, he’s drawing like he has something to prove. Maybe Marvel are watching? As I’ve said before, I’m not crazy by his take on Skath but he did seem to look a little older and beefier and less cover-modeleseque as the issue went on. I think this was overall one of Carlos’ strongest issues yet, Sonja’s face was a mask of grit and determination throughout, apart from a brief respite at the Feast Of Deities. His work with the castle was great and his shark was superb, unmistakableably a great white. Mohan excelled with his colours too, giving Clonja a slightly darker, creepier hue than her heroic counterpart and handling the day and night scenes with equal aplomb.

The standout for me, though, this issue was letterer Taylor Esposito … it’s easy to see why this guy’s in such demand. As with last issue, I loved his range of sound effects, they added tons of colour to the telling of the story. The same goes for his use of bold to stress certain words and Sandak’s shrieks and gurgles underwater. I’m not sure how long Taylor’s been working on the title but he’s better than Simon Bowland was earlier in the run IMO. He fits Carlos’ style beautifully. My only quibble was the positioning of the speech bubble in the panel where Skath tells Sandak they’re fighting to the death … the bubble could’ve just sat over the bridge or ramparts, it wouldn’t have spoiled the scope of Sandak’s impending plunge. As it stands, it looks a little awkward, although props to Skath for being able to effortlessly hold Sandak over the edge with one arm.

The shark fight was so much better than I expected it to be. We’ve already discussed the first half, and yes, Sonja slugging the big fish would’ve looked less awkward if she didn’t have a sword to worry about. Couldn’t she have dropped the sword as soon as she fell in the moat? It would’ve been harder to find in the end but I think it would’ve worked better overall. I did like Sonja’s panic in mid-air when she lost the sword though.

Everyone stopping to watch was hilarious but I think Amy and Erik realised how preposterous it was by having even Sonja comment on it. To be fair, most of these people probably haven’t seen a warrior-woman fight a great white before. In a roundabout way, Sandak also got to run his little circus act showcasing the She-Devil’s fighting skill, although I’m not convinced Amy and Erik necessarily tied the two together. Sandak purposefully dunking Sonja would’ve been much better than her stumbling over some tool of a boy.

Sandak’s oratory about heroes was great and makes me think that heroes of Sonja’s calibre are a rare thing in Skath’s age. If Sonja remains in this time, perhaps she’ll become an even greater legend that she was in her own.
 
Not only is Skath strong, he’s fast for an old-timer too. In the time it took for the shark to breach with Sonja and for them both to do a somersault and crash back into the water, he’d made it past the onlookers, through the gate, up the spiral staircase and right up to Sandak’s mug.

I liked Sandak’s shock at Skath’s effortless block and his easy defeat. Also the guard’s note to Sandak that they were in public so he couldn’t expect help from them … I wonder how many times he’d been challenged within the walls of his castle in the past? Actually, I’m sure this was a reference to Skath’s initial beatdown at the hands of Sandak’s thugs. Sandak referring to Skath as an old man made me realise he was probably a fair bit younger than Skath, which hadn’t occurred to me before now. Guys who look like Sandak could be anywhere from 25 to 75.

It’s kind of a shame Sandak met his maker but if Erik’s taking over the title (and I increasingly suspect that’s what’ll happen, based on absolutely nothing but blind hope), he obviously didn’t see any more mileage in the merchant. At least his end was suitably grisly … this is still a reasonably blood-free run compared with many previous ones, so when we see gore, it really means something. Sandak’s executioner being his crown jewel of his Feast was a nice touch. Sonja killing the fish seemed a bit mean, I’m sure shecould’ve made it out to safety while the shark was chowing down but like the lady said, she doesn’t like fish.

Nice climbing display from Sonja afterwards up what was apparently a sheer cliff face.  It reminded me of some of Sonja’s crazy climbing feats in the past, scaling mountainsides and what not.

It was good to see Sonja and Skath parting on such good terms, although Sonja accepted the sword in lieu of money very easily. She’s travelled across half a world to get rid of the damn thing and now she just accepts it with a smile? If Erik takes over, maybe he’ll make use of Skath going forward … it’d be good for Sonja to amass a network of allies in different kingdoms if she’s stuck outside of her own time.

Nice that the team went out of their way to show Skath turning down booze at his big celebration and showing that he’s going to be a responsible chieftain from hereon.

As for the rest, the whole Cloneja thing was given decent attention but still seemed a little rushed, although I liked that she chucked in the comment about killing off Gath’s thugs and removing any remaining obstacles between herself and the amulet. At last we heard from Taya and Lera … Taya in particular got practically nothing in this issue, although she at least pressed Lera to fess up (not that she had any choice).

Clonja handling Skath and Taya with such ease was frightening and demonstrated the big gap in prowess between Sonja and her allies.

Insane pitching arm on Sonja … I thought that thing was going to end up in orbit. We saw her throwing strength before with the head earlier in this arc. The She-Devil’s resolution to this particular problem left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it got Clonja out of her hair without unnecessarily risking the lives of her allies and Sonja herself seemed to think her tactic had killed Clonja, although the clone herself raised the question of whether she could actually die while Sonja lived. She made it through her first ‘death’ seemingly unscathed after all. Again, if Erik picks up the title, I’d like him to eventually bring Clonja back and examine her motivation in greater depth, although including Clonja means that the ghost of Kulan Gath is always lurking in the background

Sonja hurling the artefact away also brings the risk of somebody else finding it, being corrupted and resurrecting the sorcerer.

Lera got off VERY lightly, all things considered. Sonja nearly killed Lera before just for speaking for her without her permission. Maybe Lera and Taya too will be used by Erik again if he stays on. I guess Sonja’s headed back to Hyrkania now but given Lera’s actions, she’s effectively exiled herself and Taya for the foreseeable future.

