LEGENDERRY RED SONJA #1

“Untitled”
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Aneke

A mild old man is in the Big City clutching a bag and furtively scanning the crowd. A woman in a hood approaches and he manages to escape in a taxi. Sonja is the captain of a ship that is just docking at the Big City. She is looking forward to a fun time and goes straight to her favorite tavern. There some big guys come looking for the old man. They find him and Sonja intervenes. A fight ensues and the men are revealed to be monsters. Sonja cuts off one of their hands and the hand has a life of its own. She stops the hooded woman from taking the man and the other men manage to get away with him. The hooded woman is revealed to be Elizabeth the Bride of Frankenstein.

So this is the first in a steampunk Red Sonja adventure. The story is set in a nineteenth century type world. This Sonja is a lot more carefree and fun loving than her Hyborian counterpart. She also is very interested in men and is not bound by some chastity vow. Otherwise she is the same Sonja. This one introduces the legend of Frankenstein with the Bride and others after some scientist. An interesting idea for a different Sonja story. This new world has many interesting possibilities.

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RED SONJA TARZAN #6

“Untitled”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Walter Geovani

Tarzan and Sonja are in Pellucidar. Here Eson Duul has come to get allies. The Mahars and Sagoths have gathered to his cause. So Tarzan and Sonja jump right in and attack. They make a good start but are outnumbered. Fortunately his Waziri have followed him. With hand grenades they decimate the Mahar/Sagoth army. Then Tarzan fights Duul hand to hand. Duul brags but Tarzan manages to tear out his throat with his teeth. So Duul dies scared and in the dirt. Sonja takes out his henchman Carl.

So the big finale was a good story. I suppose I was excepting something more but it tied up the series nicely. Obviously Tarzan took out the loathsome Duul as only Tarzan could. Stephanie died a tragic death by sacrificing herself to save Duul and she didn’t even like him. That was a character I felt sorry for. So Tarzan and Sonja have forged a solid friendship and who knows there may be more adventures with these two in the future.

RED SONJA TARZAN #5

“Untitled”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Walter Geovani

It starts with a flashback to Eson Duul’s life. His mother died in childbirth which was the start that whenever Duul arrives death follows. He is even at a young age feared. As a child he has his father killed by the local witchdoctor. When he grows up he leaves to find more power. In London one of Tarzan’s Waziri friends seeks out the Khaitain gardener for help in finding Tarzan. In Africa young Jack speaks his first words. The great apes decide to stop running and fight Duul’s men who are chasing them.

Back in Cimmeria Duul threatens to break Sonja’s neck if he doesn’t surrender. Only Sonja is not done and kicks Duul in the face. Then Tarzan starts in and starts beating on him. Duul is forced to escape with his followers. Later while trying to figure out where Duul ran to Sonja tells of the clue that Catherine Duul’s follower gave her. That he goes to a place where the sun is a lie. Where pockets of time exist. Tarzan knows this place and the two go to Pellucidar. They are ambushed by a Mahar which Tarzan kills. The two fall into a river with a waterfall coming up.

So we get a look into Eson Duul and he is definitely the anti-Christ. I have to say that Simone has created one of the most vile villains that I ever read. Even as a boy the guy is a total tool. Enjoyable to see him getting his ass kicked for a change. Duul actually has to run away to Pellucidar where the Mahars will protect him. Looking forward to the ending.

RED SONJA TARZAN #4

“Untitled”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Walter Giovani

Tarzan’s grandson is safe with the great apes. His daughter-in-law Meriem is captive of Duul and now in Cimmeria. Which is where Tarzan and Sonja are also. Sonja starts a fight with a blacksmith to get some clothes for Tarzan who is still dressed in a suit. Then they visit the Traveler who helped Sonja find Duul. Only now the Traveler is an old woman. She tells how Duul managed to steal her greatest sword. A Sword that is the key to all dimensions. Duul has been hunting everything that offends him. Then he moved on to legends for a bigger challenge. Seems every time he takes a trophy the fabric of time is damaged. Duul’s only failure is that he has been unsuccessful with Tarzan and Sonja.

