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Red Sonja Vol. 5 #13 Review

4 min read

A war with no victors, simply survivors.

Creative Staff:
Story: Mark Russell
Art: Bob Q
Colors: Dearbhla Kelly
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

What They Say:
Year Two of MARK RUSSELL’s epic tale kicks off here, joined by artist BOB Q (Captain America, Fantastic Four). In this issue: Sonja The Red has won. Now comes the impossible part… And, because it’s February, we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special variant by artist Sanya Anwar!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Red Sonja spent a good year working through the war that went on with Dragan and it hard its highs and lows along the way. Mark Russell has expanded outward with a few miniseries set to complement it but the core book tells the tale it needs to and we’re now in the hard epilogue phase. That has Bob Q coming back on board for the artwork and I couldn’t be more pleased. His style and welcome here and blends well with Kelly’s color design so that we continue to get that good raw and rough look to the world but also a very good sense of the power that exists within these individuals that we follow.

As is the case with war, there’s a lot of regret going around, especially since the instigator of it all is dead. Dragan’s body is nothing different than anyone else at this point, having lost his crown, and treated like any other soldier on the field. There’s some decent material back at the empire as his wife wonders what to do next and how this will all unfold, though more of her concern is toward her son Cyril who has been gone a week so far and not found yet. That’ll lead into its own miniseries later but for now we get some decent material showing the kind of tensions and weariness that exists back home because of Dragan’s actions. Which, of course, are all things set in motion because of what she did in order to get a proper curse upon him so that he’d not be around.

For Sonja, they’re in a bad place as well but one that may be even worse if you also consider them the victors. With no food, no planting down, and nothing to steal from anyone either, her people are in danger of dying out hard here. She has a plan but it’s a dangerous one for her, which reinforces why she’ll do it because it should work out for her people. We’ve seen the tales of Khitai for a while but with her part of the transition of it in leadership with what she knows, there’s a prince there that wants to kill her as she could stop him from becoming king. But that may also be how she ends up saving her people as she intends to offer herself, on some level. That sets into motion a new journey with a small group that’s fun because we also get some mountain traveling with ravines that force them to be creative in fighting back and escaping, making for good Sonja action.

In Summary:
Red Sonja continues to be a fun book because not only does it do the big stuff it needs to but it also delves into the areas you don’t expect. Watching as she figures out how to organize a group that will go off to deal with food shortages is pretty good and not usual comics material as it’s often dealt with as a few panels as part of a larger epilogue. Sonja’s story is good here and I like seeing the events going on in Shadizar as well as the weary and wounded troops make their way back after such a brutal and demoralizing loss. It’s a good book and one that brings in one of my favorite artists as well to help out which just makes it all the more enjoyable.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: February 5th, 2020
MSRP: $3.99

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