And we close with a butt-shot. I’ll miss Carlos when he goes. Good last two panels, with the shadow and Sonja retreating into the distance emphasising her journey onwards alone and perhaps a bleak outlook.

Good issue overall, far superior to the last one. I’m glad that pretty much all the loose ends were tied up, although I’d have liked to have seen more of Taya and Lera and heard more of the blood-debt.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 26, 2018, 07:31:09 PM
Quote
I'm gonna be lazy and just copy and paste my review from dA...

Horribly disorganised mess of thoughts and comments about Red Sonja #21:
I just got my copy.
I’ll try and read it tonight before i read the body of your post!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 27, 2018, 06:01:25 AM
Wow, i actually commented to someone on this month’s covers being meh, so yeah, i noticed.

The interior art though, like you said, was quite good. Dolid layouts and good detail, no big blank panels devoid of background to speak of. Always appreciated.

Conan )and Cimmerians) in the books is described as being able to climb mostly sheer surfaces, i guess Sonja did a ‘when in Rome’ w. her climbing....

I’m of mixed feelings on Dresd Sonja, Lera Taya. Nothing w. them was bad, but as you said it felt rushed. We’ve been waiting for this a while, and then bam, its done?
Felt like prom night.

Kulan Gath is always just around the corner it seems; the guy casts a long shadow. Excellent villain even if i did find myself needing a break from him.

Quote
Good issue overall, far superior to the last one. I’m glad that pretty much all the loose ends were tied up, although I’d have liked to have seen more of Taya and Lera and heard more of the blood-debt.
^^^Yes across the board for me on your final thoughts.

Also yes on that final butt shot, and a bit of melancholy to end things. Sonja’s adventures continue, and We’re still riding shotgun. 
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on September 27, 2018, 11:21:43 AM
Wow, i actually commented to someone on this month’s covers being meh, so yeah, i noticed.

The interior art though, like you said, was quite good. Dolid layouts and good detail, no big blank panels devoid of background to speak of. Always appreciated.

Conan )and Cimmerians) in the books is described as being able to climb mostly sheer surfaces, i guess Sonja did a ‘when in Rome’ w. her climbing....

I’m of mixed feelings on Dresd Sonja, Lera Taya. Nothing w. them was bad, but as you said it felt rushed. We’ve been waiting for this a while, and then bam, its done?
Felt like prom night.

Kulan Gath is always just around the corner it seems; the guy casts a long shadow. Excellent villain even if i did find myself needing a break from him.

Quote
Good issue overall, far superior to the last one. I’m glad that pretty much all the loose ends were tied up, although I’d have liked to have seen more of Taya and Lera and heard more of the blood-debt.
^^^Yes across the board for me on your final thoughts.

Also yes on that final butt shot, and a bit of melancholy to end things. Sonja’s adventures continue, and We’re still riding shotgun.

It really seemed like Carlos was a man with something to prove this month. I loved all his castle work.

I really hope Taya and Lera get used again but it'll depend on Erik staying on the book or at least somebody who's a fan of Amy's run taking it on. I think there's tons that could be done with those guys. There was a really interesting dynamic between Taya and Sonja, with Taya coming across as distrustful and jealous of the She-Devil. Lera could make a great future villain - you don't get that many smart villainesses in sword and sorcery comics and when you do, they're usually witches, not warriors. Lera's got the gift of the gab, thinks on her feet and can talk people round to her way of thinking. She's really unusual for a fantasy warrior woman in that regard.

There were times when Conan and Cimmerians' climbing ability was stressed over all of their other assets. Sonja was a rubbish climber by comparison at Marvel but since Dynamite picked her up, they've really played up her climbing ability. She's been shown scaling mountainsides in the middle of blizzards and one comic by Luke Lieberman showed her effortlessly going up a gigantic monolith, with her ally at the bottom questioning whether she was even human.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on September 28, 2018, 12:16:10 AM
I dont really mind Sonja being great climber, i guess, but it WAS Conan’s deal first. Served him well as a young thief.
Taya & Lera, i really hope they show back up, for the reasons you cited. Recurring characters are so cool to have in books like this.

And now we have to wait another month to see where things are going. :(
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on October 02, 2018, 07:30:54 AM
I dont really mind Sonja being great climber, i guess, but it WAS Conan’s deal first. Served him well as a young thief.

I did like that Howard emphasised Cimmerians' climbing ability even over their brute strength etc. It was the one thing they did better than anyone else, and Conan could climb better than any Cimmerian.

The problem is that so many Hyborian nations just blur into one nowadays and they're not shown as having specialities. Sonja's people, for example, are supposed to be supreme riders but we've barely seen Sonja on horseback in Amy's run at all. At least  in the latest issue, Erik specifically mentioned that Sonja was a child of the steppes (and didn't like fish).

It's kinda the same with weapons. At Marvel, Belit was outright said to be superior to Sonja with a knife but Sonja was the superior swordswoman and was at least Conan's equal in skill. At Dynamite, Sonja is an expert with pretty much any weapon but I put a lot of that down to Xena's influence. Dynamite's Sonja is basically Xena+ as a warrior but without the nerve pinches.

BTW Sonja's done plenty of thieving herself and is meant to be even stealthier than Conan ... she's one of the very few characters who's been able to sneak up on him. Again, we haven't seen much of that in the current run but it came up in #2 when she faded out of sight of security cameras like a ghost and also when she snuck into the Aranas' warehouse in New Mexico. Cloneja's proven to be pretty damn sneaky in her own right in the current storyline, taking out Gath's goons without Sonja's knowledge.

Quote
Taya & Lera, i really hope they show back up, for the reasons you cited. Recurring characters are so cool to have in books like this.