So Duul and his two companions arrive with the captive Meriem. He threatens Meriem if Tarzan doesn’t come out. So he does and starts a fight with Carl the German. He manages to kill Carl but Sonja was not so successful. She is beaten and Duul threatens to snap her neck if Tarzan doesn’t surrender.

So we are halfway through the series and Tarzan is still in a suit. We actually only see him in his loincloth in a flashback scene. An unusual thing for Tarzan to be wearing for so long. So he does get a change of clothing to something more barbaric. We start to find out about Eson Duul. He has some unbeatable power that can manipulate reality itself. Ends with them in defeat or so it seems. I am enjoying this series and look forward to how it ends.

RED SONJA TARZAN #3

“Untitled”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Walter Geovani

In Africa Korak the Killer, son of Tarzan tracks some poachers that massacred elephants with dynamite. He finds out from them that Eson Duul is responsible and after his family. Indeed Duul and his henchmen attack the treehouse. Meriem manages to escape with their son and give the boy to a friendly ape. Korak battles Duul but is seriously wounded. Tarzan and Sonja in London discuss what is going on. Sonja believes Duul has a Sword of Sorrow which can create whenever and wherever possible. Sonja’s knife is also a Sword of Sorrow. She stabs it into Wells time machine and now it will go to where Duul is. They arrive in Africa to the burning treehouse. He finds his friend Windia and Korak injured. Meriem and the baby are missing. So Sonja and Tarzan are going to Cimmeria.

Another enjoyable story. So Duul has attacked Tarzan’s family and taken Meriem hostage. Korak was portrayed in a very savage way showing no mercy to his enemies. Tarzan and Sonja bond and Tarzan adopts Sonja into his family. At the end they are going back to the Hyborian age so should be interesting for Tarzan to be in that time.

RED SONJA TARZAN #2

“Untitled”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Walter Giovani

Sonja now in Tarzan’s time has come to warn him that Eson Duul has gone to hunt his family in Africa. Needless to say this causes Tarzan to go to Duul’s estate with Sonja in tow. They subdue the flunkies left behind and get some help from the Asian servant. The servant claims to be from Khitai in Sonja’s time and tells how these two have met before. A flashback has Sonja wandering the jungle and being attacked by Tarzan. The two have an epic fight and Sonja is knocked over a cliff. Tarzan then has a conversation with Sonja hanging on a branch and finds out they have a common goal in wanting Duul killed. Apparently something happened that wiped out their memories of this. So Tarzan takes Sonja to his friend H.G. Wells. Wells knows of the disturbance in time and thought the two were killed last week. So he leads them to his time machine they need to travel back to the past to stop Duul.

So we get a lot of exposition and one cool knock down fight between our two protagonists. It also introduces many questions that still need to be answered. How did Sonja get to the future? What happened to make them forget their last encounter? Who is this Eson Duul that threatens to tear apart the fabric of time and space itself? Simone has crafted a very interesting and exciting story with these two characters.

RED SONJA TARZAN #1

“Untitled”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Walter Geovani

1921 Australia. Eson Duul is hunting rare thylacine dogs. He exterminates every species he hunts so others can not top his accomplishments. One of his two henchmen kill a guide that questions this. In Hyrkania Sonja comes from the desert carrying her saddle and a bad mood. She beats up some fool drunks and at the tavern cauterizes a wound on her arm. Back in 1921 Tarzan goes to see Eson Duul. He informs him that he has bought up all the land surrounding his friend Paul D’Arnot’s lands so Duul can no longer use it for a hunting estate. He also wants the captive gorilla that Duul keeps in his private zoo. Back in Hyrkania Sonja visits the witch for her help. In a flashback we find that Duul’s female accomplice picked a fight. Even drunk Sonja was more than a match for her. This angered Duul and after shooting her in the arm with an arrow, he killed her horse and stole her sword and braid. Now Sonja looks for revenge and the witches magic for help. So back in 1921 Tarzan gets a delivery. It is the severed foot of Tantor and a tortured and dying gorilla. A note says this is Duul’s response to Tarzan and he wants very much to be his enemy. He is immediately visited by Sonja who is now in the twentieth century. She warns that Duul is going to Africa to hunt Tarzan’s family.

