Red Sonja #2 by Gail Simone (Comics Review)
Quite unintentionally, sort of, last week was a full-on comics week for the blog. And it seems that it was also a week where Gail Simone was 2/2 for her releases, Batgirl #23 (review) and this one, the second installment of her Red Sonja reboot for Dynamite Entertainment. Her first issue (review) was an absolutely amazing issue and everything that I expected from the second one, I got, and then some.
Currently, the only other writers who are hitting the same kind of heights for me right now are Scott Snyder with Batman, Geoff Johns with Aquaman/Justice League/Justice League of America and Jason Aaron with Thor: God of Thunder.
Its also great to see that two incredibly awesome female characters in comics are being written by one of the best in the industry. Its heartening. I love it. And I want more.
When last we were with Sonja in issue #1, we saw that she had just gotten the shock of her life by the sudden appearance of a character from her past, a glimpse of which we see very early on in that issue. The entire second issue is one long drawn-out battle in which Sonja and this character fight it out while surrounded by a raging battle between the ragtag forces of a broken kingdom and the army of horrors that this other character has brought to bear.
As expected, Gail’s knack for turning readers’ expectations on their head is in full-force in this comic. And all her usual stylistic tricks are also in full effect. Much of this issue is taken up with the ongoing battle, but even in such a chaotic atmosphere, we get brief flashes of the small, personal moments. As I’ve mentioned several times before, moments like these are Gail’s forte and she is an excellent storyteller in that regard. Combined with Walter Geovani’s amazing pencils, and Adriano Lucas’ eye-catching colours, these small moments take on a life of their own.
With Sonja herself, her personal duel is one which decides her ultimate fate and is a microcosmic moment where who she is, what she is, and why she is what she is, it is all challenged most thoroughly. I remarked in my review of the first issue that I wanted a lot of character development in this series, and this is exactly what Gail Simone delivers on here, once again. There is so much character development, whether that be for Sonja or the antagonist character, and we even see glimpses of their trials together from their past, some three years ago before King Dimath ever interfered in their lives, as we saw in the previous issue.
And then, just the way that Gail takes all of it forward, to show how far someone can truly fall while surrounded by darkness and the loneliness of one’s self, that is the moment where Red Sonja #2 truly becomes an issue which is heads and shoulders above the rest that I read last week, and which I’d even count as my “issue of the year”. Again, it all comes down to challenging readers’ expectations. The antagonism between Sonja and the other character is not one that is borne out of pettiness or jealousy or any such mundane concept. It is more than that.
Finally, that ending, the last four pages of this issue. Absolutely mind-blowing. A grand ending to what was already such a fantastic issue. Completely unexpected, I assure you, and handled with such deftness, that I read this issue twice, and then once more just now, while writing this review. The same thing happened with Batgirl #23 with me, and in that case, I read the issue several times back to back.
Gail definitely has outdone herself this week, and I am super excited to see where the story goes next, and her next installments, whether they be for Red Sonja or for Batgirl or for The Movement.
And as for the art in the book, I got only one word to describe it: superlative. A second: outstanding. Walter Geovani and Adriano Lucas are a perfect team for this book, and this book is unquestioningly theirs. Every single visual in the comic, every panel, every splash page, is reflective of the talent that these two have. While I would love to see a rotation of artists of some sort on the book, so that other artists that I’d love to see on this book, do get the chance, I’m happy with what Geovani and Lucas are turning out. Lucas’ colours specifically, reflect the entire tone and mood of the comic really well. Great stuff.
If you are not reading this series, then you are most assuredly missing out.
More Red Sonja: #1.
Posted on August 19, 2013, in 2013 Reading Challenge, 2013 Writing Challenge, Challenges, Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged 2013 Reading Challenge, 2013 Writing Challenge, Adriano Lucas, Amanda Conner, Colleen Doran, Comics, Comics Review, Dynamite Entertainment, Fiona Staples, Gail Simone, Jenny Frison, Nicola Scott, Red Sonja, Review Central, Walter Geovani, Warrior Women. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.