In the first issue of Marguerite Bennett’s Red Sonja run, the old king of Hyrkania died. In the year that passed, Sonja grew increasingly bored with the total lack of people deserving a killing, making for a fun comic, but one that made it hard to see where the series was going. That is until the very end, where she caught a group of soldiers about to execute an innocent family. That’s where this issue begins.
First off, Red Sonja 2 is fun. Sonja holds back in the opening action scene, reluctant to kill the soldiers of her homeland, yet she still spanks them hard. The rest of the comic is a mix of scenes that shows part of what Hyrkania is like under its new king, in ways that Sonja didn’t see before. As fun as it is, it’s also a neat look into what a propaganda-based culture can be like. Even if it doesn’t go too deep into it yet, there’s a lot of potential for some great storytelling with how propaganda can fool a nation, yet it won’t fool everyone. In this issue’s end, Sonja comes face to face with the new king, and it turns out they’ve met before. Without spoiling it, the sequence on the last page is both exciting and kind of hilarious.
The art by Aneke is great. The opening action scene gives Sonja a good show of skill while she’s clearly holding back. The action flows well and there’s a good amount of blood without going overboard. There’s a live performance scene that’s complete with a good assortment of weird costumes and varied audience members. Everything has an overall clean appearance. Jorge Sutil’s colouring is vibrant, making for a comic that’s appealing to look at.
Red Sonja 2 is a fun comic, and sometimes, fun is all you need. That said, there is a level of brilliance behind the fun storytelling in a way that could lead to some brilliant commentary. While I’ll be a little disappointed if Bennett doesn’t take advantage of this potential, so long as this series remains fun, I’m in. Red Sonja fans should check this out, as should anyone who’s interested in checking her out.