REVIEW: Red Sonja #17

Gail Simone (w) 
Walter Geovani (a)
Dynamite Entertainment (p)

At last! I knew it had to happen. After reading a Sonja of various quality in various crossovers and the current Swords of Sorrow tie-in books, I knew at some point I would see a book that shows me why this character is so popular. This book has it all; a chat with death, an orgy, some nuns and an evil Empress. If that isn’t enough to get you to buy the book I don’t know what is!

Seriously though, the book starts with Sonja kind of basking in the glory of her latest victory and headed for some much need R&R. In the morning after the night before, Sonja is intrigued enough by three nuns to journey to their keep in order to hear their leaders’ plea for protection against the aforementioned evil Empress.

Gail Simone is writing a character that it seems is free from the “can’t do that” mentality that I presume she had to face when working on Big two characters. Looking at her Batgirl run for instance, when did Barbara just kick back and enjoy herself. For Barbara, even having a (kind of) boyfriend was complicated. It’s ironic that the new Barbara does indeed know to have fun. Back to Sonja, the story moves with a clarity of purpose and even if the third act starts in a stereotypical way, it is handled well through the use of the motivations of the characters involved. The script is fun and flirty and like Sonja herself, makes no attempts to apologise for who she is or what she does.

Art is by Walter Geovani, whose work I have seen before. I don’t know what is different here, but it seems a lot stronger than I remember previously seeing. The page layout is great, with action pieces showing plenty of thought to how said action is to be shown, with the quieter panels allowing in places, the words to carry the story. If I had any grumble at all, it would that there seems to be a slight inconsistency with Sonja’s face, but this is only a minor complaint. The copy I am reviewing has the main cover by Jenny Frison. With a cover of this quality, I am unsure why you would want a variant. Granted it isn’t very story specific, but as a piece of art it looks great!

I have been patient with Sonja. The Swords crossover doesn’t show her in the best light, but as proven here and in the 1973 special a couple of weeks back, she is definitely a fun character to spend some time with.

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