The She-Devil With A Sword has gained a new level of popularity in recent years with her current adventures being published by Dynamite Entertainment, but do you know she was in comics as far back at the 1970s? Of course you do! Now you can check out newly colored versions of the original black and white stories from the great adventures magazines of the bygone Bronze Age in The Further Adventures of Red Sonja Volume 1 from Dynamite Entertainment!

Red SonjaTHE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF RED SONJA Vol. 1 REVIEW

Writer: Roy Thomas, Frank Thorne, Christy Marx, Bruce Jones, Peter B. Gills, Marie Javins, Dann Thomas, Dough Moench, Clair Noto
Artist: Howard Chaykin, Frank Thorne, John Buscema, Tony Dezuniga, Steve Carr, Steve Buccellato, Dave Simons, Esteban Maroto
Cover: Frank Thorne
Publisher:  Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 7th, 2018
Cover Price:  $19.99

Previously in RED SONJA: Red Sonja, as we know her in comic form, is the amalgamation of two different Robert E. Howard characters, Red Sonja of Rogatino and Dark Agnes de Chastillion. Writer Roy Thomas created the character as a contemporary of Conan the Barbarian and wrote many of her most memorable adventures during the characters time at Marvel Comics.

HAVE SWORD WILL TRAVEL

From battling a lycanthrope to questing with royalty, the tales in The Further Adventures of Red Sonja Volume 1 cover a period of time from 1975 to 1995 and were published in two separate titles; the first being Kull and the Barbarians and the second The Savage Sword of Conan. Both of these titles were published in a magazine size format with a glossy cover and black and white artwork printed on newsprint paper. Designed for a more mature audience than the monthly comic book titles which featured the Robert E. Howard characters, these magazines offered more in the way of adult themes, language and violent bloodshed than their smaller four-color counterparts.

The earliest two stories, She-Devil with a Sword and The Day of the Sword, both were originally published in Kull and the Barbarians. The first, written by Roy Thomas (Conan The Barbarian, Avengers), is a simple tale of Sonja being drafted as a courier by a stranger in the woods and ultimately freeing a man from the curse of the full moon. In The Day of the Sword, which was plotted by Roy Thomas and scripted by Doug Moench (Batman, Master of Kung-Fu), we find Red Sonja attacked by brigands, only to find that the man responsible for her violent origin is in their number. Both of these stories features art by Howard Chaykin (American Flagg!, Heavy Metal Magazine), who at this time was only around five years into his comic career and had not yet won an Inkpot Award. You can see the roots of his current, distinctive art style here, but it is still enough that you know the work is his. As mentioned, these stories were originally printed in black and white, with Dynamite commissioning new color work for their inclusion here. These two stories are colored by Mike Kelleher (Rob Zombie Spookshow International, Kick-Ass 3), who also colors Wizards of the Black Sun, The Wizard and Red Sonja Show & Endless Stair.

TALES FROM THE HYBORIAN AGE FOUND ANEW

There are thirteen stories in this volume, including The Ring of Ikribu which was originally published over four issues of The Savage Sword of Conan in 1995. Besides the aforementioned writers and artist, there are tales by Bruce Jones (The Incredible Hulk, Creepy), Peter B. Gillis (The Defenders, Strikeforce: Morituri), Marie Javins (X-Force, Akira), Christy Max (Birds of Prey, Sisterhood of Steel), Claire Noto (Red Sonja, Savage Sword of Conan) and Dann Thomas (Infinity Inc., Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme). The artist list reads like a legends file, with not only Chaykin, but John Buscema (Conan the Barbarian, The Avengers), Dick Giordano (Detective Comics, Batman), Steve Buccellato (The Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine), Steve Carr (The Savage Sword of Conan, Wonder Woman), Tony Dezungia (Jonah Hex, Infinity Inc.), Frank Thorne (Tomahawk, Red Sonja) and Esteban Maroto (Vampirella, Eerie). The additional colors were provided by Salvatore Aiala (Queen Sonja, James Bond: Felix Leiter), Jose Villarrubia (Sweet Tooth, Conan the Cimmerian), and Digikore Studios (Crossed Badlands, Disenchanted).

To me, all of these stories are excellent examples of the sword and sorcery genre which has taken a back place as of late thanks to the high fantasy offerings available. The stories are sometimes dark, always violent, and do not shy away from the blood and gore. The good guy is not always exactly good, but the bad guy is nearly always very bad. There is an aspect of sex thrown into the mix, but it is interesting to notice that of the thirteen stories presented, only eight of them feature Red Sonja in her trademark metal bikini. Starting with 1990’s Endless Stair, a wonderful story which sees Red Sonja tempted by a supernatural fulfillment of her desires, we see Sonja’s garb become more practical until her red hair is her only identifying factor in the Ring of Ikuribu stories.

BOTTOM LINE: GRIM, BLOODY FANTASY WITH A TOUCH OF TITILLATION

It’s interesting that I have been interviewing so many characters and stories from my childhood as of late. I still have some of the original Savage Sword of Conan magazines a few of these stores appear in, having been handed down to me by my uncle. There may be only one problem with this collection as a whole, and it is the same thing which will draw some to it. Those Curtis, and later Marvel, magazines were a thing of unknown beauty at the time. Black and white art presented with no color, you were able to truly see the work which went into the page. The beautiful line work of Frank Thorne and John Buscema was rarely seen outside of these magazines in those far off pre-internet days and they were an exotic thing back then. While I enjoy this color presentation, and I applaud the wonderful work of the colorist involved in bringing this volume together, I would love to see those original pages reprinted in their original form. As it is, unless you knew the history, you would never know most of these stories were from the seventies, eighties, and nineties.

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF RED SONJA VOLUME 1 is a great volume, for fans old and new, and gives a different look at the character currently being published. With a price point of $19.99 for over 230 pages of content, it is a winner you should check out.

The Further Adventures of Red Sonja Vol. 1

80%
80%
Grim, Bloody Fantasy

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF RED SONJA VOLUME 1 is a great volume, for fans old and new, and gives a different look at the character currently being published. With a price point of $19.99 for over 230 pages of content, it is a winner you should check out.

  • Writing
    9
  • Art
    8
  • Coloring
    7
  • User Ratings (0 Votes)
    0
Share.

About Author

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold. He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours. He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.