I loved Gail Simone’s run on Red Sonja. It turned me into a fan of a character I never thought I would be a fan of, so you could say that new series writer Marguerite Bennett has big shoes to fill. I wasn’t worried though; Bennett has been proving herself a great writer in her own right in Angela: Queen of Hel, Years of Future Past and several other titles.
Red Sonja 1 starts with the death of a king. The rest of the issue is about Red Sonja growing bored with the peaceful kingdom the previous king turned Hyrkania into. It’s an amusing sequence where she reconsiders the previous king’s offer for her to take up the throne, while she hears of potential threats only to learn they’ve been dealt with already. It’s a fun way to glimpse into Sonja’s head without too much exposition. Of course the ending shows that not everything is what it seems, and Sonja will get back to her She Devil ways in the next issue. As proven in 1602 Witch Hunter Angela, Bennett is quite capable of writing in a medieval style that only adds to the mythology in a series like this.
The art by Aneke is great. Red Sonja’s new look is familiar yet it makes more sense from a fighting standpoint. Her facial expressions do a great job at capturing her boredom, and the seconds of excitement when she finds a potential problem to solve … before it’s solved by someone else. The backgrounds are complete with plenty of details, whether it’s the plant life of the wilds or the village in the background when she stands near the top of a hill. My only complaint is that nothing is done to alter the look of Sonja’s dream sequence, which confused me on my first reading when I didn’t realize it was a dream sequence. Jorge Sutil’s colouring is also great; the whole comic is bright and colourful.
Although this issue doesn’t have much action, it’s a great start to Bennett’s Red Sonja run. The real test for this series will be with the next issue though, when things start to pick up. Red Sonja fans should give this a shot.