And now we have to wait another month to see where things are going. :(

I think Taya and Lera are done. Erik put up a commentary for the latest issue and one thing he said was that the whole Cloneja scene was cut down to make way for the shark fight. That expanded scene might've gone into Taya and Lera a bit more but I honestly think by that point Amy and Erik made the decision not to progress with those two any further, probably because they don't have any more plans for them. Way I see it, Amy's going and they're Amy's babies, so if Erik's sticking around, he probably wants to focus on his own creations.

Erik did say there's going to be a few, single-issue adventure stories coming up ... he didn't say what was happening afterwards but at the very least, Amy and Carlos look to be going. Might be that Dynamite reboot Sonja again with a completely new creative team. That would leave Amy's Sonja out of her own time.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on October 02, 2018, 07:36:44 AM
A lot to think on, there.
In the end, i guess i’ll just see where all this creative shuffling goes, and stick w. it ir not, depending.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on October 03, 2018, 04:22:18 AM
A lot to think on, there.
In the end, i guess i’ll just see where all this creative shuffling goes, and stick w. it ir not, depending.

Same with me. If they carry on the series, chances are they'll be using Amy/Erik's version of Sonja and I'd like to see what they do with her ... plus as good as Carlos is, there's no shortage of talented artists to pick up the baton.

If they reboot the series and change the continuity, I'll give it a few issues.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on October 03, 2018, 06:04:14 AM
That sounds fair.
I have a soft spot for this book, as its the first one i collected in almost a decade, and got me hooked again.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on October 18, 2018, 09:45:18 AM
My review of the new issue, lifted from DA:

Carlos has just launched an ‘AMA’ on Instagram, so I asked whether he’s done with Sonja. I’ll let you know if he comes back with anything. The more I think about it, the more I suspect #21 was his last issue … he’s got plenty on his plate in coming months and there’s no shortage of artists for fill-in issues to close out the series. I wish Dynamite would shed a bit more light on the future of this volume, I don’t understand why everything’s so secret. Makes me wonder whether they’ve actually decided anything themselves yet.

Google Seaches don’t help. Type ‘Red Sonja’ into Google and narrow the date down and all you’ll get is a string of articles about Bryan Singer and how much money he’s demanding for his movie. On that note and bearing in mind the paucity of opportunities for female directors, it irritates me that so many people are demanding a female director for the Sonja movie just because. Surely we want the best person for the job, regardless of gender? I suspect that most female Sonja fans jumped on with the Simone run, so we’d get something even more Simone-orientated.

I didn’t notice the new artist but yes, he did a fantastic job here. I think this is the first issue in the run not coloured by Mohan? I wonder whether he was part of the ‘we’ Carlos referred to when he said ‘We’re finishing up on Sonja soon’. Beautiful strong colours throughout this issue which play nicely off Lau’s artwork.

I think Lau did a great job throughout this issue, especially on the action sequences, and his Sonja was a lot prettier than she was in ‘Worldscape’, where he seemed to go out of his way to make her look haggard and battle-scarred. I’m really torn on his Sonja design though … I think he’s done a fantastic job adapting the existing look into something a bit more sensible and I do like the Celtic Slaine-ness. I certainly much prefer his look to the one Sonja was saddled with for Bennett’s series. That said, I don’t like that Lau went ahead and foisted his redesign on everyone when this is directly following another story … it’s not a one-shot or special or anything. I think Lau genuinely dislikes the scalemail bikini look … IIRC in ‘Red Sonja And Cub’, he gave her a pair of breeches and a cloak. It would’ve been nice if he could’ve put aside his distaste for one issue though. Like you mention, the design of Skath’s sword changed a hell of a lot to more of an Eastern scimitar … I’m not sure whether that matches what Sonja was brandishing in ‘Worldscape’ but I suspect it does. If anything, that’s an even bigger deal than changing Sonja’s outfit. You could explain away the makeover but why would Skath’s broadsword suddenly change into a scimitar? Lau should’ve been reined in here but I’m not sure anyone cares enough to have done so. It’s only comics, right?

I do wonder whether Lau’s going to see out the next few issues of the book. Carlos aside, he and Tom Mandrake seem to be Dynamite’s go-to artists for Red Sonja these days.

The story was OK … I was thinking about ‘Trollhunter’ recently and the panel with the goat’s silhouette chained up raised a smile. I wonder whether Amy’s watched ‘Trollhunter’ or whether she just had ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ in mind.

Sonja was on pretty good form this month … very smart, even if she says so herself, and it was nice to see her wielding yet another weapon, this time a quarterstaff. Lau did a lovely job showing off her agility and dexterity with the weapon. and it was perfect for this purpose, stinging the huge troll but not causing him any serious harm. It was also a good choice because it’s not a weapon I’ve seen Conan use much in the past nor Sonja herself, so it furthered the notion that the She-Devil is a master of all arms.

As for Zercat, he was entertaining enough and Amy took a leaf out of La Rochefoucault’s playbook for the moral … ‘Always follow your nature’. It’s interesting that Max inadvertently caused this strife with his de-escalation techniques and by treating Zercat kindly … maybe Amy had the idea in mind for this story even back then?

All of that said, this issue was really an extended fight scene, if a well-executed one, with a bit of moralising at the end. It was pretty simplistic and it really didn’t feel quite up to par as an issue in the ongoing series. As a standalone story in an annual or Giant Size Red Sonja, it would’ve been fine but I dunno … I just wasn’t blown away by this. It felt like filler, like the team’s treading water until they know what’s going on.

