Gail Simone is perhaps the most famous woman in the world of modern comic writing. She’s had runs on Action Comics, Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey and is currently writing Batgirl and the upcoming “the movement” series, among others. She’s also known to coin the term “women in refrigerators”. And now she’s also writing the Red Sonja reboot.
Before I get into this review, I should note that I’ve read a total of one Red Sonja comic in the past, and I thought it was just ok.
This comic does a good job at introducing the title character to new readers, as well as giving her a general origin story without wasting too much time on it. She’s portrayed as a woman who has lost much of her humanity, and is firmly a warrior with a total lack of manners. The best example of her toughness in this comic is a scene where she’s confronted with bandits. With her words alone, she intimidates all but one of them, and later shows that her fighting skills easily match her spirit.
The rest of the comic has her helping a king she respects fight off an army they shouldn’t have a chance against. There are some humorous lines regarding types of clothing she isn’t used to wearing, and the pages where she’s training people show off her motivational skills and leadership.
The thing that bothered me the most about the issue that I read before, and this issue as well, is Red Sonja’s outfit. Sure, her skimpy armor fits her character in this comic well, but it still feels a bit odd that a leader would be wearing little more than a chainmail bikini against an army that vastly outnumbers her own. Even so, She is respectfully drawn in this comic, and it never degrades toward exploitive or cheesecake. She still appears imposing when she needs to, and her battle stances appear natural. The art throughout this book is well done, from the several large battle scenes complete with plenty of soldiers and environmental damage, to the banquet scene with a number of different outfits on display.
This was a good start to Red Sonja’s reboot. There’s lots of action, a fair amount of entertaining dialogue and a strong introduction to the title character. I would have liked to learn more about the world this series takes place in, but there’s always room for that in future issues. While I didn’t think this was great, it was good enough for me to give the next issue a shot. I don’t know how this compares to the series before the reboot, but this is worth reading if you’re interested in checking Red Sonja out.