“It Came From Deep Space”

Writer: James Kuhoric

Artist: Juanan Ramirez

A probe sent by NASA to explore Venus gets hit with a mysterious radioactive anomaly. The probe goes down off the coast of Florida. Oscar Goldmans sends Steve Austin and Rudy Wells to lead the recovery effort. Everything goes fine until a diver gets injured. Luckily Steve jumps in and uses his bionics to get the probe and save the divers from great white sharks. Meanwhile the OSI has decided to scrape funding for the bionics program. They plan to instead go with robot agents. The prototype is given the face of Steve and called Number One.

This is a hypothetical season six for the classic TV show. Like the Bionic Woman they did, I find it so far to be very compelling. It goes back to the Deathprobe the Soviets used to set up the main plot. A subplot also deals with the threat to the bionics program as someone develops a new robot. It has the feel of the TV series and we get stuff like a battle with sharks which could never for budgetary reasons ever have appeared. A fun little blast from the past of my childhood.


“The High Paindragon”

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Luca Colandrea

Mordread has come to claim Caliburn. Only as he reaches for it, his hand is chopped off. Red Sonja does this with an ax. She and her friends were transported on dragons. A big fight ensues with Mordread getting the upper hand. He grows back his hand and creates his own dragons. All is lost until Sonja grabs Caliburn and pulls it from its stone. With the sword she easily chops up Mordread. Now she is the High Paindragon of the kingdom. At first she doesn’t want the job but decides the kingdom needs to be straightened out.

The ending had a fairly predictable if not satisfying ending. Sonja and friends get there by dragons and have a fight. Mordread is all powerful, but Sonja proves worthy of Caliburn. She pulls it out and chops up the big evil Mordread. Then settles in to be queen and build a round table. Sounds familiar. As I said a decent if somewhat familiar story.


“The Cursed Host”

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Luca Colandrea

Red Sonja decides to fight the minions of Mordread with her broken sword. She puts up such a fight that it inspires Lanzelot and the Green Knight to join in. Yet the numbers will overwhelm them. Merlyn finds out he can draw magic from the land. He summons dragons to defeat the surviving minions. Now they have to find Caliburn which the Green Knight finds out from the forest its location. It is 30 days from there but Sonja has a plan. It may be too late for Mordread is already there.

This was is fun issue. Sonja gets to show what a badass she is. With a broken sword she still holds her own. Merlyn discovers that he can draw magic from the land and saves them. Now they have to get Caliburn but it ends with Mordread looking like he beats them to it. A good ending for the next to last issue which should hopefully have a happy ending.


“The Demon Prince”

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Luca Colandrea

Mordread has escaped the cursed chainmail. We find out that he was the one who killed Arthr and Merlyn imprisoned him in a silver chalice. Through the years it changed hands and was melted down and made into chainmail. That is how he was able to take control of Red Sonja and come back to Longes. Now he will be the king of the land. Only Sonja is pissed and fights him. She manages to drive her cursed sword into him, and he disappears. The sword shatters and Merlyn believes it is only a matter of time before he recovers. Only the sword Caliburn can defeat him.

Sonja vows to get this sword. She takes Merlyn outside and they meet the Green Knight. He has mortally wounded Lanzlok and it takes all of Merlyn’s magic to save him. The Green Knight will use his powers with nature to locate Caliburn. Before they can start though, Mordread has sent his dark legions to take care of Sonja and her new friends.

Now we get to find out the truth about the spirit inside the chainmail. It was the evil Mordread and we get a very detailed explaination for how he ended up in the chainmail. Sonja is still alive and now knows the truth. She is dedicated to defeating Mordread and has to find this magical sword. Ends on a cliffhanger of them facing giant demon knights. The story is really getting interesting now.


“The Magi of Madness”

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Luca Colandrea

Sonja is trapped in a castle that walks with arms and legs. There are also many Merlyns that want to eat her soul. The chainmail finally talks and tells her that the Merlyns have been split into many and need to feed on souls to live. The chainmail guides her to the heart of the castle which is literally a giant heart. It is chained and the chains must be broken to restore the Merlyns to one. Sonja does this and the castle collapses. Merlyn is restored and he releases the soul imprisoned in the chainmail. Only it isn’t Arthr but the evil Mordread.

The story has taken a new twist. One I never saw coming. So the chainmail is not possessed by the noble king but the evil that is responsible for destroying the kingdom. The writer did a great job of leading the reader to believe the soul was the noble king. Sure, the spirit did foreshadow that he was bit of a dick. In hindsight it is now obvious. Should be an exciting next issue.


