Last month, I reviewed this series for the first time. It took me a while to figure out how I felt about Red Sonja being in the modern world all the sudden. The third issue (the fourth if you include the 0 issue) is where I started to actually enjoy this series instead of just thinking that I did. That said, there was still a lot of mystery as to how Sonja, and an enemy sorcerer of hers, ended up in the modern world.
Written by Amy Chu, Red Sonja 4 not only explains a good chunk of what’s going on, but it gives us our first major action scene. The previous issue ended with Sonja running into the sorcerer at an event in a museum. Throughout the run, she’s been helped by a cop who somehow speaks her language, and there are a few minor flashbacks to the past that partially explain what’s going on. Like I said, this issue puts everything together in a satisfying manner. Without specific spoilers, the cop is directly involved with everything.
After a quick yet dramatically effective explanation, the sorcerer summons a giant beast that he used to destroy a town of mages. The event descends into chaos, with attendees fleeing the battle, while Red Sonja and the cop try to figure out a way to destroy the monster. It’s pretty intense, with glimpses outside of the museum to give us an idea of how much damage is being caused. All in all, this is a fairly quick read, but an entertaining one at that.
The art by Carlos Gomez is great for the most part. It’s a bit of a smooth, simple look, but with plenty of environmental detail when it’s needed. There’s also a good variety of attendants surrounding the action, some in suits and dresses while others are cosplaying. The sorcerer’s smug looks while he’s bragging about the power he’s gained are more than enough to show us how evil he is. There’s a lot of debris flying around while the monster destroys the museum, including shards of glass, bent metal tables and all sorts of dust. My only real complaint is that Red Sonja’s battle bikini, like in previous issues, tends to ride a bit low on her chest. It looks like it would just slide off if she even takes one step. That said, her posing is mostly intimidating or battle ready, and the angles are never exploitive. The colouring by Mohan is great. The museum is mostly brown inside, with the monster’s red skin and green blood mixing things up, while it’s very colourful outside with the flashing fire truck lights and the darkened evening sky.
This is a fun series about a medieval barbarian somehow ending up in the modern world. Throw in some magic, a giant monster and some remaining mystery as to how a small group of people ended up being transported into modern times and you have a complete package. Chu’s Red Sonja took a cliché concept and turned it into something worth reading. Red Sonja fans should check this series out.
Pingback: Comics of April 19, 2017 | healed1337
Is Red Sonja an old series? I have the impression I’ve seen this around for a very long time now. The battle bikini would have been a complaint myself, thinking that the series was more focused on visuals and eye candy rather than story, but this review does make me think twice.
The character’s been around for decades. I think she was originally created at Marvel, but she’s now owned by Dynamite. And there is kind-of a story reason behind it – it’s meant to distract her opponents. Whether you buy that reason or not is up to you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
The first Dynamite explanation was distraction. There’s also the fact it helps Sonja’s agility and she’s so quick and good in battle, it’s almost impossible to land a hit on her, so the lack of coverage doesn’t matter. On the flipside, Amy Chu’s Sonja has superhuman strength so a suit of armour isn’t going to slow her down in battle. Another in-story reason for the bikini is that characters in her world associate it with Sonja and her terrifying reputation … she was once attacked by brigands when wearing different clothes because they refused to believe she was Red Sonja. Ultimately though, it’seems Sonja’s best known and best loved outfit, regardless of the senior implications. In the last series, she wore a more modest outfit and the series flopped, although to be fair, the writing and art are infinitely better in this series. There’s an amusing exchange between Sonja and a bartender in #3 about the protection offered by the bikini. In any case, I have a suspicion Sonja’s outfit is going to change a bit after the current story arc finishes in #6.