The oversight about Zercat meeting Sonja before was pretty egregious too. When the preview pages came out, I’d hoped it might’ve been Cloneja Zercat encountered but no explanation was provided. I can buy Zercat having heard of Sonja via Max but why would he think Sonja had met him? Amy must’ve come up with Zercat’s inclusion in the first place but I’m inclined to think Erik didn’t check up on Zercat’s previous appearance and that he was briefed incorrectly by Amy or just assumed that the two had met. It’s not the end of the world but it’s not the kind of mistake I expect to see. Then again, who knows what’s going on behind the scenes with this title? This issue was out a week *early* which is unheard-of in this run. I get the sense Dynamite are rushing to bring the volume to an end - let’s see whether #23 is brought forward too.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on October 19, 2018, 08:24:24 AM
Okay, first off, great post as usual. I love your Sonja synopses!

And now, my not nearly as good reply...:
Lets start w. the art. Your concerns are on point, regarding where we left off and where we’re going, but damn if, in and of itself, that was wasnt a great looking Sonja/well done book.
Sonja’s outfit was nice, and her hair? To die for! It made her look like a real warrior (not that she doesnt regularly, but this was not supermodel hair, which most artists go with no matter hiw they draw the rest of her).
Zerkat was drawn really well too, as was the village/villagers. Detailed but not distracting.
The fight scenes were superb. They flowed, used interesting angles, and conveyed power in the moves and strikes.

The story itself i liked, though you cleared up some wtf moments for me, as was confused by Zerkat meeting/not meeting Sinja, too!
And that damn tulwar/scimitar came out of nowhere. Decent sized gaffs, but i’ll firgive them.
The debate between Sonja/Zerkat actually drew me in.
Like any good argument, i found myself seeing things from both points of view, and was really wondering which viewpoint’d come out on top.
Overall a really good outing for basically just a fill in!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on October 23, 2018, 04:37:16 AM
Yeah, critics seem to have really liked this story for the little philosophical debate about Zercat's actions.

I can totally understand why people would like Lau's take on Sonja ... she's got more coverage while still wearing something that resembles her usual bikini and the Celtic-style hair is very different and unique. It's just not for me, though, particularly since it's supposed to be directly continuing her adventures on her trip back to Hyrkania. If it was a new book, I wouldn't mind so much. The rest of Lau's art was fantastic though ... like I said, it had a real British/2000AD vibe to it and his action scenes crackled more than Carlos' do.

Believe it or not, there's ANOTHER Red Sonja comic out tomorrow ... this one's the Halloween special. Preview is here:

https://www.cbr.com/red-sonja-halloween-special-one-shot/

Erik Burnham's been joined by none other than Tom DeFalco for writing duties and it looks like the 40 page comic's split into 2 stories. The second story's more cartoony and I'm hoping the two don't get 20 pages each - the first story looks like it needs more room, what with werewolves, ghosts and the return of Kulan Gath (if only for a night).

Jonathan Lau drew a lithe, athletic Sonja wearing more clothes than we used to seeing her in. Tom Garcia OTOH who draws the first Halloween story goes in completely the opposite direction. His Sonja's bikini is even more revealing than Carlos' version and he draws the She-Devil as a muscular tank with enormous knockers, probably the strongest-looking Sonja I've ever seen in a comic book. She doesn't look like she needs a sword to beat the living shit out of a werewolf. The characterisation is pure Erik Burnham, though ... smart, brave, confident and intolerant of cowardice or indecision. I've seen about 9 of the pages and I'm hoping the story gets at least 25 or so. I wouldn't be averse to seeing Garcia draw Sonja again ... I absolutely love that smirk she gives after she's just destroyed blond guy at armwrestling.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on October 23, 2018, 07:38:02 AM
I can see how the Celtic look/hairstyle might be off putting, it just really hit the mark w. me!

You werent kidding about Tom Garcia’s art. The boob to chainmail ratio is just ridiculous.
I wont be getting this book, but i enjoyed the link!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on October 23, 2018, 09:55:36 AM
I can see how the Celtic look/hairstyle might be off putting, it just really hit the mark w. me!

TBH I'd be surprised if we've seen the last of it. Dynamite like to farm out their work to a small group of artists and I think Lau really likes drawing his take on Sonja.

It's been confirmed the series is ending with #25 ... Andrea Mutti is handling art on #24 and #25 and Carlos is allegedly doing #23 but honestly, I think we've seen his last issue. He's focussing on new projects and I think Dynamite will look for somebody else for #23.

Quote
You werent kidding about Tom Garcia’s art. The boob to chainmail ratio is just ridiculous.
I wont be getting this book, but i enjoyed the link!

I wasn't necessarily going to get it but I subscribe to the series via Comixology and they automatically added it on. To ixnay this issue, I'd have needed to cancel the whole subscription and then reactivate it afterwards.

Truthfully, though, I love Tom Garcia's take on Sonja. Her tits are gigantic and she looks like these crazy South American female bodybuilders with implants and massive thighs but I like his art ... the guy I talk to about Sonja on dA compared  it to 'Fire And Ice' and 'Heavy Metal' in the 80s. It's almost Filmation-esque. Yes, his Sonja is practically naked but OTOH I can't imagine guys lining up to proposition this particular She-Devil at the local bar ... they'd leave her the fuck alone  but she'd be first in line if a dangerous mission came up! According to one guy who saw an advance copy, she does some pretty fucking impressive stuff in this issue as well. So many artists draw a relatively willowy Sonja, so it makes a nice change to see a Sonja who looks like she could piggyback a draught horse. Also, I've looked at Garcia's work elsewhere and, unlike Frank Cho, he's able to draw more than 3 female bodytypes ... IOW, he didn't draw Sonja like that because he draws everyone like that, he put some serious thought into how she differs from the average lady.

I'll let you know what I think of the Halloween special after tomorrow.

