You know what I like about Dynamite’s comics? They keep it simple. Not that their comics are dumb, pointless adventures with lots of boobs and action. I mean, there are lots of boobs and action in Red Sonja, but they stick to the roots of the character. Same thing goes for all of Dynamite’s other titles; you can count on a classic telling of the story without any major deviations or detours. Red Sonja is one of those titles that can be very open-ended, and because of that, it runs the risk of being very poor. She’s also a character that, if put into the hands of a total pervert, her stories could easily become softcore porn. After all, she runs around in a metal bikini.
Armor-clad boobs aside, Red Sonja has stood the test of time. Far gone are the days of Brigitte Nielsen’s outing as the titular character, and in some ways that’s a very good thing. But if the odious (yet cult-adored) film couldn’t sink Arnold Schwarzenegger’s or Red Sonja’s careers, then I don’t think anything really can. But I’m happy to say Sonja seems to be on a high with this current comic. I’ll admit I picked it up on a whim because I’ve been on a wild Conan kick for the past few months, and I half-expected it to be awful and pointless.
Instead, I was treated to something I might consider getting again next month. Red Sonja: Revenge of the Gods is an honest-to-Odin good read. Obviously, I missed something in a previous story arc, because this one opens with Loki having been given the boot out of Wodinaz, so now he sits and mopes in the land of simple men. Meanwhile, Red Sonja is being told the tale of good King Trius and his victory over a bunch of underworld nasties. That section of the comic is really well drawn. The short, rhyming narration as King Trius cuts down goblin after goblin is sort of like the best kids’ picture book ever.
As it so happens, King Trius locked up all those ungodly types beneath his kingdom — not my first choice if I were king, but whatever — and now they risk being set free by Loki and a maniac barbarian warlord (who is not Conan). Guess who’s picked to put a stop to it all? That’s right, Armored Ta-Tas McGee.
This is what I love about the fantasy genre. It’s good versus evil, plain and simple, not to mention running amuck with gods and heroines who fight in chain mail bras in sub-zero temperatures. Red Sonja is the type of story that could be taken so overboard that it would lose all meaning, but Luke Lieberman seems to have a good grasp on the character and the world in which she lives. It all may seem overwhelming, but really isn’t if you just sit down and read the comic.
You know what? I had way more fun with this comic than I thought I would, and isn’t that the point of any good comic? To just enjoy it no matter what the genre or the characters in it? I think Red Sonja has got it where it counts. Great story, art to match and nice coloring — especially on the King Trius-kicks-goblin-ass section. If you’re looking for something fun to read, then I would proudly recommend Red Sonja. You won’t get anything intellectual out of it, but who cares?