Review: Red Sonja #12
Written by GAIL SIMONE
Art by WALTER GEOVANI
Colors by ADRIANO LUCAS
Covers by JENNY FRISON, JOYCE CHIN, and STEPHANIE BUSCEMA
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
The wild and untamed climax to Sonja’s epic journey to collect the six most gifted individuals of her age…but will she give them over to the sadistic emperor, as she promised?
Let’s be honest for a second. I wasn’t going to review this until I went over to my Twitter account (feel free to follow, I’m trying to use it more with the web site) and saw a lot of praise being retweeted by Gail Simone for this issue. There was a lot. I love Gail Simone’s artwork, so I decided to give my preview copy a look.
Holy crap, that was good.
Gail Simone gives Sonja a rounded personality beyond the Hyborean warrior woman that she’s always been seen with. SOnja actual indulges in some luxuries in this issue and we see that she actually enjoys not having to be the “She-Devil with a sword” all of the time. We also see how uncomfortable she is in fancy, feminine clothing, which suits her character, but when in the realm of a sadistic emperor that you’re trying to get not kill 1000 slaves to join him in the afterlife, you do some things that make you uncomfortable.
The artwork is nice and naturalistic. Sonja is consistent and recognizable, and even when lesser artists would have drawn salacious scenes and poses, Walter Geovani didn’t. The colorist never gets in his way, and doesn’t try to distract from the artwork, which is good, but in an age where we have colorists adding so much, I wonder what this book would look like if Dynamite took some chances with it. Maybe on a licensed property like Red Sonja, they can’t. However Sonja going all She-Devil on a crowd of soldiers almost screams for some red-filled panels. Some mood coloring would be nice here.
Finally I want to talk about what I feel is he best cover this week, Jenny Frison’s close-up of Sonja readying her sword for battle. Red Sonja is one of those characters that demands iconic covers once in a while. Dynamite is one of those companies that seems to know when to pull back on cover blurbs. Looking over their web site, you are hard pressed to see them cluttering up a cover with unnecessary text. The longer that I do this job, the more impressed I become with them. Frison is also probably the best artist you don’t realize that you like. This cover drew me in immediately, and I think if I ever see a copy of the “virgin” cover with this artwork for sale at a price I can afford, I will totally pick it up.
And you should pick this series up to. This issue concludes a storyline, but back issues shouldn’t be too hard to find. This is good stuff by one of the best writers in comics today, redefining a character that has desperately needed it for a long time.