Over on Instagram, Pasquale Qualano has been posting shitloads of Red Sonja panels, so it looks like he's going to be the artist for the new ongoing. He's got a really nice style, a lot like Walter Simonson, and the feedback so far has been really positive.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on October 23, 2018, 02:36:14 PM
Ending w. 25...:(

Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on October 24, 2018, 12:35:37 PM
Ending w. 25...:(

Yep, the solicit's out and it's due out in January. Dynamite hasn't said anything official but it's really likely Pasquale Qualano will be the artist for the new volume - no idea who's writing. Having read the Halloween special, though, I'd love to see Erik Burnham carry on. His version of Sonja is absolutely fantastic, much more nuanced and fallible than Amy's. I'll go into more detail if I post a review of the Halloween special.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on October 25, 2018, 07:23:37 AM
Cool, if you write it i will read!

As to the new book, guess i’ll pass for now.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on October 25, 2018, 10:42:47 AM
OK, Riv, here you go.. quick synopsis and then my thoughts.

Summary: Sonja goes to a village where everyone's preparing for a festival of the dead, where spirits are said to rise from their grave for one night only. Priests are chanting and waving holy relics, people daubing symbols on their doors to ward off ghosts etc. Sonja basically gets off her horse and finds a tavern.

Sonja's shown beating a local beefcake called Konnar at armwrestling and winning drinks. An old lady asks for her help in rescuing her son from a monster ... Sonja agrees, although Konnar thinks venturing out on this night is pure folly. Sonja calls him on his cowardice but Konnar later offers to guide her. He tells her that her horse will be no use, refusing to go into the forest, but she'd be safer with him. She agrees but tells him to keep out of her way.

The two encounter shades in the trees, terrifying Konnar but Sonja's completely blase about them ... until the spirit of Kulan Gath arrives. Sonja takes a swing at him but he mocks her, telling her that she can't do him any harm. He says that he's seen the monster they hunt and he looks forward to her getting killed and to being able to torture her in the afterlife for eternity. Sonja calls for Konnar to get going but a missile is thrown past her, which turns out to be Konnar's head.

Sonja and the werewolf then fight, while Gath's spirit goads Sonja. Once the She-Devil gets serious, she easily kills the werewolf and hurls its head at Gath's spirit, which disappears. The old woman turns up and reveals that the werewolf was her son and that Sonja has released him by killing him. In turn, it transpires she's dead herself. Sonja's enraged that the crone failed to mention her son was the werewolf and says that she would've helped in any case ... Konnar died for no reason. The story ends with the old woman's ghost dissipating and Sonja striding off to fetch somebody from the village to bury Konnar's body.

Review:

It’s great to see Erik getting so much work, he’s truly a writer on the rise. According to Twitter, he has a major upcoming project which is going to take up a lot of his time. I don’t know whether that’s Red Sonja but the way he talks about Sonja on Twitter, it’s starting to seem like he’s moving on from the She-Devil. If so, that’s a real shame because I think he writes the most interesting and nuanced Sonja in years.

One thing I liked about this story was it firmly set itself in Amy’s continuity. It could easily have been a separate Sonja story but that one panel showing Sonja fighting the hordes of hell in the desert established which Sonja we were dealing with here … the ghost of Kulan Gath just reinforced that.

The time OTOH was less clear but presumably Sonja’s still in Skath’s era here. She was clearly unknown by most in the village, although Konnar referring to her as ‘she-devil’ was interesting … it’s highly doubtful that Sonja would introduce herself to new folks with that monicker. As an aside, I’m starting to think Sonja’s displacement won’t be raised again before the series ends. The writers are too busy focussing on individual adventures and probably won’t feel they have time to raise Sonja’s discontent at being a woman out of time. It’ll be interesting to see whether Sonja remains in the same time in the new volume or whether there’s a reset of some kind. If the latter, you wonder why they took Sonja out of her own time in the first place, if only to spend a couple of panels griping about it while fighting an immortal orc in #17.

As you say, the location’s unknown but one area where Erik really hasn’t set the world on fire is giving people names. ‘Skath’ rhymes with ‘Gath’ and ‘Sandak’ gave no real indication where the dastardly merchant came from.

I liked the use of those symbols in the opening shots and the worry that was conveyed on the villagers’ part, so much so that they barely took notice of Sonja as she rode into town.

I get the sense that this was at least the second time Konnar had armwrestled Sonja, going on his own words, and he seemed to think he had some kind of chance of winning, so perhaps Sonja had been toying with him before. Could be that she’d been taking on other challengers before but apart from Konnar, most of the tavern’s denizens look pretty frail and ordinary. Big call back to #2, with Konnar being very similar to Luis. I wonder whether Erik read that issue or whether it was a coincidence.

Like Luis, Konnar was all mouth but he also stood by Sonja when the chips were down and showed some guts. For somebody who was only shown in 6 or 7 pages, I really like the job that Erik did with Konnar, making him by turns superstitious, impatient, uber-macho, lecherous but also ultimately brave enough to volunteer to be Sonja’s guide (whatever his intentions) and savvy enough to talk Sonja into letting him tag along. It’s a shame he died so early, it would’ve been nice to find out whether he was romantically interested in the She-Devil (which Luis wasn’t, really). Konnar’s death was really a tool to demonstrate the harm caused by the old crone’s sin of omission about her son and nothing more. Sonja was irritated by the hag’s actions but she didn’t seem unduly bothered by Konnar’s death directly. I suppose she’s used to seeing comrades die, she hadn’t known Konnar for long and he was a bit of an irritant in her eyes anyway.

I’d have liked to have seen Konnar survive, if only to have his advances turned down … after Simone’s run of having everyone and their dog desperate to have sex with Red Sonja, Amy and Erik have gone almost too far the other way and the only person shown to be interested in the She-Devil was Max right at the end of the Meru storyline. Konnar had a suitable leer in a couple of panels and was clearly keen to spend a bit more time with the Hyrkanian but it would’ve been fun to have seen him being more overt and Sonja’s own reaction to that.

