The anthology/mini-series hybrid continues to celebrate Red Sonja’s 40th anniversary. With Gail Simone as the lead writer, this series showcases a number of writers and artists taking on the Red headed She Devil. And as with the first issue, this one is kind of awesome.
The main plot of this miniseries involves a group of people hunting down Red Sonja. In their travels, they are told a number of stories about the title character; stories of different actions and deeds she’s done in the past. In the first issue, most of these stories are simply insane and hard to believe. With this issue though, there are just two side stories. Each are told by someone who wants to protect Sonja one way or another, either through reducing her actions or trying to scare her pursuers off. Because there are only two stories in this issue, they both have more time to develop. It’s also fun that Sonja clearly knows she’s being followed.
The art is also good. Each of the “legend” stories has its own art separate from the main story. The divide even happens on the first page, yet they’re similar enough that it’s not the least bit jarring. There’s a lot of environmental detail in from all the artists. The first legend’s art proudly shows the numerous teeth in the wild boar and plenty of detail on both the monster at the end and on Sonja’s, well … battle bikini. The scenes in the marketplaces have a lot of different people, many with different looks and outfits. When one character is supposed to look beautiful in the second story, she really does. When Sonja is supposed to look hung over, she looks wrecked. And as much as the battle bikini is still what bothers me the most about this series, Sonja is always drawn more tough than seductive.
I’ve never really been a fan of Barbarian stories, but Gail Simone has turned me into a fan. It’s clear that she loves the character, and each of the writers involved with this mini-series does as well. If you have any interest in checking Red Sonja out, this mini-series is the perfect place to start.