SONJAVERSAL #7

“Untitled”

Writer: Christopher Hastings

Artist: Pasquale Qualano

Yellow Sonja is a vampire hunter in Transyrkania. It is a family tradition, and she captures a vampire that she already killed. It was released from Hell and there are also others back. Her parents she killed because they turned into vampires. Now they are back and seem normal. While studying the blood of the captured vampire, she is approached by Hell Sonja. She tells Yellow Sonja that her parents are vampires but hiding it. Yellow Sonja doesn’t know if she believes her but is suspicious. Later after dinner she is attacked by the captured vampire set free. She manages to kill it and finds out her parents are vampires. They have mutated by eating cooked human flesh which slows the progress. The story ends with Purple Sonja being approached by Hell Sonja in the future.

This time we get a steampunk horror story with vampires. Yellow Sonja is a scientist and has to deal with her parents that are vampires. It is ambiguous at the end if she kills them again or not. Sets up the next issue as being one set in the far future with giant robots and kaiju. I like this idea of exploring all these different worlds with different Sonjas. A lot of potential variety to the stories.

BARBARELLA #3

“Red Hot Gospel Part Three: Fire and Sword”

Writer: Mike Carey

Artist: Kenan Yarar

Barbarella recovers from being shot to find the agent’s robot getting ready to dispose of her. This robot is too busy complaining to notice Barbarella has recovered. She manages to find an electrical cord and short circuit the robot. She immediately goes to a body loom and restores herself. The little creature she picked up last issue that parrots people fills her in by recreating the conversation between Jury and Pendrum. Pendrum’s plan is to destroy the genetic satellites so they can’t create new babies. Then he will introduce a virus into the central body looms so the Parosians can’t reconfigure the women to have babies naturally.

She sees the missiles launch and also finds a robotic unicorn named Pegasus. Pegasus can fly and takes Barbarella to the main body loom controls. She calls the police, so they arrive and stop Pendrum’s plan. Later the Parosians decide that worshippers are more important than purity. Soon it is every Parosians religious duty to procreate. The war stops since they are too busy procreating. Barbarella leaves Jury who stays behind to help the Parosians with learning how to have sex. This involves distributing steam romance novels.

This actually wasn’t a bad story. It started out slow but really picked up. Tied it up quick and didn’t drag it out. The art sucks but an amusing plot. Something I wasn’t really expecting.

SONJAVERSAL #6

“Untitled”

Writer: Christopher Hastings

Artist: Pasquale Qualano

In the modern city of Makkalet City, Sonja Noir is a private eye and former cop. She wonders why Pickles Zingara has come back to life after she killed him. She soon finds out the local wizard she rents her apartment from wants his three months of rent tomorrow. Sonja is about to leave town when Hell Sonja appears to her in a reflection in the puddle of water. Hell Sonja gives Noir the place where she can find Pickles and a cache of valuable magical items. So, she goes there and finds the police waiting to catch her after she kills Pickles. She also finds a bunch of other guys she killed that have been freed from Hell. They want Pickles dead again so they can take over. Sonja decides to kill them and then Pickles. She finds a valuable artifact to pay her rent. In another alternate, Yellow Sonja is approached by Hell Sonja.

I loved this issue. A noir crime drama set in a modern Hyrkanian city complete with zeppelins, gangsters and crooked cops. Noir still wears her chain mail and sword but has a fedora and trench coat. A goofy world filled with magic, swords and Tommy guns. This is a cool idea to have stories that showcase the various different realities. You can have infinite fun with the idea. Also shows that Hell Sonja is behind the scenes trying to get back all the souls that escaped from Hell.

BARBARELLA #2

“Red Hot Gospel Part Two: Fall from Grace”

Writer: Mike Carey

Artist: Kenan Yarar

Barbarella and Jury are falling after their shuttle was blown out of the sky. Barbarella manages to grab hold of a passing drone and the two end up crashing through a stain glass window. They are in a House of Penitence. Robots whip themselves and the pain transfers to the remote operators. The two find some robes and pose as sisters. Jury manages to make contact with an agent who takes them to his secret hideout. There he removes a component that was implanted in Jury’s shoulder without her knowledge. They find out that Earth and not Parosia is building a doomsday device. The component was the last part. Barbarella tries to stop it and gets blasted by the agent.