I’ve seen people say that Sonja’s boobs have never been bigger than in this story. There’s a weird fad in South America at the moment for female bodybuilders to get absolutely enormous implants, and that’s exactly how Sonja looked here. Tom Garcia’s from Brazil, so I’m sure he had those bodybuilders in mind when he was coming up with his take on Sonja. I think she could’ve come down a cup size or a few but Garcia did a great job drawing Sonja with convincingly jacked shoulders, arms and legs … not just in the armwrestling scene but even in the panel where she’s trying to calm her horse down and deciding against taking her into the woods, her muscles bulge. You wonder whether the horse could’ve done anything if Sonja really wanted to take her. It’s a fantastic look for a character with Sonja’s lifestyle and appetite because she’s still drawn lean enough to pull off big leaps and somersaults etc. There’s certainly a big difference between Sonja’s body and Konnar’s, even if she’s the stronger of the two by a country mile. The key thing, though, is you could tell Sonja was a warrior just by looking at her body … she doesn’t need to be carrying a huge-ass sword to get that message across.

I think Garcia absolutely nailed Sonja’s physique but he made her look pretty as well … he didn’t draw Carlos’ range of expressions but her face alone conveyed her boredom, curiosity, rage and disbelief effectively at different points. Despite the fact that her top hardly concealed anything, he also at least resisted the temptation to put Sonja in a thong like Liam Sharp and so many artists on deviantART do.

For me, Garcia used fewer and fewer backgrounds as the story progressed, relying more on the darkness in the forest but he really did an outstanding job across the board in this story. His style is a little scratchy in places but he did a better job with the horror aspects of the story than Carlos could. His Gath wasn’t quite as menacing as Tom Mandrake’s but was much more fearsome than Carlos’ withered old man. The panel where Gath emerges was excellent … tremendous colouring too. I liked Garcia’s werewolf design … I’ve seen so many different werewolf variants over the years but this one was quite fresh. I’d just reduce the hairiness of the tail a bit … combined with the mane, it made the lycanthrope look more like a werehorse.

Garcia really wowed with the fight scene … the panels showing Sonja ducking the lycanthrope’s initial charge almost had a Japanese samurai feel to them. The up-close panels were just as good and Sonja’s method of putting the beast away was inventive, leaping onto the creature’s shoulders and driving her sword down. Presumably, most of the fight was choreographed by Garcia, I think Erik has a history of leaving that kind of thing to his artists for the most part. Garcia did as good a job establishing every aspect of Sonja’s skill and athleticism in very few pages as I’ve ever seen … we saw her speed in fighting the monster up close and dodging its swipes, her agility, her toughness and durability in absorbing a full-on blow from the creature and getting straight up, and her accuracy and raw power by hurling a sword a great distance and embedding it in the werewolf’s chest. All told, once Sonja told Gath she was going to finish the beast, she did so with ease in a few panels. It was a one-sided battle when Sonja got serious and one of the very best combat displays we’ve seen from her since Amy took over. I loved the use of red for the kill-shot panel … this comic really didn’t skimp on gore compared with the main series, which is only fair for a Halloween story.
Gath reappearing was irritating but at least his involvement was minimised. I guess Erik wanted some kind of dark Greek chorus for this outing but couldn’t think of anyone else to annoy Sonja while she fought the wolf. He could’ve used Sandak! At least Garcia did a good job drawing the sorcerer.

Gath’s mention of ‘instinct over intellect’ took me back to the confrontation in #4 … again, I wonder whether Erik was influenced by that issue. Of course, we later saw that it was just as easy for Sonja to get under Gath’s skin as vice versa but I do think that sometimes Sonja’s rashness is inconsistently portrayed. A good warrior should be patient and carry out a quick evaluation of a threat before striking. Sometimes Sonja does that under Amy and Erik, sometimes she doesn’t.
And then we got the denouement with the old woman and she turned out to be a ghost, who didn’t really care whether her son was released from his nefarious malady or just got a nice meal. Sonja’s angry at her perceived deception but ultimately shrugs her shoulders, says ‘what a waste’ and moves onto her next adventure. Kind of a ‘meh’ ending but at least Sonja’s reaction to the crone is consistent with her rage at Lera being economical with the truth in the Skath story.

Erik’s Sonja is an absolute treat … she has all the courage, honour and wisdom of the best Sonja interpretations but she can also be petulant, impatient, snide and mercurial. She’s the most interesting and well-rounded take on Sonja since Eric Trautmann’s … not quite as likeable as Amy Chu’s version but so much richer and more fun to read. Her reaction to the old woman requesting her help had me in stitches, just utter boredom with her chin propped on one hand and seeking Konnar’s validation; however, once she suspected Konnar of cowardice, she was lightning quick to act and to take the woman’s side. Her muttered ‘Gods, I hate this time of year’ reaction to Gath’s teasing was hilarious.

I really enjoyed this story overall. I thought the other story in the special was a waste of 8 pages and I didn’t give it a second glance. Just pure filler, even in DeFalco’s name was attached to it. Like I said elsewhere, I’d have preferred to have seen the werewolf story stretched out, perhaps with a second fight in the forest or with more interplay between Sonja and Konnar.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on October 27, 2018, 05:50:59 AM
Great review, man.
You really hit on subtle plot points and characterizations.
You made the story as whole sound really appealing. Interesting this was set in the current continuity, and that it wasnt a typical light hearted ‘everyone has a nice moment and all is fine afterwards’ fluff piece. Also...Gath. He really is Sonja’s Lex Luthor ist he? Or, Thoth Amon would be more accurate i guess.
Tell you what, though, imma go ahead and pick this up (dang you), and put it between issues 22 & 23 of the regular series, thanks!
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on October 30, 2018, 12:28:02 PM
Great review, man.
You really hit on subtle plot points and characterizations.
You made the story as whole sound really appealing. Interesting this was set in the current continuity, and that it wasnt a typical light hearted ‘everyone has a nice moment and all is fine afterwards’ fluff piece. Also...Gath. He really is Sonja’s Lex Luthor ist he? Or, Thoth Amon would be more accurate i guess.
Tell you what, though, imma go ahead and pick this up (dang you), and put it between issues 22 & 23 of the regular series, thanks!

