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Red Sonja #1

Posted: Saturday, July 23, 2005
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Michael Avon Oeming & Mike Carey
Artists: Mel Rubi, Caesar Rodriquez and Richard Isanove(c)
Publisher: Dynamite

The first issue of Red Sonja finally arrived. Was it worth the wait? I think so.

The writing offers crisp, characteristic words for the She-Devil, and it's nice to see that Oeming and Carey remembered that Sonja possessed a wry wit. Her dialogue with her horse Thorne amuses, and I also appreciated the ubiquitous presence of owls--a wayward nod to Futurama?

Mel Rubi from Angel with colorists Caesar Rodriquez and Richard Isanove from Crossgen combine forces to imbue beauty and power to Red Sonja. The entire creative team make her mighty dangerous. We see in this issue not only her skill with a flashing blade but deadly accurate archery, which incidentally looks to be correctly depicted.

The plot which in slash and sorcery tales can often wear thin surprises and gives Sonja ample time to display all her attributes--horsemanship, battle prowess, cunning, a sense of honor and an overall knowledge of her world honed by experience.

I've heard all sorts of sexploitation arguments regarding Sonja, but I just don't see how they hold any water. Sonja's chain-mail bikini does display skin. So does every other bikini. When compared to today's bad girl--Lady Death for instance--and for that matter good girl--the Turner faux Supergirl, Red Sonja's style of dress is almost modest. On the whole and not even using the contrast of Connor's Russ Meyer styled blow-up doll Power Girl, Red Sonja looks lean, tan and proportionate which is exactly how a woman warrior should be depicted.

Artwork that respects the character and generates dynamic action fosters a smart script with strong characterization in the latest volume of Red Sonja She-Devil with a sword.



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