Story: Erik Burnham
Art: Jonathan Lau
Colors: Celeste Woods
Letterer: Carlos S. Mangual
What They Say:
Red Sonja, paired with the half-vampire Chastity, is on the path to setting things right, restoring the timeline and hopefully saving humanity in the process. But Chastity isn’t the only strange visitor from another time; Jade, Evil Ernie, and Purgatori have all come to Hyboria as well, and they’ve taken a shine to the savage world as an easy place to indulge their dangerous natures. They may not take so well to the notion of going home. (Plus, Ernie gets to ride a dragon, which is almost impossible where he comes from.) The She-Devil’s adventure in the Age of Chaos continues here!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Red Sonja has found herself in many lands over the years but there’s always a particular amusement when she shows up in the modern world. Erik Burnham had fun with that in the previous issue while keeping everything else moving, which including sending a few characters to Sonja’s world as well. Jonathan Lau has long been a solid and strong illustrator and he does some great stuff here, especially when it comes to Ernie, and particularly with Celeste Woods’ color design. The overall look is pretty good and we get a solidly consistent feeling across the characters from different lines over the years.
For Sonja, her time here is spent in coming to an agreement with Lady Demon in order to go up against the wizard that’s causing all of these problems. In a way, she’s the only one who can kind of work with the time frames involved as she’s all-present everywhere and can see past, present, and future at the same time. She orchestrates a simple enough deal with Sonja in that for a favor to be asked at a later time, she’ll give Sonja the amulet she needs to deal with the wizard. It does involve a fair bit of additional sacrifice in reaching into hellfire to acquire it, but something like this actually impresses both Lady Demon and Chastity. In the end, this leaves us with Sonja and Chastity working together to deal with the bigger picture while Lady Demon steps back as she must because of her greater position in the scheme of things.
For those that have ended up in the Hyborian age, there’s some solidly fun material here. The main focus is on Ernie as he stumbles through the landscape, his powers diminished in this land but still there. It’s a great sequence with him and his companion that he talks to on his jacket and when you see him acquire the dragon as his new ride thanks to his powers you really have to enjoy the surreal visuals that are produced because of it. We do get a little time with some of the others as Purgatori and Jade are there as well and seeing how Kithai is being taken over is amusing considering events in the main series at this point involving that city and Sonja.
The Age of Chaos series is proving to be a good bit of fun but I still struggle some because I’m not familiar enough with the Chaos characters and nothing about them has really made me want to learn more. This issue sets things up for the back half of the run as we get the alliances set and see where everyone has been placed at this stage. Sonja stands out the strongest with what she does here but she’s short on dialogue and pages overall – yet still manages to dominate. The book is a solid read with lots of detail and dialogue to bring it to life, especially with the quality of the artwork here that delivers a good experience.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: March 18th, 2020