Story: Mirka Andolfo, Luca Blengino
Art: Giuseppe Cafaro
Colors: Chiara di Francia
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
What They Say:
As a new, deadly threat comes fuller into focus, the schism between Red Sitha and Red Sonja widens. Their connection dims. Sitha’s penchant for violence, her inability to keep her demons at bay, are soon to lead to a confrontation, with only one surviving…
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 as the series has progressed 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.
What I continue to find interesting with Andolfo’s run on this series is that it doesn’t close up storylines at the end of an issue but rather along the way where it makes sense. That may be problematic for collecting it later but in the here and now it’s good. The opening part of this deals with the fight between Sonja and Drang with Sitha and her friend helping out. It’s solidly done as they fight and Drang is all confident and forceful, but Sitha’s able to provide the distraction she needs so that Sonja can get her blade. As she says, she knows not to go against an opponent like the baroness with just her fists alone. With her blade in hand, she’s able to slice cleanly through her – literally – and leave her for dead with her body in half. It’s a brutal moment that’s come back to later as we see how Drang’s final moments play out while teasing a possible difference in this kingdom should Sonja ever return.
The book goes through some interesting motions there, with the discovery of the gold that was stolen and how Sonja uses a portion of her share just to fix her blade and provide for the journey ahead, leaving the rest for the citizenry. She continues to live lightly but she’s dedicated to getting Sitha home, which has her not only taking a ship but across a sea she hates to be on. It’s great to see some bonding with Sitha here as she made a sword for her, but Sonja made the mistake of not realizing that she booked passage on a slaver ship and that things are about to get a whole lot worse for a lot of reasons. It’s very dialogue-oriented at first in a good way as it has her talking to Sitha about life and what it means to be on a ship, to listen to its captain, and so forth, but we also see how she knows when it’s time to break those rules. Which should make for some real chaos in the next installment.
As with previous issues, there’s a lot to like here. The story moves at a good pace and it doesn’t just wrap up before the end of the issue but instead in the middle, carrying us forward into the next phase of the journey. I really like what the team is doing here with the storyline and its pacing, as well as some of the situations we’ve seen the characters get into, and the artwork and color design throughout is just fantastic. It’s easy to get drawn into this and to really enjoy seeing the journey that they’re on and how Sonja is protecting Sitha while Sitha is discovering how to truly survive in the world. There are things that will come back to haunt them to be sure, but the forward energy is fantastic and I can’t wait to see what they get caught up in next.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 27th, 2022