Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Booknote: Red Sonja, Volume One: Queen of Plagues

Gail Simone, Red Sonja, Volume One: Queen of Plagues. Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Comics, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-60690-481-7.

Gail Simone is known for her work on Batgirl and Birds of Prey, titles I have not read but from reading Red Sonja now I may seek out. Simone now gives us a new solid story of where Red Sonja strives to pay a debt to the only man and king she respects, a man who long ago showed her mercy. In leading his army into battle, she falls in battle to a warrior known as Dark Annisia and gets cursed with a plague. But little do her enemies know that you can't keep the she-devil with a sword down, not as easy as that. Will Red Sonja rise to victory and glory?

Simone writes a tale of blood, lust, and revenge. It is a tale of adventure and intrigue where we also get glimpses of Red Sonja's past, learning of her origins along the way. This is a very good story that draws readers in right away, and when you think you see answers, there is a twist or two. It is a fast paced read; I certainly kept on reading to the very end.

The art is very good in this one, bringing the great heroine to life. Art is certainly another good reason to pick up this volume. In addition to the comic, we get a diverse art gallery of covers by various famous female artists. Some of the featured artists are:

  • Jenny Frisson
  • Nicola Scott
  • Amanda Conner (she did Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre, which I read and reviewed).
  • Fiona Staples (of Saga, a series I have enjoyed greatly. Review of the first two paperback compilations coming soon).
  • Ming Doyle (of Mara, which I also read and reviewed).
The volume contains issues 1-6 of this new Red Sonja series, the covers gallery, an introduction by the author, and the original script of the first issue of Simone's Red Sonja. There is plenty of material here for fans of the iconic female warrior. 

This is one I am definitely recommending to fans. However, you do not have to be a Red Sonja fan. If you have not met her before, this volume makes an excellent introduction to this character originally created by Robert E. Howard, who also created Conan the Barbarian. If you enjoy sword and sorcery fantasy with strong women leads, this is a volume for you.

I am giving it the full 5 out of 5 stars as I found it amazing.

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