The Adventures of Red Sonja—Volume 3

adventures of red sonja volume 3 cover review
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Fun sword and sorcery, weird feminist story that contrasts the art

Dynamite Entertainment's remastered coloring is atrocious

Comic Info

Comic Name: Red Sonja (Volume 1)

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment/Marvel Comics

Writer:  Roy Thomas/Clara Noto

Artist:  Frank Thorne/John Buscema/Al Milgrom/Tony de Zuniga

# of Issues: 8

Release Date: 2007

red sonja #9 cover review

Red Sonja (1) #9

Reprints Red Sonja (1) #8-15 (March 1978-May 1979).  Red Sonja finds herself allied with a prince named Suumaro in a fight to win the crown of the kingdom of Skranos.  With Suumaro’s sorceress mother Apah Alah fighting her ties to her son, Red Sonja and Suumaro become trapped in a mystical trap with Red Sonja blind…and solving the puzzle could mean the death of one of them.

Written by Roy Thomas and Clara Noto, The Adventures of Red Sonja—Volume 3 is a Dynamite Entertainment reprint of the classic Marvel Comics series.  Following The Adventures of Red Sonja—Volume 2, the collection finishes the first run of the series and features art by Frank Thorne, John Buscema, Al Milgrom, and Tony de Zuniga.

I always liked Red Sonja.  The movie was out when I was young and was like the unofficial sequel to the Arnold Schwarzenegger Conan films with Schwarzenegger in a role that looked just like Conan but wasn’t Conan.  Though the movie was rather poor, the character of Red Sonja has a lot of validity…and these are her classic adventures.

The stories for Red Sonja are typical sword and sorcery type tales that feel just like Conan the Barbarian issues.  You have the wandering swordswoman meeting people, battling demons, and breaking curses.  This collection is a direct continuation of the previous collection with the story of Suumaro continuing…Suumaro’s story ends with Red Sonja (1) #13, and the series was filled out with a couple of stand-alone Red Sonja stories.

red sonja #12 cover review

Red Sonja (1) #12

What is striking about Red Sonja is the weird contrast.  With much of the collection famously illustrated by Frank Thorne, Red Sonja appears in her rather impractical iron bikini fighting demons.  The character however has a strong moral code, stands for the rights of women, and doesn’t allow herself to be a pawn of men.  In this sense the outfit is almost a means to fool the men she encounters (but I don’t think it is intended that way).

Normally, I don’t feel that the print takes a special notice, but Dynamite Entertainment “remastered” the color on all the issues in the collection…and it looks bad.  While I’m sure that the art and pages probably needed sprucing up from the newsprint, the color pallet is too bright and too contrast to feel legitimate and it is a bad distraction to otherwise good art.

It is odd that Red Sonja didn’t do better and last longer (issue #12 proclaimed her the number one fantasy fighting female…the series was cancelled two issues later).  The series is a good companion and enough of a contrast to Conan (and Kull) to justify its existence, and the exploration of a role of a woman in the world of Hyboria is something that was interesting in the 1970s in the post-feminist movement and in today’s world…the comic tried to explore it, but didn’t do it entirely.  The Adventures of Red Sonja—Volume 3 were followed by The Further Adventures of Red Sonja—Volume 1 which looked at some of Red Sonja’s adventures outside of her own title (it is also a misnomer in that a second volume was planned but never released).

Related Links:

The Adventures of Red Sonja—Volume 1

The Adventures of Red Sonja—Volume 2

Red Sonja (1985)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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