Haha, sorry about that! I really think the first story's worth picking up though, and it seemed like a lot of people liked the second one, even if I didn't.

I liked that Erik took care to tie this to the main series, even if we don't know exactly where it's set and in what time. My buddy on dA pointed out that the names sound Celtic, so it's unlikely to be Hyrkania and more likely just Sonja travelling around. Sonja's not returned to her own time yet, though, so this is probably still in Skath's era.

And yeah, this was a lot gorier than most of the current stuff, which is fine for Halloween. To be honest, I like my Sonja on the bloodier side anyway, that's what drew me to Dynamite's reboot in the first place ... swords thrust through mouths, eye gougings etc. Erik seems a lot less squeamish than Amy when it comes to chucking bucketloads of gore into his stories, his 'Long Walk To Oblivion' was pretty nasty in places too. I don't think Amy's purposely avoiding blood and guts, mind, I just don't think it's something at the forefront of her mind when she's writing.

Gath has been ridiculously overused, to the point when in 'Pathfinder: Worldscape', even Sonja herself remarked that she never seemed to fight anyone else. When your lead character is commenting on that within a story, you should make an effort to bring in new blood. To be fair, there was Sandak last arc but Gath has featured in 2 of the 4 big storylines so far and his amulet has been a key part of the third, as well as his clone henchwoman. I didn't mind Gath so much in this story because he took a back seat - his main role was to provide a distraction, so the werewolf could kill Konnar, and to then taunt Sonja during the fight itself.

Sonja used to fight Thulsa Doom a fair bit in the early Dynamite days and he was a way more engaging villain than Gath ... not as cookie-cutter evil villain, he was more shades of grey. At one point, Dynamite was even considering launching a 'Thulsa Doom' title ... he's a favourite of Luke Lieberman, who owns the rights to Red Sonja.

Feedback for the Halloween special has been pretty good, with a lot of folks mentioning Sonja's mammoth boobs and muscles. I've exchanged a few notes with artist Tom Garcia on deviantART and he said he'd LOVE to draw more Sonja - he said this was the most fun he'd ever had drawing a story.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on October 31, 2018, 05:59:38 AM
I did NOT enjoy the second story, i found it boring.
You werent wrong about the main story though, i really liked it, and it not being a traditional ‘good guy comes in saves the say’ yarn really helped w. that.

I got tired of SEEING Gath, but him as Sonja’s arch nemesis i dont mind, as he can be that w.out even being there. His amulet, his disciples, his creations...its actually very cool that his presence is always felt.
They just need to lay off him being around for a good bit. Almost 2 years of him is way too much.

Never read Thulsa Doom, TBH.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on November 01, 2018, 06:46:30 AM
I did NOT enjoy the second story, i found it boring.
You werent wrong about the main story though, i really liked it, and it not being a traditional ‘good guy comes in saves the say’ yarn really helped w. that.

I got tired of SEEING Gath, but him as Sonja’s arch nemesis i dont mind, as he can be that w.out even being there. His amulet, his disciples, his creations...its actually very cool that his presence is always felt.
They just need to lay off him being around for a good bit. Almost 2 years of him is way too much.

Never read Thulsa Doom, TBH.

I guess I like the idea of Gath's influence spreading far and wide, even when the old fart himself has kicked the bucket. I hope whoever takes over the new book stays away from him though. Amy and Erik can't seem to get enough of the guy ... there's a Christmas special coming up in early December, which is a flashback to an adventure in New York and guess who the villain is??!?

One thing that bugs me about Gath is why he doesn't just point a finger at Sonja and zap her, if she bugs him that much. If he's that powerful a sorcerer, why does he struggle so much against her? I know she riles him up but surely it's a completely one-sided contest, unless Sonja gets within sword's-reach of him? In #15, when Sonja fought her clone, she told Gath just before that he'd be wasting his time pointing at her in the arena and blasting but that struck me as empty bravado ... what was she going to do, deflect his bolts back at him like He-Man? Gath was about 20 feet above her and she was running around in a limited space.

Thulsa Doom was one of Conan's main rogues ... he was the guy played by James Earl Jones in the Schwarzenegger movie. In the comics, he was more of a sorcererer with a skull for a head. When Dynamite took over Sonja in 2005, they got ahold of the rights to Doom as well but although there were a couple of really good mini-series of Sonja vs Doom, they never really took him any further. Like I said, it's a pity because Doom wasn't quite so much of a cookie cutter villain as Gath, he was much more like Black Adam - a ruler of a country who was definitely ruthless but who cared about his people. He was also immortal and his appearance changed quite a bit over time.

The Sonja mini-series 'Doom Of The Gods' is really worth tracking down on readcomiconline.to - it's one of the most intense Sonja series I've ever read. There's not much humour to it, it's all about Sonja being driven beyond the limits of her sanity to fight Doom. It's really gory, really dark but Sonja is beyond badass in it.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on November 01, 2018, 12:33:21 PM
Quote
I guess I like the idea of Gath's influence spreading far and wide, even when the old fart himself has kicked the bucket. I hope whoever takes over the new book stays away from him though. Amy and Erik can't seem to get enough of the guy ... there's a Christmas special coming up in early December, which is a flashback to an adventure in New York and guess who the villain is??!?
I like seeing Gath’s ingluence too, like said; amulet, disciples, creations. Its good stuff!
The man himself though, benefits from being ‘the unseen’.
But you wont catch me complaining about an untold ‘Sonja in the present’ adventure.