So another cool crossover that I never thought I would see. So far it starts off strong. Eson Duul is a grade A asshole that you can’t wait to see killed. He also is very mysterious since he has existed with his henchpeople way in the past. Such a crossover also clearly would involve some sort of time travel. The first story raises many questions that you want to find out. This is one awesome crossover.

RED SONJA #25

“The Sounds of Music”
Writers: Amy Chu & Erik Burnham
Artist: Carlos Gomez

Sonja is cooking a rabbit when she hears pleas for help. An old man is about to be killed by brigands. Luckily Sonja manages to save him. The man named Tariq is a musician traveling to Khambuja. He offers Sonja gold if she would escort him there. She decides to delay her return to her homeland and so sets off. At the sea they find a pirate ship and Sonja tries to barter for passage. Only the pirates are unreasonable. Tariq plays an Argosean lullaby that makes the crew start crying. Sonja takes advantage of this to dispose of the crew and set sail to their destination.

Well the final issue of Volume 4. A strange issue with a lot of philosophizing about the power of music over violence. It seems a bit unreasonable for music to have such an effect on pirates. I guess we did have to wrap up this run. I am hoping that the next upcoming volume will reinvigorate the series. A series that started strong but sort of fizzled out and tanked at the end.

RED SONJA #24

“The Witching Hour”
Writers: Amy Chu & Alex Chang & Erik Burnham
Artist: Pasquale Qualano

Sonja is trying to shoot a rabbit for supper from horseback. She has missed twice and has one more arrow left. Only as she turns a corner she almost runs into an old hag. The hag has spoiled her hunt. Not only that but the hag has an attitude. So Sonja gets control of her temper and continues on but not before she calls the old hag a crone. Well this upsets the hag. So Sonja continues on and comes to an inn. She stops for a meal and drink. The girl that serves her turns into the hag and also the drink was drugged. So Sonja passes out and wakes up in the woods. She is confronted by a fire demon who says Sonja must confront her past and future. So next a little girl shows up that turns into an older version of Sonja. She loses a fight to the old version and wakes up back at the inn. Looking in the mirror she turns old and the mirror breaks. Sonja decides she had enough and continues on.

So this story felt like a filler. You know something that you write just to fill space. Amy has been just plotting these issues for the past few ones. Now she shares plotting so she has pretty much already moved on to new things. I like the premise of a pissed off old crone who is a witch but sadly this was not handled well. As I said just a filler issue with no substance.

RED SONJA #23

“Hyborian Rhapsody”
Writer: Amy Chu & Erik Burnham
Artist: Roberto Castro

Sonja is riding through Corinthia when she is stopped by the goddess Minasha. Minasha is a goddess with few worshipers but a loyal king still preys and sacrifices to her. Sonja has killed his only son in a fight so she has decided that Sonja will perform a task to make up for the lose. The king wants her to bare him a son but Minasha will not allow that so he picks the request to recover his father’s golden ax. A gryphon stole it so now Sonja is dropped outside a cave. First she has to fight a sphinx. She manages to distract it with a riddle long enough to cuts its throat. Then she has to fight the gryphon and manages to use the golden ax to kill it. She has to walk back to the king and delivers the ax. The king still wants to keep her but Sonja convinces him that it would not be a wise idea.

So we are winding down this series of Red Sonja. This was in interesting story. I love the characterization of the characters. The brooding king. The minor goddess that conscripts Sonja. The clever way Sonja used to defeat the sphinx. A simple story but entertaining. I also love the artist for this issue. He really draws a beautiful Sonja.