Back, late last year Dynamite announced that three of its leading ladies, Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris, were going to get a makeover for 2016. Sonja is up first with a change of outfit and a change of writer to boot. But is all this change mere cosmetics?
Red Sonja has been on a quest, to obtain a potion to save the dying King of Hyrkania. Despite the various trouble she encounters, Sonja succeeds in delivering the potion only to fail as its magic don’t work. Spurning the offer to be Queen, Sonja leaves the land for a while. Still you can’t keep a good she-devil down for too long before she is off looking for another quest to fill her days.
Margueritte Bennett is on hand to chronicle Sonja’s tale, with more humour than readers would have come to expect from the series previous writer, Gail Simone. Bennett is quietly carving out a name for herself, having worked on some pretty big A-list books such as A-Force and the excellent InSexts. Her Sonja book falls somewhere between the too polar opposites. Dialogue wise, its pretty much what you would expect for the most part. The strength of the writing does show in Sonja’s own voice, her musings about what would happen if she were Queen and the realisation of the predicament she has set for herself through her own non action. As first issues go, the pace is a tad slow, meaning that you would expect things to speed up in later issues. Still, if you are a returning Sonja fan, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Art is supplied by Dynamite regular Aneke. Now, I know that Aneke’s work can be divisive, looking at some of the comments posted from previous reviews. But credit were credit is due; for the most part the art in the book is pretty darn good. Granted there, aren’t a lot of fight scenes for the Aneke to worry about, but look at the panel of Sonja nearly asleep on her horse; it captures the dialogue and the emotion brilliantly. That said, there are a couple of panels, facial mainly, where some people’s concern of the consistency of Aneke work comes into play. If Aneke could curb these little blips of inconsistency, I am sure that her work would garner more fans.
Overall, this is a nice, if a tad sedate, way to start the new volume off. In Bennett, Dynamite have a writer that is capable of writing a mix of tones throughout the book, which should in turn, lead to a more well-rounded version of this iconic character.