Red Sonja #7 (Comics Review)
Gail Simone and Walter Geovani’s Red Sonja, launched last year in July, has proven to be one of the best new comics of recent months. It even made my “Top 5 New Comics of 2013” list. For a fan of the character and the setting, Gail and Walter have done some incredible work with the series and their first arc of six issues was always fun and enjoyable without fail. Now, they are launching into their second arc after a 2-month break and it looks like they have both upped their game significantly. Which is all that I wanted really.
As said, this issue starts off a new arc. After defeating Dark Anisia in the previous arc and freeing the populace of an usurper king, now Sonja is headed all over Hyrkania and beyond to round-up the six greatest artisans of the age for an immense banquet being held in a month’s time by Samala, the Emperor of a pseudo-Egyptian kingdom. Gail’s writing is as top-notch as ever this time around and even the art clicks together very well. This might just be my favourite issue of the series thus far.
Can I just share my love for Jenny Frison’s cover art here? It is once again a very simple composition with almost nothing in terms of the background, but the foreground, or what’s actually right there, is pretty damn good. And despite not seeming to, it actually hints at a pretty big twist in the story for this issue, which I really appreciated. And at the same time, Amy Reeder’s variant for the cover is similarly awesome. Gail’s initiative to get together a host of the most talented female artists in the industry doing covers for the series has been a great project from the get go and each month we get more of such awesomeness. I want more!
With the story itself, Sonja’s current quest is to convince a celebrity chef to return with her to the King who wants to hire said chef. This involves going into a swamp-land and meeting with the chef, who happens to be a valued guest of a cannibalistic and sexually deviant inbred tribe of humans in the heard of said swamp-land. What immediately gripped me was Sonja’s characterisation. She is extremely cranky on account of having wondered through the swamp for some four days looking for the tribe and the chef, and she is in a really bad mood. She wants some quality wine, some good food, and perhaps even some pleasure company. But nothing can do. She has a quest to do. From here, Gail continues to tell one of the best stories of this series. I loved Sonja’s dialogue, her attitude and her verbal kickassery. This is something that Gail has excelled since the first issue and she is in top form here as well.
There are some interesting twists and turns in the story, quite unexpected all of them, and they kept the story flowing fluidly. There wasn’t a boring moment here at all, and I really got pulled into the story. We start off right in the middle of the story when the issue starts off on page 1 but along the way we do get to see a flashback in which Sonja accepts her quest, the reward being that the pharaoh-type emperor Samala will free more than a thousand slaves if she is successful. Hell of a motivation if there ever was one.
I love that Gail has been playing up Sonja’s more social side with this series. First she helps to stop the invasion of a kingdom, and now she helps to free people from an interminable life of slavery. Noble goals these are.
On the art side, Walter Geovani with colourist Adriano Lucas and letterer Simon Bowland delivers another kick-ass issue. I really have no complaints about this issue at all in terms of the art. The best thing about the art here was that Walter gives Sonja environment-appropriate clothing here. Given that she is in a swamp for the entirety of the story and swamps are notorious for insects and what not, Sonja is covered neck-to-foot in clothing good enough to keep her safe from insect bites. Important distinction. In the “olden” days, she would well have been shown going into the middle of the swamp in her signature metal bikini, which is extremely impractical for this kind of an environment!
All in all, an amazing issue that I loved start to finish and don’t have any complaints about.
Posted on February 21, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged Adriano Lucas, Amy Reeder, Comics, Comics Review, Dynamite Entertainment, Fantasy, Gail Simone, Hyrkania, Jenny Frison, Red Sonja, Review Central, She-Devil With A Sword, Simon Bowland, Swords and Sorcery, Walter Geovani, Warrior Women. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.