Story: Mark Russell
Art: Mirko Colak
Colors: Dearbhla Kelly
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
What They Say:
The war is being lost. Dragan The Magnificent has taken Hyrkania. Sonja The Red’s options dwindle…the Woodlands will not provide, the Sorcerers cannot help, she doesn’t have enough soldiers to fight back. But what if the fight isn’t a fight? What if it’s…a race? The ongoing epic continues by MARK RUSSELL (Riddler: Year Of The Villain, Sinestro: Year Of The Villain) and MIRKO COLAK (Conan).
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a couple of side books so far, the world of Red Sonja under Mark Russell’s hand has expanded nicely and put our warrior queen in a precarious position. I’ve enjoyed what Russell has done here as it’s not a neat and tidy six-issue story and then onto something else. It’s an ongoing story of a complicated war layered in multiple issues and seeing it unfold is exciting. This installment is extra exciting as Mirko Colak is back on the art duties. I loved what Bob Q brought to the last few issues but Colak got this journey started and I love his style that has the kind of earthiness to it that Deborah Kelly can bring out beautifully through the color design.
This installment is an interesting one in how it’s setting up things to go forward but not quite. With the fall of Hyrkannia at this point, Sonja and the rest that made it out alive are trying to figure out the best approach. There’s a sense from some that not being a people and going back to banditry may be for the best in the long run but right now you get from Sonja that she’s going to be the rabbit that strikes back hard as opposed to the lamb that gets slaughtered. There’s a flashback story with Khtamni that fleshes out that lesson a bit and it definitely has potential. Still, it’s unfortunate to see her people and her mission fall so low but there’s definitely good story material in there as she struggles with it alongside her people and we see more fracturing occurring.
A good bit of time is given over to Dragan as well, such as how we see him rewarding Foghor with a crown upon his return and all that he’s done. There’s a good sense of his being done with Hyrkannia at this point but wanting to ensure that Sonja and the rest are properly dealt with so he can fully moving on. But he has other things to attend to as well, such as keeping those below him in line. We get an array of flashbacks focusing on Minnas and how he lost his country thanks to misinterpreting the Theraphim “device” that he had which would tell him the future. It’s a common enough concept in fantasy and has the right kind of creepy here. Seeing him use it poorly in the past and plot for a new future is definitely fun since he’s going to be someone operating from the inside that will make interesting connections later on in this still evolving and growing story.
While not quite as strong as previous issues, partially because there are so many flashbacks that breaks up the narrative flow, Red Sonja is in a really interesting place. I love that we’re ten issues in – plus two specials – and it’s a still-evolving story as opposed to strong breaks with new stories playing within the general idea. This is a war of attrition that Sonja is facing as Queen and it’s taking some serious toll on her and her people. Russell’s moving this along well and I’m thrilled to have Mirko Colak back. Bob Q put in some fantastic work over his run on it but Colak just has that extra little bit of hard earthiness and angularity to his work that really makes it all work for me.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 6th, 2019