The story is getting better. I was interested in it. The weird society with all the kooky fundamentalist stuff going on was fascinating. I also love the twist where we find out that Earth and not Parosia are the really bad guys. I have to admit that the Parosians didn’t seem too competent to build a doomsday device. I also like the goofy robot sidekick of the evil agent. A veterinarian robot that loved being able to improvise and improve on treating injuries. The art is still ugly as hell, but this was a big improvement over the first issue.

SONJAVERSAL #5

“Untitled”

Writer: Christopher Hastings

Artist: Pasquale Qualano

A flashback reveals an alternate Sonja killed Red Sonja’s husband Warrick. In the present, Red Sonja is about to go into battle with Saint Sonja. She finds out that the goddess was angry at her and other Sonjas because they were abandoning their faith. That once a power is given then it can’t be taken away. All the Sonjas hear this and realize that they are free of their vows. Hell Sonja releases all the Sonjas back to their worlds. Red Sonja kills Saint Sonja and confronts her goddess. The goddess has her husband Warrick prisoner. Red Sonja destroys the goddess and frees her husband. They go back to their world and have to face all the evil men that they killed because they were released from Hell.

This story came to a satisfying conclusion. We find out that the goddess based all these Sonjas on the original Red Sonja. That she needed their faith to keep her power. The story could get a little convoluted but thankfully it managed to stay on target. So, I guess now the series will explore some of these different Sonjas.

BARBARELLA #1

“Red Hot Gospel Part One: Spoils of War”

Writer: Mike Carey

Artist: Kenan Yarar

The planet of Parosia is run by a theocracy and currently at war with Earth. They destroy a bunch of Earth ships while singing hymns. A pink ship then enters the system, and they decide to capture it. Inside is Barbarella who is just passing through. The Parosians scan her and declare her a harlot and bio smuggler. The crime is having a functional vagina and she is sentenced. She is put in a prison and does hard labor. She hooks up with an inmate named Jury. Jury is a spy from Earth and has a mechanical leg. A hidden laser gets them out of prison to a shuttle. Only while flying away, they are shot down and it ends with the two falling to the ground.

Dynamite’s first attempt at Barbarella. I know her from the campy Jane Fonda movie, but it was based on a French comic. I figured I would try it out. So far, this issue is a bit mediocre. The whole evil theocracy is a bit over the top. What I really didn’t care for is the art. I mean everybody is just ugly as hell. Like they fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. Jury is especially ugly and has half her head shaved off. Why is that a thing? Even Barbarella is not that attractive which really gets me out of the story.

SONJAVERSAL #4

“Untitled”

Writer: Christopher Hastings

Artist: Pasquale Qualano

One of the Demon Sonja’s is about to kill La Crosse Sonja when Purple Sonja saves her. She gives La Crosse Sonja a pistol to defend herself and wanders off. She runs into some of the dead spirits of Sonjas she killed. They offer her a chance to find out why this is happening. They can merge but need a pilot and Purple Sonja pilots a giant sentient robot. Meanwhile Red Sonja and her companions Yellow, Blue and Silver get in Silver’s spaceship. Hell Sonja directs them to Planet Sonja where the tabernacle is and all the gods live.

While going there they tell their stories. Blue was a soldier in a Middle East war and found corruption in the ranks. She killed the corrupt and prayed. A god gave her strength and invulnerability in exchange for never giving in to her temper. Yellow had her father killed by vampires and a god gave her knowledge to defeat them. She has to always seek knowledge from a puzzle box. Silver comes from a dying universe and the sentient force destroying this universe gives her the power to travel to other universes. Silver has to lead this force to other universes. At the end they approach a moon that turns out to be a giant Sonja.

