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Messages - Sick Nick

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1
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.

2
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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.

3
ICT / Re: Thunderstrike VS Terrax
« on: November 01, 2018, 06:50:28 AM »
I can see it going either way.

Off topic, did the real deal Thor ever fight Terrax?  Seems he has fought every other major herald at some point.

I'm positive I saw a fight where Thor and She-Hulk doubleteamed Terrax and stomped him but it might have been OOC

Also think Thor beat Terrax in Heroes Reborn but again, out of continuity.

I wouldn't totally rule out Thunderstrike's chances here but he's definitely the underdog.

4
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.

5
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.

6
ICT / Re: Vampirella vs Skinner Sweet (American Vampire)
« on: October 30, 2018, 06:37:02 AM »
By contrast, Vampirella moved the Lincoln Memorial by herself and has thrown cars like baseballs.

Was this the original version or the 90's version?  Either way, that's damned impressive.

Sorry, I missed this. I'm pretty sure this happened in the Dynamite series, although chucking cars around happened in the 90s.

The thing with Vampi is her strength varies quite a bit ... she can go from doing something like this to struggling with other vampires or a big crowd of normal people. Her average is probably higher than Drac's though ... she's consistently Spider-Man level.

There's a good respect thread across all her appearances here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/respectthreads/comments/4v4cjx/respect_vampirella_vampirella_comics/

7
ICT / Re: Vampirella vs Skinner Sweet (American Vampire)
« on: October 26, 2018, 06:05:15 AM »
By contrast, Vampirella moved the Lincoln Memorial by herself and has thrown cars like baseballs.
Do you think she could take Marvel Dracula?

Probably not. She varies a massive amount but at her high-end she's a good bit stronger, although Drac caught a punch from Colossus once. She's a better HTH fighter but ultimately she's nowhere near as versatile as the Count. He could just turn into weather and rain on her, until she gets a cold.

8
ICT / Re: Vampirella vs Skinner Sweet (American Vampire)
« on: October 25, 2018, 11:21:57 AM »
By contrast, Vampirella moved the Lincoln Memorial by herself and has thrown cars like baseballs.

9
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.

10
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.

11
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.

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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.

12
ICT / Re: Nods to Strawman: Stegron vs Sauron
« on: October 23, 2018, 09:29:55 AM »
Also Sauron's a pterosaur, not a dinosaur. So fuck you and your stuck-in-the-1950s science.

13
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.

14
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.

15
ICT / Re: Nods to Strawman: Stegron vs Sauron
« on: October 15, 2018, 11:57:52 AM »
Punch up ... Stegron EASILY

Sauron probably hypnofucks him for teh win though

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