LEGENDERRY RED SONJA #5

“Untitled”
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Rodney Buscemi

Sonja is tracking Kulan Gath’s bomb in the sewers of Big City with a geiger counter she got from Madame Curie. It leads her to the bomb and a gristly discovery. Gath has decapitated a lot of people and piled the heads around the bomb. He plans to detonate it and be rewarded by the dark gods. Gath and Tesla come and discover Sonja when her geiger counter makes noise. Gath sics the rats after her but Sonja evades them and makes it to the bomb. She is able to keep the rats at bay because of the radiation in the bomb. She takes the bomb and leaves after beating up Tesla and throwing a severed head at Gath.

So at the Nautilus Sonja dismisses her crew and takes the bomb out of the city. Gath and Tesla use magic to transport themselves to her sub. Sonja gives Tesla a beating and traps Gath in a mystical symbol she drew on the floor. She escapes the sub and the bomb blows up killing both Tesla and Gath. Later celebrating her victory at the local tavern she is approached by the members of Thorne’s gang. The gang is there to swear fealty to Sonja the new Queen of the underworld of Big City.

So the final issue goes out with a big bang literally. This was a very satisfying series. I liked this new Sonja and her steampunk world. I do hope that they do some more of this series in the future.

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LEGENDERRY RED SONJA #4

“Untitled”
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Rodney Buchemi

Kulan Gath has captured the Nautilus and Sonja and her crew are prisoners. Gath is about to kill Sonja when the ship of crime boss Thorne arrives and starts shooting Gath’s men. During this time Tesla decides to knife her lover D’nar. Then Thorne comes on the ship carrying his portable gatling and runs to his daughter. Only Gath stabs him with a sword and his daughter seems unfazed at the death. Then she goes to Gath and calls him her love before kissing him. Sonja is disgusted by this but manages to save her crew and get the Nautilus away from Gath’s ship. Gath is left with a chest full of the mysterious explosive element. Sonja heads to the Big City and seeks out Madame Curie for help in defeating Gath.

So this issue had a real development that I didn’t see coming. I never would have thought that Tesla would have some romantic relationship with Kulan Gath. I think I was shocked as Sonja was. This was an exciting issue and takes the story to a whole new level. Should be interesting to see how Madame Curie fits into the conclusion.

VAMPIRELLA DEJAH THORIS #5

“Untitled”
Writer: Erik Burnham
Artist: Ediano Silva

The Drakulon have arrived outside the city of Kadabra. An army from Helium meets them. The Drakulon prove more powerful than expected and the Heliumites are defeated. The survivors move into the Carrion caverns. Back in the city of Kadabra Dejah commands the scientists of three races to work together to find a solution to the problem. Then Dejah goes off with a powerful device from the Firstborn to rescue Vampirella’s people. She manages to use the device to save the Drakulon survivors from the Apts. Those fierce predators of the north. Vampirella has a fight with the surviving commander of the Helium army and kicks his ass. It is later found out that most of the Drakulon decided to head for Earth instead. So using the advanced knowledge of the three races of Barsoom they come up with a way to synthesis blood for Vampirella’s people. They also manage to build an atmosphere generator to save their planet. In addition they also make headway to restoring Barsoom. Vampirella leaves for Earth after Dejah declines the offer to join her.

So the series comes to a close. It was a bit anti-climactic with it being discovered that most of Vampirella’s people went to Earth. Otherwise it was a satisfactory ending to this series. An interesting pairing of two women characters. This alternate Barsoom has more technology than the one that Burrough’s wrote about. I do enjoy these strange crossovers. It is always amusing to see the result.

LEGENDERRY RED SONJA #3

“Untitled”
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Rodney Buchemi

The Nautilus has arrived at the mysterious island with the powerful element that can be turned into a weapon. Sonja and Dnar suit up in radioactive suits and row ashore. The plan is the go to the volcano that is in the center of the island. The volcano is honeycombed with caves so they enter and plant the explosives so they can bring down the whole mountain and isolate the element. On the way back they are attacked by some men of Kulan Gath. Sonja has no problem defeating them but when they return to the sub they find that Kulan Gath has taken it over.

So this issue is mainly involved with gathering the various people together. Gath has arrived and a brief page shows Crime boss Thorne also on the way. There is also exposition about how Dnar found the island. A short issue but probably one needed to move the plot forward.

RED SONJA THE BALLAD OF THE RED GODDESS

“Another Song of Red Sonja”
By Roy Thomas

An introduction by the writer. He tells that this was commissioned for the Spanish market and he came up with the dialogue to fill in the story that the two artists drew. He also goes on about how he first conceived of Red Sonja to be a sometime companion to the wandering Conan. Also it was Esteban Maroto who came up with the famous metal bikini look she has.

“Letter to a Redheaded Goddess”
By Esteban Maroto

A prose piece written in the first person to Red Sonja.

“Drawing on the Shoulders of Giants”
By Santi Casas

A more straight forward piece on how this book was drawn.

“Sing a Song of Sonja..”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: Esteban Maroto and Santi Casas

King Thallos has just conquered the kingdom. But he is depressed because he is old and has realized that he will die. That his best days are behind him. So instead of marrying the conquered princess he decapitates her. Then he has his bard sing him a song. So he sings about Red Sonja. How she was raped by brigands. Then the goddess Morrigan appeared and gave her a sword and will to use it. Although Sonja refused the armor and wanted to show her enemies she was a woman so gets the metal bikini. Her first task is the hunt down the brigands and kill them.