This issue we get a lot of exposition. How the main Sonjas came about. There is also a subplot with Red Sonja falling in love and going to give up her powers to be with the man. Only at the end Red Sonja kills this man. An interesting story. I can see where this can get a bit convoluted. So far, I understand the story and it was advertised the big final battle will be the next issue. So, I guess the next five issues will be a new storyline.

SONJAVERSAL #3

“Chapter 3”

Writer: Christopher Hastings

Artist: Pasquale Qualano

All the Sonjas have been brought to Hell. There Hell Sonja gives them the offer. They have to kill Red Sonja and the Sonja who does will be released from her oath. A young high school girl is just La Crosse Sonja and doesn’t have any fighting skills. She is befriended by Hell Sonja, and she overhears the conversation between Hell and Saint Sonja. Saint Sonja says even they may have to fight Red Sonja if all the others fail. Meanwhile there are some Sonjas that are just trying to escape. Blue Sonja, Yellow Sonja and White Sonja have found a way out. Red Sonja gets help from the spirits of Sonjas that she killed. They believe Red Sonja when she says she never broke her vow. They think something more sinister is going on. So Red Sonja joins up with the other three Sonjas trying to escape Hell.

This is a very wild issue. All these different Sonjas in a free for all. There seems to be some driving need to kill Red Sonja which is the main mystery for this story. Red Sonja gets some companions in other Sonjas. Blue is one with all these guns. Yellow has some steampunk tech. White is a futuristic one and La Crosse is the innocent one. A fascinating idea that I look forward to the next installment.

SONJAVERSAL #2

“Chapter Two”

Writer: Christopher Hastings

Artists: Pasquale Qualano and Vincenzo Carratu

We get a montage of various Sonjas from different worlds. We also get a Red Sonja who meets a young warrior named Warrick the Conqueror. This warrior manages to defeat Red Sonja in battle and fulfill the requisite to release Sonja from her vow. Back to the present Red Sonja is trying to get answers from Orange Sonja. Orange Sonja activates her tech and comes at Red. Orange says that she does this to get penance from her goddess. Red Sonja now knows why all these other Sonjas have come for her. Red Sonja is adamant that she has always been faithful to her vow. She cuts off Orange’s head. This act starts portals opening up to suck in all the Sonjas including Red. They end up in Hell with a Hell Sonja waiting for them.

The story is getting more interesting with all the Sonjas getting sucked to Hell. It seems that Hell Sonja is responsible for all the fights with the Sonjas. Red Sonja also seems to be of special interest. When she still wins another battle that is when all the Sonjas are sucked to Hell. I am interested in all the versions of Sonja the writer can come up with.

SONJAVERSAL #1

“Chapter One”

Writer: Christopher Hastings

Artists: Pasquale Qualano & Jordi Perez

In a futuristic city, a purple haired woman is facing off against a green haired woman. The green haired one turns into a T-Rex and the purple haired one a giant robot. The two battle and tear up a chunky of the city. An orange haired woman named Sonja is urged by citizens to stop this. She is responsible for founding this colony and is known as the She-Devil of Circuitry. She gets visited by a woman in armor who looks just like her. She tells that the Sonjas have become a disappointment to her. So she is having them fight each other. The purple Sonja wins and gets sent back to her world.

In the Hyborian age, Red Sonja is attending the funeral of a great warrior. She has to beat up a guy who gets a little too aggressive for her affections. She goes to a cave followed by Orange Sonja. Red ambushes Orange and knocks her to a cliff where she hangs. Red wants to know why other Sonjas have been after her and it is revealed that the canyon floor is littered with dead Sonjas.

This series takes the whole idea of Red Sonja to a whole new level. There are an infinite number of Sonjas from alternate universes. Each is a powerful woman in her universe. Now what looks like the goddess who grants the power to the Sonjas is pissed and having them fight each other. This has some possibilities with all the different versions of Sonja you can come up with. So far, I am intrigued with the story. Good story and beautiful artwork. A good way to start a series.