Advanced Review: Red Sonja #1 (Simone and Geovani)



Writer Gail Simone (Batgirl, Birds of Prey) has been one of the leading advocates, more by actions than by words, of bringing strong women into the masculine world of comic books. And here, in a fresh, new iteration of Red Sonja from Dynamite, she lets her heroine shine!

But this is not your daddy’s red-tressed barbarian, living in the shadows of Conan. No, this is a strong woman who nonetheless in this era of sword and sorcery has her foibles and follies. In fact, during most of Red Sonja #1, our heroine is plastered!

But that takes away none of the fun or adventure from the book as Simone scripts the tale of an intriguing debt owed by Sonja to the one person she respects above all. Paying back that debt just may take our scarlet-haired warrior woman and her rag-tag army to the other, darker side of death’s door.

It is not easy to balance character and action, especially in a first issue, but Simone does her usual masterful job and coming out of the gate, boom!, and picking up the nuances of character along the way. So well, in fact, you will have to give this book a second read to pick it up.

Carrying his own weight in this premiere issue is artist Walter Geovani (Prophecy, Witchblade) who renders the adventures of the swash-buckling maid to perfection, in many spots reminding me of the Buscema style of Sonja derring-do more than, say, that of Barry Windsor-Smith. He keeps up with Simone’s script while adding a layer of nuance all his own.

The pace is fast and furious, the characters are there warts and all, and the drama will make your pulse race.

Looks like Dynamite has another winner on its hands.