Story: Mark Russell
Art: Bob Q
Colors: Dearbhla Kelly
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
What They Say:
Acclaimed writer MARK RUSSELL (The Wonder Twins, Second Coming) welcomes stunning artist BOB Q (James Bond Origin, The Lone Ranger) for the incredible next chapter of the ongoing saga of Sonja The Red, Queen of Hyrkania. The invasion has taken its toll…hostage kings consider revolt…Sonja will venture into the woodlands, to seek help from a leaderless tribe, whose leader she killed…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a standalone issue taking place between the last issue and this on as “Lord of Fools,” Mark Russell was able to expand on Dragan and Zamora pretty well so that there’s a bit more history and depth to it. I’m not quite sure it was essential but it could have fit easily as a regular issue and most fans wouldn’t have blinked about it, I think. This issue moves things forward in the next chapter of the fight between the nations and Russell is joined by Bob Q for the art duties. I’ve really enjoyed his work on several other Dynamite titles where he adapts very well to the material at hand while still having his own particular style. And that’s pretty true here as it looks great as he digs into Sonja and her people as they face off against Dragan again.
The flashback side of the book is an area that still works well for me since it doesn’t dominate even if it provides too easy a look at what trick is in store. This one gives us a little time with Sonja and Kryon as kids with how they entertained themselves when they were young, making grass shields that practically made them invisible. It’s a hugely telegraphed moment but you accept it as it’s blended into her dealing with his funeral in the present. That in itself is welcome because she’s not looking for revenge, even if her comrades are, because she intends to fight for the living – and that means staying alive to keep the fight alive. It’s a good serious moment for her in a series filled with them and the expression that she gets thanks to Bob Q is spot on perfection as she formulates her next move.
The present day has a very different feel when it comes to Dragan as his attitude even with all the losses has him still blase about it, making sarcastic jokes and kind of just tiring of the whole experience and wanting to get the conquest over with. There are some amusing moments with some of those who serve under him, especially the soldiers in the field, but when contrasted to how he’s killing so many of Sonja’s people by steamrolling over them you end up quickly remembering why he’s a terrible person. Sonja’s latest attack plays into a good bit of an unexpected approach that gives them the advantage but there’s still a numbers game going on here. Sonja’s keeping her calm during all of it and you have to appreciate it in that she’s not going for just emotional revenge but rather trying to end the war.
The addition of Bob Q on the art duties works well for me as I’m a fan of his work and he connects well here while not trying to replicate what Mirko Colak produced. Both are distinctive artists but they’re borth working a familiar property and period style that they can delve into and look similar. Russell’s script is solid but we’re getting close to a point where this fight can go on only for so much longer before it weighs down the larger narrative and the reader’s interest. You do see that events are starting to turn more toward a real change coming, but it definitely needs to come sooner rather than later. It’s a strong book, however, and it does a good job to advance several small pieces here.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: August 14th, 2019