Sometimes comics have to be delayed. This comic’s about a month late, and I’ve been unable to find out exactly why. Heck, Dynamite’s website still lists Red Sonja 8’s release date for last week. Sometimes it’s worth the wait and sometimes it really is not. Red Sonja 7 was definitely worth the wait.
The first six issues of Red Sonja were a very pleasant surprise. I’m not usually a fan of barbarian stories, but Gail Simone’s run has been full of awesome from the start. This issue kicks off a new storyline, and a bit of a bizarre one at that. Sonja must collect six of the world’s greatest artisans for … a party? Don’t worry, the comic amusingly makes sense of the story. The bulk of this issue takes place in a swamp inhabited by inbred cannibals who are holding the world’s greatest cook hostage. It’s dark, weird, and it’s my favourite comic of the week.
There’s a lot of humour in this comic, ranging from Sonja’s usual tough attitude to the black humour coming from the cannibals. It’s hard to pick any specific highlight in the dialogue as it’s all full of delightful insults, thinly veiled threats and a perceived misuse of Cimmerian Ale. The cannibals are an eccentric bunch, yet Simone somehow makes them convincing enough to make it work.
The art is also very good. The swamp itself is full of twisted roots, dirty water and a murky atmosphere. The water often remains on Sonja’s outfit and she looks appropriately wet. The cannibals have a very interesting design, with their face paint and various swamp plants being used as jewelry. Their camp also has an interesting design, as they use a mix of trees and likely stolen chairs to sit on. The chief’s throne has skulls attached to the top. And as usual, the action flows beautifully.
This comic was just plain fun. It appears as though the next six issues will each be one off stories as Sonja searches for an artisan in each. As such, this is an easy comic for new readers to jump into. This is the perfect time to check out Simone’s critically acclaimed run on the series. Just do yourself a favour and check it out if you haven’t already.