Herochat

Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?

Sick Nick

  • ****
  • 821
  • +8/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #180 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.
Hyrkanian Badass



Beats camel punching, eh, Conan?

Riv1

  • ************
  • 20030
  • +64/-1057
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #181 on: September 26, 2018, 12:54:08 AM »
OMG, that sounds great!

S__C__O__U__R__G__E___B__R__E__A__K__E__R

Sick Nick

  • ****
  • 821
  • +8/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #182 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.
Hyrkanian Badass



Beats camel punching, eh, Conan?

Riv1

  • ************
  • 20030
  • +64/-1057
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #183 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!

S__C__O__U__R__G__E___B__R__E__A__K__E__R

Riv1

  • ************
  • 20030
  • +64/-1057
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #184 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. 

S__C__O__U__R__G__E___B__R__E__A__K__E__R

Sick Nick

  • ****
  • 821
  • +8/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #185 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.
Hyrkanian Badass



Beats camel punching, eh, Conan?

Riv1

  • ************
  • 20030
  • +64/-1057
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #186 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. :(

S__C__O__U__R__G__E___B__R__E__A__K__E__R

Sick Nick

  • ****
  • 821
  • +8/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #187 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.
Hyrkanian Badass



Beats camel punching, eh, Conan?

Riv1

  • ************
  • 20030
  • +64/-1057
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #188 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.

S__C__O__U__R__G__E___B__R__E__A__K__E__R

Sick Nick

  • ****
  • 821
  • +8/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #189 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.
Hyrkanian Badass



Beats camel punching, eh, Conan?

Riv1

  • ************
  • 20030
  • +64/-1057
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #190 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.

S__C__O__U__R__G__E___B__R__E__A__K__E__R

Sick Nick

  • ****
  • 821
  • +8/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #191 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.
Hyrkanian Badass



Beats camel punching, eh, Conan?

Riv1

  • ************
  • 20030
  • +64/-1057
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #192 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!

S__C__O__U__R__G__E___B__R__E__A__K__E__R

Sick Nick

  • ****
  • 821
  • +8/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Is anyone reading the current series of ‘Red Sonja’?
« Reply #193 on: Today at 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.
Hyrkanian Badass



Beats camel punching, eh, Conan?