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.

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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.

THE LIBRARIANS #4

“In Search Of: Episode 4”
Writer: Will Pfeiffer
Artist: Rodney Buchemi

So the magicians from the alternate reality have started their invasion. Already giant guys in hooded robes are smashing up New York. Reports come in that other cities are also attacked. The invading magicians decide to strip Orville of his powers and some crucial bits of memory. Then they return him to the librarians. The only thing that can save the world are finding the peaceful magicians that originally send Orville. Only now Orville doesn’t remember where they are hidden. So they go over all of Schick’s movies and find the Ark that the magicians planted on Mount Ararat. They wake up the good magicians who manage to stop the bad ones and put everything back to normal. At the end they watch the movie that Schick and Orville made called “Saviors from Beyond Time.” Its a big hit and they plan another “Librarians: Protectors of the Unknown.”

So the final issue of the Librarians resolves the invasion. For the most part it was an easy resolution that didn’t involve much effort. Still it was an enjoyable story. I loved the ending. Solomon Schick is definitely a born salesman. He cares little about what people think of his movies as long as they buy a ticket. A lot like Corman. I am sorry to see this series cancelled. I thought it had another season to it. So maybe another comic series may come about in the future.

RED SONJA HOLIDAY SPECIAL

“A Very Merry Sonja”
Writers: Amy Chu & Erik Burnham
Artist: Ricardo Jamie

Sonja finds a woman while riding in a snowstorm and decides to help her. This altruism has never occurred in the old woman’s life and she asks why. Sonja tells her of her time in New York. She had just met Max and it is Christmas. At a diner she witnesses the kindness of the proprietor to a homeless man. Max tells that this time of year everyone is more helpful. They run into a man in a Santa suit pursued by some of Gaunt’s thugs. Seems he was walking his dog and overheard some of Gaunt’s plans so he sent his goons after him. They manage to hide him in the Santacon gathering. So Sonja remembers this time of year and honors her friend by helping the old woman.

“Wizards of the Black Sun”
Writers: Roy Thomas & Clara Noto
Artist: Frank Thorne

Sonja approaches an Argossean city and meets a three legged goat. This goat can talk and warns her about the city. Not to enter the door with the black moon. Well Sonja ignores it and enters anyway. First she saves a boy from robed acolytes. Then a fortune teller takes her to a tavern which drugs her. She wakes on an alter to be sacrificed. Fighting back she faces a living skeleton and must choose which door to freedom. She chooses correct and escapes. Later she meets the goat and the city disappears just an illusion.

Well I had to do this one for Christmas. The Christmas story was a nice little tale with Santas and Kulan Gath’s men. Plus you get to see Sonja in a Santa hat. This woman seems to be immune to cold. She is always wandering around in the bikini in winter. The second is a reprint for the old days. It was a real psychedelic one with talking goats and skeletons and other weird things.

So an enjoyable holiday special. So Merry Christmas.

THE LIBRARIANS #3

“In Search Of: Episode 3”
Writer: Will Pfeiffer
Artist: Rodney Buchemi

Orville kidnaps Sol and jumps through a portal. He also decides to take Cassandra. They find themselves in a theater that shows a documentary done by Orville. The movie surrounds them and they find out they are in a parallel dimension. One where magic was harnessed. Orville was chosen to scout out our dimension. While he was here back in the magic reality a coup occurred and a new regime started planing the invasion of our reality. Orville was cut off from magic and forced to start over. He met Sol and was ordered to make the fantastic movies to cover up artifacts being sent to our reality to pave the way for the invasion. He then sends the two back but wipes their memories of what they saw. Only Cassandra has perfect recall and it doesn’t work on her. She tells the other Librarians of the impending invasion.

A heavy exposition story that explains the reason for everything that has happened. A fascinating idea and well executed. The only thing that didn’t make sense was where Flynn and the others went on some travels around the world and found all these clues. Didn’t really see the purpose of it. Still this was an enjoyable issue that sets up the big invasion finale.

THE LIBRARIANS #2

“In Search of: Episode 2”
Writer: Will Pfeiffer
Artist: Rodney Buchemi

Carsen, Baird and the others have just seen Ezekiel threatened by Sasquatch in Schick’s apartment. They go to enter and find the guard is expecting them. They quickly go to the apartment and find that Sol Schick is still alive and the Sasquatch were actors in suits. The directer has staged an elaborate hoax for publicity to his new movie. The conversation turns to his past with his partner Oscar Orville. They met in the early sixties and formed a friendship. Orville was a director of bad movies but Schick found his movies brilliant. Orville was the inspiration for many of his movies. Suddenly Orville materializes in the apartment only he is larger and has magical powers. He kidnaps Schick and jumps out the window into a portal.

The second issue was a very fascinating story. A lot of backstory about Solomon Schick with discussions on a phony moon, The Mandela effect and parallel dimensions that occasionally bleed through to our dimension. They are setting up some threat from an alternate reality and this I find intriguing. A very good story that keeps within the spirit of the TV show.

