Red Sonja #1
By Marguerite Bennett, Aneke and Jorge Sutil
Red Sonja is back for another volume at Dynamite as part of a reboot, of sorts, to a handful of their female characters, and she even comes with a new design and costume. Following Gail Simone’s run would be tough for anybody under normal circumstances, but a change like this to a long established character doesn’t always sit well with the vocal minority and it might not even sit well with long time Red Sonja fans.
Marguerite Bennett is talented, there’s no doubt about it, and even though this is only the first issue, it’s pretty clear she was the right person to take over after Gail Simone’s run came to an end. There’s still that classic Red Sonja tint to everything, so to speak, and the minor changes to costume are forgotten within the first few panels—not that it was ever really a big deal because, frankly, it was probably long overdue. Bennett has a fine story here, with interesting characters and more than enough of a hook to get readers to come back for the next issue. If you’ve never tried a Red Sonja book before, this updated version might be the perfect place to check out this legendary character.
The art immediately feels like a step in a different direction for Dynamite as much as it is for Red Sonja. Aneke has a unique style that’s heightened even more by Jorge Sutil’s colors. Aneke’s expression work really makes the emotions Red Sonja is going through pop off the page and at times, specifically with Red Sonja’s eyes, it almost has a hit of a manga influence to it. Sutil’s color work is superb and he seems to excel with his lighting work and, as odd as this might sound, with the work he puts into Red Sonja’s hair. There’s certainly something new and fresh about the art here that really drives home the point that this is a new volume and a new beginning for Red Sonja.
Maybe going into this new volume there was some skepticism—who really likes change, after all?—but by the end of it, it’s as if everything is how it should be. Forget the change, it’s insignificant. Bennett, Aneke and company potentially have something really cool here. Following it and seeing where she takes the She-Devil is no doubt going to be something you’re not going to want to miss. If you liked previous runs, or even have never read a Red Sonja comic, there is no better time than now to pick of a Red Sonja comic.