REVIEW: Red Sonja #2

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Red Sonja stands at the head of a ragtag army to face the oncoming storm that threatens to raze a city from the earth and commence the extinction of its people. Is their leader, a known individual, friend of foe? Read on in this Major Spoilers review.

SUMMARY

Pros
Gripping story that doesn’t let up, but isn’t overwhelming
Cons
Some of the monsters look a little goofy, but it’s a minor complaint

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

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RSv2-02-Cov-ScottWRITER: Gail Simone
ARTIST: Walter Geovani
COLORS: Adriano Lucas
LETTERS: Simon Bowland
EDITOR: Joe Rybandt
PUBLISHER: Dynamite Entertainment
COVER PRICE: $3.99

Previously in Red Sonja… King Dimath called in a favor from Sonja, so she came to prepare his people to face a military onslaught. The army came, and at its head was a familiar face, Dark Annisia!

I’M ON BOARD… FOREVER

Gail Simone’s “Red Sonja” is not a fluke—though I doubt there was anyone out there who thought the outcome would be otherwise. Issue No. 2 picks up from an already excellent issue and keeps barreling down the narrative railway like an out-of-control steam locomotive.

Sonja’s battle with Dark Annisia is joined immediately and it doesn’t let up for the entire issue. Throughout the fight we get well-crafted exposition concerning the history between these two warrior women and their time in the gladiatorial pit and learn that they were quite close, perhaps more so on Annisia’s side of the relationship. Normally I loathe this particular vehicle for expository dialogue, but in Simone’s hands it feels natural to the interaction rather than a contrivance to sate the desire of an inattentive reader. My major complaints about the first issue—which were really minor in the grand scheme—weren’t a problem this time around with the archer twins taking a more active role as fighters and actually getting an emotional moment toward the end saturated with pathos. Oh and Annisia might be literally insane; I hope she’s not, though.

The last few panels are surprising, bitter and morose, but they’re going to transform into something great come next issue. And it shall be glorious.

As I meekly admitted last time around, “Red Sonja” No. 1 was my first foray into Gail Simone’s writings. Since then, however, I’ve read, digested and fully appreciated the first two trade volumes of the New 52 “Batgirl.” I regret the time I wasted not reading her work, but I intend to make up for it in spades.

WORDS DO NO JUSTICE

Beautiful. Simply beautiful. The battle art—especially the large panels—was breathtaking and drew me into the book like I’ve not been engrossed recently. Annisia’s monster army reminds me of nothing so much as a second-tier version of Skeletor’s henchmen, but I could chalk that up to either coincidence or my love of Masters of the Universe; regardless, they look a fright and convey the enemies’ lethality. The flashback to the women’s exchange in captivity is fantastic in its sparseness.

BOTTOM LINE: YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT THIS ALREADY

Don’t just buy “Red Sonja” No. 2, instead use it to inaugurate the title’s addition to your pull list. There is no other acceptable course of action. 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★★