Red_Sonja_1.jpegLike many comics enthusiast, when I hear of a new release, I often buy that first issue to give it a try. Hey, I’m even more of a loyalist than that; I’ll often buy the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and even a 5th issue, trying to give the benefit of the doubt to the creators of the comic. Rarely am I a one-and-done kind of gal. So I went into the comics store this morning and straight back to where i knew Red Sonja #1 from Dynamite would be. Luckily for me, I only had three covers to choose from, and I got the last of the #1 cover (there are 16 covers in all).

I have to admit, I haven’t been this excited about a first issue in quite some time. And why wouldn’t I be with all the hype surrounding this issue. It’s being billed as follow: “Red Sonja gets a fresh new attitude by the dream team of writer GAIL SIMONE (Batgirl, Birds of Prey) and artist WALTER GEOVANI (Prophecy, Witchblade), on the book they were born to create” (From mycomicshop.com). Those are some pretty bold words, and typically when something has been hyped-up, it sets the reader up for disappointment.

So was I disappointed? Would it help if I told you I am now a dedicated fan and will buy every issue until Simone no longer writes the book? Yea, I thought so. Often, restarts, or first issues can be hard to get into right away. Unless you just completely hate the book, it can take 3, 4, sometimes 5 issues to get a feel for it and get your bearings, but NOT Red Sonja. This book starts at what we can consider a beginning and never once did I ask myself what was going on, or why, or who the major players were. I find that extremely refreshing in a comics world where it seems writers often try to throw as much at you as they can in a first issue to interest you, and what it actually ends up doing is just confusing you to no end.

Not with Red Sonja. The book begins with “Victory” as we’re told on the first splash page and then we quickly learn that Red Sonja has been a prisoner and slave to the previous King, and the victorious King Dimath shows mercy to her and her fellow female prisoner, whose identity we do not learn. Fast forward a few “turns of the season” and we find Red Sonja being tracked down by two lovely women who call her things like “ladyship” and “glorious sword-princess.” They have come to ask her to return at King Dimath’s request to help his troubled kingdom.

I don’t want to spoil the comic for you, so we’ll fast forward to the ending. I wouldn’t call the ending “shocking”, but it was a bit of a surprise. Ok, so in hindsight maybe I should’ve been more prepared for the ending, but seriously, Simone does such a good job of drawing me into the story that I seriously was not expecting it. I would be interested to know how many of you who’ve read it saw the ending coming?

Red Sonja

So what do I like about the book? As always, I LOVE Gail Simone’s sense of humor. Is the comic “funny”? No, but life isn’t funny either, yet we find moments to laugh, and this is what Simone brings to this character that I absolutely love. Take the page below, for instance.

Our “bodyguards” have gone from calling Red Sonja “ladyship” and “glorious sword-princess” to “she of the excellent cleavage” (that seems to be the understatement of the century!). Not only does the writing have Simone’s sense of humor, but artist Walter Geovani has captured it in the illustrations as well. The faces of the “bodyguards” in panels 2 & 4 capture the hilarity of the moment perfectly.

For me, this is one of the best first issues I have had the pleasure of reading in quite a while. I was worried that all the hype was just that, but the book actually delivers and this is a comic I will look forward to each and every month.

About The Author

My name is Dianna, and I hail from the land of the lakes, aka Michigan. My full time job has me running a writing center, teaching writing classes (hopefully soon teaching a comics course), and doing all sorts of techy things, since that’s what I did in a previous life.

At this point in my life, comics are both my passion and my research. I am lucky in that I get to combine my passion into my everyday work. But here at Destroy the Cyborg I get to have fun and chat about what I'm reading. Feel free to chime in on my post, even if it's to tell my how dead wrong I got something.

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