THE LIBRARIANS #1

“In Search Of: Episode 1”
Writer: Will Pfeiffer
Artist: Rodney Buchemi

Flynn Carsen, Eve Baird and Cassandra Cillian are out at a film festival for Sol Schick. Schick was behind such seventies classics as: “Noah’s Ark: Found At Last, Quarry: Bigfoot and Future Visitors to the Distant Past.”As Schick is introduced a little man in a turtleneck and thick glasses stabs him to death with a wooden stake. The man is the former narrator of the movies Oscar Orville. The police are quick to respond. While leaving the theater Flynn finds the murder weapon has materialized in his coat. So a supernatural mystery for the Librarians to solve. After an interview with Orville in jail they check out his lead at Schick’s grave. The grave was vandalized and the body dug up and stolen. They go to Schick’s Manhattan penthouse and Ezekiel breaks in. He finds some Sasquatch performing a ritual over Schick’s body.

The Librarians was a TV show that I enjoyed. About a group of high IQ individuals who battled magical threats to the world and safeguarded mystical artifacts. Sadly it was cancelled this year. The comic series captures the spirit of the show. I love the whole new age seventies movie motif. That was definitely the seventies. So far I am enjoying this series. It feels just like an episode of the show.

SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE #10

“Untitled”
Writers: Marguerite Bennett and Christina Trujillo
Artist: Maria Sanapo

Sheena and her two friends Chano and Lirio survive the explosion. They gather up the pieces to the temple face and start to take it back to the site of the original temple. There it will stop the rot that is effecting Mother Forest. First they run into Caldwell and his security man who want payback for their destroyed facility. Sheena’s grandmother comes and saves them with Laura being left behind as Caldwell escapes. Then Sheena and her grandmother must battle a remaining monster and they manage to defeat it together. But the grandmother has a falling out with Sheena because she is friends with Chano a Cowodi. Finally the three make it to the original temple site and Sheena uses her mystical knife to fuse the stone face together and thus stop the rot. At the end Laura wounded is found by the corrupt police captain. She has proof that Sheena is Caldwell’s long lost granddaughter.

So the first series in Dynamite’s take on Sheena comes to an end. I enjoyed it. It had it’s up and down moments but on the whole I found it entertaining. It set up the world of Sheena and her friends. Also her enemies. The big revelation about Caldwell should make for interesting future stories since he just tortured and tried to kill his granddaughter. The rift with her grandmother has some interesting future potential. Not to mention the continuing threat to the jungle from tampering with the mystical safeguards of the First People. I hope they continue with another series in the future.

SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE #9

“Untitled”
Writers: Marguerite Bennett and Christina Trujillo
Artists: Maria Sanapo and Vincenzo Acunzo

Three monsters have come through the temple dimensional portal. Lirio and Chano are locked in the room where the monsters are impervious to gunfire. This angers Sheena so much that she is able to break through the bulletproof but not Sheenaproof glass in her holding cell. Sheena figures out a way to hurt the monsters. Our world’s weapons have no effect but weapons from their dimension would probably hurt them. So she tears off a fang from one of the monsters and uses it quite effectively. As this goes on Caldwell, Laura and his security men are running from one of the escaped monsters. In addition the local head of the countries secret police is coming to investigate. Laura panics and sets off the explosives hidden in the chamber with the temple.

Well this was an exciting issue with lots of action. Sheena is a real badass as she ignores the shocker on her wrist to break out of her cell. Then crawls into one of the monster’s mouths and rip out it’s tooth to kill it. That is pretty cool. Ends with an explosion so you want to read the next issue to see what happens.

RED SONJA #22

“The Blade of Skath”
Writers: Amy Chu & Erik Burnham
Artist: Jonathan Lau

Red Sonja is riding on her horse when a troll pops out of the woods. It knocks her off and the horse runs away. Only this troll doesn’t attack. In fact it is friendly and apologizes for scaring the horse and promises to look for it. Seems this is the troll that Max met and convinced it to be good. So Sonja crosses the bridge and finds the nearest tavern. At the village she finds it crowded and the locals none to happy. Seems the troll is letting everyone it. This is depleting the small spring they depend on. The tavern keeper offers to pay Sonja if she can convince the troll to return to his toll collecting ways. So she goes out and picks a fight. Eventually the troll realizes that it’s nature is to collect tolls. So Sonja gets enough gold to buy a new horse so she can continue her wandering nature.

What is with Sonja’s hair? It looks like Sideshow Bob’s. I don’t think the new artist has a realistic look for Sonja. Otherwise this was a offbeat story. The troll is just so friendly and doesn’t provoke easily. But his inability to police the bridge is destroying the village. An interesting commentary that doing good so you feel good about yourself is not necessarily good for the world. Some people could follow that advice.