Story: Mirka Andolfo, Luca Blengino
Art: Giuseppe Cafaro
Colors: Chiara di Francia
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
What They Say:
New arc, new jumping-on point for readers! The adventures of Red Sonja and Sitha in a world full of threats and dangers have only just begun. Now the bond between the two has become deeper and more special, but are their problems really solved? A new, deadly threat looms, and the mother/daughter connection may not be enough to quell the evil ahead and the power within…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Mirka Andolfo, as she writes alongside Luca Blengino, has had a strong run so far with their time spent with the character. The story continues to move forward overall but is, supposedly, designed for these good jumping-on points for people to see what’s happening, especially if those gorgeous covers draw in new readers. Giuseppe Cafaro is handling the artwork with Chiara di Francia doing the color design and it’s really great. There’s a really great sense of color to this that gives it an almost film-like feeling at times. It’s richly detailed and immerses you in this engaging world in a really great way. I love the look of the cast and the expressiveness that we get as well.
This installment spends some time introducing us to Baroness Drang that oversees this very controlled city that Sonja and Sitha have found themselves in. We see how as a child she was put through a hard trial by her father, much like generations past, and she managed to kill the bear and eat its heart. That eventually lead to her doing the same to her father and having a lust, if not a curse, to want more from powerful fighters. Hence the capture of Sonja, who resides in the dungeon for a week now as she refuses to eat or drink. Which are good things as Drang isn’t a hunter looking for a fair fight when she gets it as the food and drink are lightly poisoned in order to weaken her prey. Sonja’s sense of smell has saved her before and doing so here is good to see, though she has to conserve her strength with as weak as she has become.
For Sitha herself, she’s still with Kebra who has acquired all the gold and found an amusing way to get it out of there. But Kebra is focused just on herself and her group, hence pushing back on Sitha on trying to find Sonja because Kebra can’t believe anyone would still be alive. This creates a break between the two, at least in the short term, with Sitha going off to figure this out herself. She’s bonded with Sonja strongly and having been saved twice and knowing Sonja understands her gives her the fire she needs. Of course, the inner demon is pushing her a lot as well but we see that shift just enough toward the end here as she comes into where Sonja and Drang are fighting, giving her a chance to really intervene and give Sonja the chance that she needs. It’ll be interesting to see how this all falls out from here as Kebra’s always going to be at a distance.
Red Sonja has a strong issue here though I’ll question whether it’s a jumping-on point as the ad-copy claims it is. The background for Drang is welcome as it fills us in on the basics of her quickly as does the time in the present, which showcases how and she’s treating Sonja as she is. Sitha’s time with Kebra is pretty solid as well as it further shows why Sitha will trust few, even when Kebra does return to help. Sonja’s time seems small at first with her still hanging in the cage, but she’s a thrill to watch fighting in the state she’s in when she gets to Drang and it definitely delivers a really good sequence. While you’re never uncertain of the end here in a way, we know Sonja can take a hell of a beating. Watching her roll with what Drang has put out as worn down as she is really is a delight.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: March 23rd, 2022