Story: Mark Russell, Bryce Ingman
Art: Craig Rousseau
Colors: Dearbhla Kelly
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
What They Say:
Spinning directly out of the epic RED SONJA title written by MARK RUSSELL! Prince Cyril’s plan to murder Sonja The Red is diverted, due to battles with giants. But from the battles comes a discovery, and a mysterious collection of allies begins to unite. By MARK RUSSELL (Red Sonja, Year Of The Villain), BRYCE INGMAN (Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter Of Terror) and CRAIG ROUSSEAU (The Flash).
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
In some ways, I’m still baffled how Mark Russell has managed to not only get a solid ongoing Red Sonja series sticking around but has also managed a couple of supplemental miniseries and specials along the way. Who does he have control over at Dynamite? I’m not complaining as we’re getting a really enjoyable well-realized storyline here that can explore things without crowding the main book. And we get a miniseries with Craig Rousseau handling the art duties that delights with its character designs and just the nature of how some of these things operate here. It’s a fun book that deals with a boy-emperor coming to realize just how he’s being coddled and mollified and that’s either going to make him more dangerous or a better emperor in the long run.
With the attack by the giants the last time around, we see how quickly they go through several of the group protecting Cyril and it’s bloody quickly, with who gets eaten and who just gets damaged hard. Cyril spends a bit of time with their prisoner for the moment, getting his bearings and trying to remember that he has to lead, but with Fitzhugh basically shoving him to the side in order to protect him and fight, he’s off-balance enough. It’s amusing when he does get back into things that he tries to fight but just isn’t able to connect but he also sees those who were protecting him being eaten or carried off after his group is able to push back enough with flame to get the giants to retreat. He’s ready to give chase but the cooler heads prevail in changing his mind, though they’re intent on returning to Shazidar since this whole trip was just a play-act anyway.
Cyril’s discovery both of the intention to go back and that they’re been humoring him this whole time does not go over well. He really is trying to do well based on what his father taught him and the stories he learned growing up, but he’s still young and clinging to that rope of his. He wants vengeance on Sonja and her allies and is intent on following through even if they were playing at this the whole time, but when they learn that the criminal made it all up just to survive a bit longer, well, he’s deflated and done. The machinations of the court are something that he’s starting to come to grips with, though he’s still not aware of the true relationship that his mother has with the oracle, but there’s that sense that things are getting more complicated for him and he’s not going to take it well when he finds out more.
Killing Red Sonja moves into some interesting territory here as we see more of how Cyril is handling the situation and the reveals along the way. There’s definitely more trouble in the future as well as a subplot perks up with a pair of characters that use birds to hunt up gold and we see just how effective that is here. It’s a lot of unknowns at the moment but it’s a visual treat that has me curious to see how far it goes in this series. Cyril himself is the main focus, however, and I’m definitely enjoying seeing him grapple with what’s going on and how those that are assigned to protect him on this journey are dealing with keeping him content while also looking out for their lives and what Cyril’s mother wants – all while remembering that Cyril is the emperor.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 17th, 2020