The first issue in Gail Simone’s Red Sonja reboot showed a lot of promise. It did a great job at introducing the character, and teased an epic fight scene with its ending. This issue is just as good, although I’m still not yet sure how I feel overall.
The bulk of this issue is one giant battle. Red Sonja leads an army in a desperate defense against a vastly superior force … being led by a fellow survivor of a gladiator ring. Simone does a great job delving into their relationship, as well as the survivor guilt they both suffer. Along the way are several plot twists that will likely lead to some very interesting character work down the road.
As I said in the review of issue 1, the thing that bothers me the most about Sonja is her skimpy armour. It was a pleasant surprise to see that work to Sonja’s disadvantage in this issue.
The art is great all around. Despite Sonja’s skimpy armor, she’s never drawn in awkward cheesecake poses. She always appears more imposing than attractive, to the point where any sane man would be afraid of her. There’s a fair amount of detail on the battlefield, and there’s great use of blood splashes and stains. There’s a good variety of facial expressions as well, especially toward the end of the battle as the dramatic moments pile on.
As good as this comic is though, I’m not sure that it’s for me. As much as I can enjoy good medieval fiction, I was never really into barbarian movies. I might give the next issue a shot; it depends on what else is releasing that week. It’s a well written comic; it just doesn’t fit my personal taste. If a series about a barbarian woman sounds interesting, this is worth a read at least.