“The Feasting Hall”

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Luca Colandrea

Lanzelot is looting a tomb of an old adversary. He of course claims he is entitled to the guys sword and armor because he defeated him in battle. Only the cursed land has resurrected the guy. They chop off the head and leave with the sword and armor. Now that Lanzelot is properly attired as a knight of the realm, they go to the Feasting Hall of Lord Agraman. This was a favorite place of Merlyn and they hope to find him there. As they approach the Green Knight comes at them. Lanzelot fights him as Sonja goes to the hall for help. She finds Merlyn but there are many guys that are all Merlyn. Clearly something is wrong and the hall literally comes alive with Sonja inside.

The story is getting really weird. It is a weird that is interesting so no complaints. The chainmail is no longer a chatty Cathy and all the Merlyns is a bit odd. Quite interested in finding out what will happen.


“The Knight’s Tale”

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Luca Colandrea

Red Sonja is taking Lanzelot deep underground to the Abyssal Spring. Here Lanzelot will be healed from this ordeal with the Lady of Scarlot. After fighting some bat creatures that make it to the Abyssal Spring. Lanzelot starts to heal and the chainmail suggests that Sonja also take a swim in the springs. She does and finds that the chainmail will come off. The cursed spirit has released her in favor of Lanzelot. Only soon after a snake demon attacks. It is going to take Sonja as payment for healing Lanzelot. Lanzelot comes to the rescue and tries to stop the demon. Sonja puts back on the armor to fight this demon and now commits herself to the cause.

This issue we get a real shift in the relationship with Sonja and the chainmail. The chainmail deliberately was going to sacrifice Sonja and really doesn’t care about her. Now we kind of got that in past issues but this is very open from the chainmail. Sonja is forced to take it back and there is real bitterness between her and the cursed chainmail. I liked that they made Lanzelot someone who can stand up for himself and not be a pathetic loser like most men are made out to be these days. An interesting turn to the story.


“Fairy Tales”

Writer: Ron Marz

Artist: Andres Labrada

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess of Helium named Dejah Thoris. One day her father married a woman who was jealous of her beauty. She conspired with a guard to have her taken out and killed. Only the guard couldn’t go through with it and instead abandoned her. Dejah has to fight a banth which she kills before being knocked out. She wakes to find that seven Tharks found her. These Tharks are outcasts from their tribe and Dejah joins them. Word gets back to the evil queen and she disguises herself as an old woman. She approaches Dejah and knocks her out with a powder. Before she can kill her, the Tharks arrive and she flees. The Tharks can’t revive her but John Carter comes on a mission from her father. He kisses her and awakes her from the slumber. Taking her back, Dejah confronts the evil queen and kills her. Back in the real world John Carter finishes telling his children a bedtime story.

The third and final fairy tales special. I think this was the best one. Obviously it was Dejah Thoris as Snow White and instead of dwarves she had Tharks. Stuck very closely to the fable only giving it a Barsoomian twist. I loved the ending where we find out it was John Carter telling an old Earth bedtime story to his kids. It fit in nicely as being believable and not just a made up world.


“The Lady’s Mirror”

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Luca Colandrea

Red Sonja has come to look for the Lady of the Lake on the advice of her cursed chainmail. Hands come up and pull her into the lake. She awakes in a place of mirrors. The mirrors produce dead images of Sonja that attack her. The chainmail screwed up and she is instead prisoner of the Lady of Scarlot. A woman who went nuts when her love never came back from a war. Now she kidnaps people. Sonja seeks her out and finds a man her prisoner. The Lady comes when she frees him, and Sonja manages to destroy a tapestry that frees her. It also frees the man who her chainmail recognizes as the knight Lanzlot Lak.

This was another fun issue. The chatty chainmail screws up and Sonja finds the wrong lady. We get some more none too suttle hints that this story is a kind of parody of the Arthurian legend. Sonja fights the Lady Scarlot and saves a brave knight who has been driven a bit bonkers. Supposed to find Merlyn the next issue so should start picking up story wise.


“Fairy Tales”

Writer: Jordan Clark

Artist: Andres Labrada

Red Sonja saves a woman from wolves. A group come and claim they are looking for their friend who got lost. They invite Sonja to their city named New Jack City. The city is around a giant beanstalk. The people then take the young woman named Astra and put her in a cage. She is to be sent up as a sacrifice. Sonja jumps on the cage to free her and they both arrive above the clouds. They find the giant Jack who is the boy that originally grew the beanstalk and killed the giant. Now he lives in the giants castle and has become a giant from eating the beanstalk. He is lonely and wants his mother which is why the villagers keep sending up women. Sonja has a fight and Jack falls out the window to the ground. Sonja and Astra descend and after a good lecture, Sonja sets the beanstalk on fire.

The second fairy tale is obviously Jack and the Beanstalk. It is a sequel to that fairytale. A sad one as Jack never found any happiness and becomes the giant. An enjoyable story that has Sonja put an end to the sacrifices to Jack.