Red Sonja #1 Review

Reviewer: Jimmy Lin

Written by: M. A. Oeming and Mike Carey
Art by: Mel Rubi
Lettered by: Comicraft
Colored by: Caesar Rodriguez
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Here’s the thing: I’ve never seen Red Sonja, read any of the Conan books, or been a big fantasy fan. Oh sure, I’ve picked up some stuff here and there (absolutely adore Barker’s Imajica), but for the most part, I find that the long, extended plotlines lack thematic cohesion and the characterizations rather inane. Sure, it’s pulp – but pulp doesn’t have to be bad, or boring.

So when Dell assigned me to review Red Sonja #1, I figured it would be an opportunity for something new to grace my retinas. Something fresh, something interesting, something enjoyable. I frolicked to my local comics store, plucked a copy off the shelf, and retired to mi casa to enjoy a brand new world. The papa-san cradled my buttocks as I settled in for an enjoyable read. Fifteen minutes later, I had come to one, inexorable conclusion:

meh

Even without exposure to any previous <>Red Sonja material, I had some expectations about what I was getting into. Scantily-clad warrior women, stilted language, unnatural creatures, battles, and armor. And that’s pretty much what I got. And that’s pretty much all I got. The story goes: Sonja, en route to her next adventure, saves a messenger bearing a message of surrender. The messenger guides her to his city, but before they arrive, he’s possessed by an aquatic demon. Vanquishing said demon, Sonja arrives in the city of Gathia, where she meets a hostile reception.

Really. That’s all you need to know.

All right, all right, there’s more. Sonja looks sexy in a bikini and her sword is big. End of story.

Sorry, but I just didn’t get anything from this book. The dialogue is standard fantasy fare, the story is as worn out as Carmen Electra’s chest, and the art is good but nothing exciting. The visual look is slightly better than average, and that alone earns the lukewarm rating I’m giving it. Kudos to the colorist Caesar Rodriguez, whose work breathes some vibrance into this utterly mediocre outing.

Final Word: Buy it if you’re a fan (there’s a bajillion variant covers). Otherwise, it’s just meh. That’s it. Go home. Nothing to see here.