As the bard ends his song Sonja appears at the castle. Her next task is to deliver justice for a stranger and she decides to avenge the people of the kingdom and their murdered princess. So Sonja chops up the king’s men and saves the cruel tyrant for last.

“Sketch Gallery”
Written and Drawn by Esteban Maroto and Santi Casas

A sketch gallery with commentary on how they came up with the sketches.

So this was an enjoyable graphic novel. Done in black and white and red as the only colors. It was a beautiful work of art teaming up the original creators of the iconic character. It is mainly something to be enjoyed for its beautiful artwork and that is why you should get it. Also has some nice background on the creation of the character by Roy.

VAMPIRELLA DEJAH THORIS #4

“Untitled”
Writer: Erik Burnham
Artist: Ediano Silva

A small group of Tharks find the first ships from Drakulon after they land. The Drakulon come out feral and thirsting for blood. An army of Helimuites then destroy them. Back at Issus palace Vampirella is about to give Issus immortality. At the last minute she tears her throat out instead of biting it. Vampirella got a glimpse with her telepathy that Issus was not going to honor her bargain and save her people. So the First Born now worship Vampirella as their new goddess since she killed their old one.

They show her the ancient technology that Issus had which included a device that could teleport anywhere even other worlds. Using it they see the plan that Dejah’s grandfather is hatching with the Okarians. They will use the Okarian science of magnetics to force the Drakulon ships crashing into the moons. Vampirella and Dejah with some First Born use the transporter to go to the north pole and stop the plan. Dejah has a plan to save Vampirella’s people by using the Okarian technology to bring them down.

So this is an interesting story. Issus is killed and Vampirella takes over the First Born. There is some very advanced technology that Issus has which wasn’t in the original book series. This and the red men’s knowledge of the Okarians I suppose are different in this alternate reality. A fast paced story with beautiful artwork. Looking forward to the conclusion.

LEGENDERRY RED SONJA #2

“Untitled”
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Igor Lima

Sonja agrees to help Tesla rescue her lover from Kulan Gath. So first they must go to Gath’s island which is magically shielded. The whole island is infused with Gath’s evil and Sonja and Tesla land. Then they go to Gath’s castle and Tesla knows a secret entrance. They find her boyfriend D’nar injured from torture. Sonja has to kill a guard and the three escape. Gath seems to know what is going on. In fact he has one of his minions pose as an informant to inform Tesla’s father Thorne of where they are going. So D’nar is taking the Nautilus to an island that has a material to create a devastating weapon. He plans to use it to destroy Gath.

So the story seems interesting so far. Obviously Kulan Gath has been well established as a super villain. This world’s incarnation is no different. Gath seems to know everything and also knows where the crew of the Nautilus is going. I have some feeling that Tesla and D’nar may be up to something and not being truthful about everything either.

VAMPIRELLA DEJAH THORIS #3

“Untitled”
Writer: Erik Burnham
Artist: Ediano Silva

Vampirella and Dejah are prisoners of the Therns. The Therns are attacked by the Black Pirates of Barsoom. In the fight Dejah manages to free Vampirella from the 8th ray device keeping her prisoner and she slaughters the remaining Therns. This impresses the Firstborn and they agree to take the two women to meet the Goddess Issus. So they meet Issus. The goddess can see Vampirella’s mind and has a plan to save her people. She offers to have her people replace the Therns and plant-men in greeting the pilgrims to the Valley Dor. Her people can drink the blood of the pilgrims. In exchange Vampirella would make Issus young and immortal. Vampirella accepts this offer.

So the two have found their way to the hag Issus. Her plan is actually a logical one from her point of view. Dejah is having her faith shattered to find out the truth about Issus. The story is good at staying true to what was established by Burroughs. It is a safe bet that the two leading ladies will now be at odds which should prove to be very interesting.

LEGENDERRY RED SONJA #1

“Untitled”
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Igor Lima

Sonja is playing with the notorious crime lord Tobias Thorne. She exposes him as a cheat which gets him angry and he puts a bounty on Sonja’s head. So Sonja has to fight her way out of the place and a rooftop chase ensues. She manages to make it to her submarine The Nautilus. A mysterious woman is following her and jumps in and attaches herself to the sub. Sonja has to go out and rescue her. The woman is Tesla and seeking Sonja’s help. She is in love with the son of her father’s greatest enemy. She is the daughter of the crime lord Thorne and her love is the son of the dark magician Kulan Gath.

So the second series starts off to a strong start. A sort of Romeo & Juliet story that will draw Sonja into an adventure. We also establish an old familiar villain in this steampunk world. The artist does an excellent job and looking forward to this new story.

VAMPIRELLA DEJAH THORIS #2

“Untitled”
Writer: Erik Burnham
Artist: Ediano Silva

Dejah brings Vampirella to her father the emperor of Helium Tardos Mors. What he hears he is that a horde of vampiric refugees that will be driven mad from lack of blood are coming. He refuses to help Vampirella or her people. This gets her angry and a fight breaks out. Dejah manages to calm things down and tries to convince her grandfather to help. Tardos Mors does have an idea. Vampirella should seek out the goddess Issus. With no other options she agrees to make the pilgrimage. Dejah goes along to show her the way. They take a raft down the river Iss and find plant men attacking some green Martians. They manage to kill the plant men but then find themselves captives of the Therns who plan to enslave them.

So this is an alternate reality before John Carter. I can see why Tardos Mors would be leary of hordes of potentially blood thirsty vampires coming to his planet. Dejah is forming a friendship with Vampirella and the two make a good team. The plant men were fearsome and the artwork captures what I would envision as Mars from Burrough’s imagination. Enjoying the series so far.