‘Red Sonja Volume 3 #1’ Comic Review
written by Marguerite Bennett; art by Aneke
Marvel and DC have updated their heroine’s costumes as a way to represent their ever growing diverse readership. Other companies have followed suit and started doing the same, with the latest being the infamous Red Sonja. Sporting a new costume, and all new series by Dynamite publishing, can the heroine evolve from her iconic costume and make a new name for herself?
This is a great jumping on point for interested new readers. Writer Marguerite Bennett starts off Red Sonja’s adventures in the Hyrkania plains, serving a sick king. She faces a complicated new challenge throughout the issue, and it’s a quaint introduction to the character. Sonja reflects upon major decisions very rationally, and the viewer is along for the ride in her head, told through flashbacks. At one point, however, it seemed like these were past adventures from previous books, which may cause confusion with new readers. There’s also a hidden, underlying story that will be explored in subsequent issues.
Artist Aneke brings diversity to each panel on each page. Red Sonja’s new costume is well-realized and functional, to an extent of course. She’s still the scandalous, confident slayer heroine readers remember, and Aneke’s art does well to give us the Red Sonja we know and love. Yet, such diverse panels and page set up sometimes looked confusing, which made it difficult to follow the story at times. Aneke’s character posing could feel out of place, or stiff in certain panels.
Dynamite publishing has brought one of pop culture’s favorite risqué, and brutal heroines into a familiar landscape with a new look. The first issue provided us with an in-depth look into Sonja’s psyche, an underlying mystery, and enough action to keep any Red Sonja fans interested. However, going forward the series has to be careful and not exclude new readers. The first issue is a great jumping on point for newbies, but the following issues have to take Red Sonja in a fresh direction. Time will only tell if Red Sonja can follow in other heroine’s footsteps with drawing in new readers.