Story: Mark Russell
Art: Mirko Colak
Colors: Dearbhla Kelly
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
What They Say:
The penultimate chapter in Mark Russell’s first year of Red Sonja. Dragan The Magnificent’s complete victory is assured, save for one She-Devil, incapable of dying, unwilling to cede control of a bridge…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As we close in on a year of stories with a couple of side issues in the mix as well, it feels like Red Sonja is about to make the biggest of plays yet. Mark Russell has certainly been working a bigger game with this whole storyline, which hopefully has an expanded and more diverse second run of twelve coming after, as he’s dug into some really fun elements of warfare and rulership when it comes Sonja’s people. We also get another issue of fantastic Mirko Colak artwork that has him delving into some great work in battle but also just in showing expressions, such as the ay that Dragan is almost foppish at times having believed that the war has been completely won.
A very good chunk of this book involves that part of the story where he’s dealing with some of the clean-up side of things now that Sonja is dead and there are no stragglers in his court. He’s wanting to prepare some changes for when they return home, such as elevating his son up to a minister so as to get more hands-on, and he’s excited about throwing a celebration before they leave here. Which is problematic as supplies have not arrived and the soldiers and followers have been eating dog and other scraps that they can find so they don’t lose it completely. For Dragan, this is all beneath his notice, especially as he holds counsel to show that he’s putting Foghor in charge of everything going forward and that it should be ruled with an iron fist so as not have to be intimately involved in more issues with this horrible land.
The problem, as we discover through a bit of his son’s understanding of what’s going on, is that for as much as Dragan has done, he’s punched a whole in a wide swatch of a new area. The north and the south are untended at this point and dangerous. Which is why a bridge was built across the small sea. That Sonja and her people have taken it over sets up for a very violent confrontation to come if Dragan doesn’t accept a peace of some kind – if it’s even offered. Sonja and her group are a small number against many, but they have the ideal location and after taking out the first wave of caravans, they’ve got supplies and patience to try and pull it off and I can’t wait to see how all these things moving in different directions will connect or smash against each other.
This run of Red Sonja has been really strong for me because we’ve got an interestingly fleshed out leader in Dragan with a mythology behind him that works but is also amusing once you know the full truth. Sonja’s quick ascent to being sat on the throne has lead her to do her best for her people and struggling with coming up short. The combination of that in going against each other with a good supporting storyline with the general warfare helps to make this thrilling on the larger scale while very humanized in the smaller. Sonja’s been a real thorn in his side in a way that completely makes sense. I don’t trust anyone at this point other than Sonja and that makes going into this next round exciting to see who she really trusts and what she needs them to do in order to protect her people. Russell and Colak are firing on all cylinders.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: December 4th, 2019