I’ve never read a Red Sonja book. I’ve heard a lot about the Gail Simone run but never gave it a go. (I plan to do it soon, read our forums for more info if you’d like to read along) I went into this one with no frame of reference, all I know is that Red Sonja is basically a female version of Conan.
I love the idea of a female Conan. Kicking ass, taking names and being nearly unstoppable but also having that pinch of vulnerability that makes her relatable. There’s always a concern about books like this being more about eye candy than actual substance. Especially with those covers, most readers would get that impression about this book and that’s disappointing that people are missing out. Sometimes it’s hard to get past that chain mail bra, you’d think she would wear more armor not less. But that’s another conversation.
In this issue they refer to events that happened in issue #0, but if you missed that issue don’t worry. There’s plenty of exposition to fill you in on those events so you aren’t lost. I loved Red Sonja’s sense of humor and cunning nature. She’s formidable but not unstoppable. The book also has a low fantasy feel to it, which I loved. Don’t get me wrong, it does have magical elements but it feels more like boots on the ground than it does high fantasy.
The artwork is clean and neat, but not too bright and colorful. I don’t want a fantasy book like this to be too colorful. The muted colors and clean lines fit the theme of the book perfectly for me. It has that classic feel to it.
I’m excited to see where this series goes and am hopeful it continues to focus on substance over eye candy.