When you’re Loki, the Norse God of Tricks, life should be simple. A little mischief here, a little blood shed there, and off to grab some Mead, and a hearty wench, or three. But when a Red headed She-Devil with a sword, by the name Sonja shows up, and deposes you from your thrown. What’s a God to do?
RED SONJA: REVENGE OF THE GODS #1(OF 5)
Writer and Executive Editor: Luke Lieberman
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Colors: Slamet Mujiono
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover: Lucio Parrillo
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99 USD
Previously, in Red Sonja the “Wrath of the Gods“: With the aid of Odin, the All-Father, and Thor, God of Thunder, Sonja battled Loki, the aforementioned God of Tricks, and banished him from his kingdom of Wodinaz, to the fabled land of Hyboria. This is where our story continues.
Like most tales the end up with a guy, or in this case, a God, staring at his reflection in glass of cheap booze at a local watering hole, it involves a woman. In this tale her name so happens to be Sonja. After the events of the “Wrath of the Gods” mini-series, Loki has been aimlessly wandering the “fabled” lands of Hyboria for the past month with no army to lead, no kingdom to rule, and with him cut off from Norse Tree of Life, his Godly powers seem to be fading like the smell of jasmine off a loose wench. With what little chance he has left, Loki aims to stake his claim in this barbaric land by using a horde of warriors, and their chief, Raja, who is not your average raping, pillaging sociopath. The Loki here is a bit more savage, and grittier than other depictions I have been exposed to, and he telegraphs clearly that he will not hesitate to put a human life underfoot while on his mad march to gain power.
Sonja’s introduction, is a few pages deep into the issue, giving enough time for a reader who didn’t pick up the previous mini-series, to get a healthy dose of Loki’s back story, and current motivations. Sonja’s side of the story is well balanced with that of Loki’s. Giving plenty of room to lead into the second issue, while not feeling stunted in the slightest. Though the brutality of Loki’s side of the tale is full of Godly grandiose language, it rings true to the character. Sonja’s dialogue with the people, and the King of Vanaheim seems a little stilted at times. But overall the pacing is good, and for being the first Red Sonja comic I ever read, I wasn’t burdened with questions of character motivation.
The graphic depictions of blood shed, and gore are not for the faint of heart. There have been more graphic depictions yes, but the scenes depicted within, are story appropriate. Nothing feels out of place, each character has a distinct look, and every action doesn’t feel forced, it comes off as completely natural. Though I have never seen, or heard of Daniel Sampere before, his illustrations bring to mind artists like Olivier Coipel, and David Finch. The backgrounds he employs don’t skimp on the detail, and as a result, I as a reader, I didn’t feel cheated out of a fully fleshed out page.
For being a the first issue of the five issue mini-series, I would have to say it’s off to a good start. I didn’t feel that I missed the boat when it came to the plot, though I should have been at a some sort of disadvantage for not reading the previous mini-series. The issue sets up the characters, the situations, and the environment better than a lot of first issues I have read in the past couple years. The artwork holds it’s own, and compliments the story more than adequately. It’s worth checking out, if it sounds to be up your alley. This issue earns 3 out of 5 Stars.