Those of us who have been on Team Gail (as in Simone) for years were ready for her Red Sonja reboot with illustrator Walter Geovani as soon as it was announced. It will surprise very few people that this comic has met our high expectations in its first four issues. Let us count the ways in which this exciting, engaging book deserves your attention.
1. The Badassery
The She-Devil with a Sword thing is not hyperbole. Here’s just one example: In issue #1, Sonja performed an epic, fearless takedown of some filthy murderers who had her in the crosshairs. And she was hungover. Sonja was pretty clear about how much it would suck if they didn’t leave her alone — and it totally did.
2. The Characterization
I expected nothing less than a vivid, well-defined character from Gail, and her Sonja doesn’t disappoint. She’s a consummate survivor who has little patience for frippery and cowards, and even less for the foolishly evil. Yet, she also has a core of compassion. Sonja’s sharp sense of humor is evident in each issue, and she rocks a chain metal bikini as comfortably as people wear jeans on Casual Friday. Much thought has gone into the reboot of this character and the world being built around her, which leads me to …
3. The supporting cast
From Ayla and Nias, Sonja’s fiercely loyal young bodyguards, to her dungeonmate-turned-enemy Dark Annisia, the book has already introduced some memorable players. Back in March, Gail told us this about Sonja’s nemesis: “Well, Dark Annisia hates Sonja’s guts for a very modern reason. This isn’t something they could have really done in the old Conan Marvel comics, not explicitly. And that’s all I’m saying.”
And that’s all we’re saying. Read for yourself.
4. The Backstory
Suffice it to say that Sonja experiences an overwhelming loss at a young age. Gail conveys the magnitude of that tragedy while also showing readers the depths of Sonja’s resolve and courage in the face of it. She emerges not as a victim but as a force to be reckoned with, and one who is not easily broken.
5. The Accessibility
This is a fresh start that makes it easy for the uninitiated to dive right into the action. Longtime fans of the character might have a different view, but I consider the series’ accessibility to be a great asset. Geovani’s art is also quite appealing, full of detail and expressive.
You have time to catch up before issue #5 drops next week, so get to it.