If i pick up the new book, i’ll be open to new villains, Doom included.
As to the question of how Sonja’s still alive considering Gath’s ability to end her, i dont much mind/think about it. Its a staple of every type of fiction that characters (both good AND bad) that should realistically kill others, dont!
Unless its parodied or done especially badly, i barely even notice.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on November 02, 2018, 07:42:26 AM
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I guess I like the idea of Gath's influence spreading far and wide, even when the old fart himself has kicked the bucket. I hope whoever takes over the new book stays away from him though. Amy and Erik can't seem to get enough of the guy ... there's a Christmas special coming up in early December, which is a flashback to an adventure in New York and guess who the villain is??!?
I like seeing Gath’s ingluence too, like said; amulet, disciples, creations. Its good stuff!
The man himself though, benefits from being ‘the unseen’.
But you wont catch me complaining about an untold ‘Sonja in the present’ adventure.

If i pick up the new book, i’ll be open to new villains, Doom included.
As to the question of how Sonja’s still alive considering Gath’s ability to end her, i dont much mind/think about it. Its a staple of every type of fiction that characters (both good AND bad) that should realistically kill others, dont!
Unless its parodied or done especially badly, i barely even notice.

I dunno, I always feel that in wizard vs warrior contests, the wizard should win every time unless they're a fucking imbecile or unless the warrior has something to counteract the wizard's powers e.g. Thor's more resistant to Loki's magic than other characters. It's like pitting somebody with a handgun against somebody with a sword. Sonja's good at getting in Gath's head but she's also prone to acting impulsively, as Gath pointed out in the Halloween special. Look at how easily Gath was able to outmanoeuvre her in #6, teleport behind her and stab her in the back! Why couldn't he just do that a few more times?

Comics, I guess. I just like to see writers bearing this in mind when they're scripting Sonja vs Gath scraps. To be fair, there haven't been many straight-up battles between the two, usually it's Gath sending some crony against Sonja and then being defeated by other means.

Sandak was a big step in the right direction ... having a wicked merchant made a nice change. Some kind of evil priest might be cool. In Gail Simone's Tarzan crossover, Sonja's fighting a Cimmerian hunter called Eson Duul but Simone's Sonja isn't close to being as tough as Amy and Erik's. It'd be good to see Sonja going up against a warrior who can present her with a legit challenge. Lord Skath did OK in sparring but the writers indicated that he wasn't  in Sonja's league, at least not in his aged, rusty state.

For the remainder of the run, Sonja will be taking on some kind of monster (I wanna say a gryphon? Think I read that somewhere), a witch and then the last story is some kind of whacky adventure with her beating up a bunch of hoodlums who attack a travelling musician and then striking up a friendship with that musician.

The Xmas tale does sound fun. The artist Ricardo Jaime is FANTASTIC ... lots of Brian Bolland in his style but I see a Benes influence as well, so he'll probably bring the cheesecake. The only thing is where they'd place the tale time-wise ... Sonja was only in NYC for 2 or 3 days, so where would this separate adventure fit in? Amy and Erik are pretty much done, though, so I doubt they particularly care. I guess you could treat it as a 'what if' type tale.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on November 02, 2018, 08:58:09 AM
Yeah, you can drive yourself nuts w. that ‘he should logically have killed her ages ago’ train of thought.
Not just w. Sonja, but w. characters across the board.

Personally i really liked Sandak, but w. the current book ending he may never return. :(
Creating more than one off bad guys is something i advocate. I’ve mentioned it before. So, here’s hoping.

Thanks for the heads up on the last 3 issues. Sounds like it’ll be ending well, and Gath-less!

Was it only 2-3 days? Wow, i guess it was. Seemed like longer. Yeah, i’m just gonna roll w. that one and What If it in my head...!
 
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Sick Nick on November 05, 2018, 06:31:40 AM
Yeah, you can drive yourself nuts w. that ‘he should logically have killed her ages ago’ train of thought.
Not just w. Sonja, but w. characters across the board.

At least with someone like He-Man or Thor, though, you can shrug and say 'magic sword' or 'magic powers'. Sonja doesn't have that luxury. It would help if Gath's characterisation was consistent but it seems like half the time, Sonja sees the red mist and flies headlong at him without thinking and half the time, Gath seems to lose his marbles and wits at the mere sight of Sonja.

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Personally i really liked Sandak, but w. the current book ending he may never return. :(

I think we've definitely seen the last of him. Probably seen the last of Skath, Cloneja, Taya and Lera as well, unless the next writer is fond of them and decides to bring them back. I think Lera in particular still has shitloads of mileage in her as a character, and the way things were closed off with her were a little weak. I'd like to see Lera seeking revenge against Sonja in the future

Skath would be a really useful ally for Sonja in an era decades or centuries after her own. I think the whole 'out of time' thing will be forgotten after this volume though

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Creating more than one off bad guys is something i advocate. I’ve mentioned it before. So, here’s hoping.

Thanks for the heads up on the last 3 issues. Sounds like it’ll be ending well, and Gath-less!

I think they'll be fun, standalone adventures. We haven't had enough solo tales before now and the Halloween story reminded me how fun they can be. The artwork should be interesting ... Carlos is supposedly back next issue but there's a different artist for the final two.

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Was it only 2-3 days? Wow, i guess it was. Seemed like longer. Yeah, i’m just gonna roll w. that one and What If it in my head...!

It's gonna be really difficult to place the story otherwise! It was really cold when Sonja visited New York but there was no indication it was Xmas ... also, I think the cold was supposed to be an unnatural byproduct of Sonja's travelling through time. The snow seemed to disappear after she hooked up with Max.

I'm jonesing for the Xmas special though, just based on the art alone.
Title: Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
Post by: Riv1 on November 06, 2018, 06:19:06 AM
And now i guess we just enjoy whats left and look forward to what’s next?

Seems too optimistic!