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Review: Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja Art Edition Volume 2

FrankThorneArtEdVol2-CoverOne of the most unexpected but also well-deserving trends in recent years is to have anthologies which focus on the works of artists from older comics.  Such anthologies have been fairly common for a long time which have focused on writers, but all too often the artists of these bygone years are all but ignored.  In all fairness this has been primarily an initiative of the independent’s and this collection of Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja take a look back at this iconic character and the artwork which helped to establish her.

This collection looks at Thorne’s run on the character between 1976 and 1979, a time when even the less stringent fantasy genre that Red Sonja was still seen as a bit risque, being both a barbarian and wearing a chainmail bikini.  Of course the stories herein are what one would expect from the silver age, but those that only see the stories are missing the point.  This is not an attempt to recycle stories which had their chance, rather this a celebration of the artist and his place in comic history.  In truth the stories are not even that bad, they simply read as a little simplistic, if not as painfully outdated as what is often found in the golden age.  That having been said, one of the most interesting aspects of this volume (as with many others) is the introduction, which gives a bit of history while also putting the character and creator in context of the medium.

This volume will of course not be for everyone.  Instead it for those interested in the history of the medium as opposed to simply reading the modern age as it progresses.  It is indeed a nice addition to any library of comic history and a deserving one.  When one looks to the strong female characters as they are developing in some cases in the modern day, it is important to remember that their roots go far deeper, to a time when female characters were not possible at all to lead a series, let alone any discussion about an accurate representation.

Story: Roy Thomas and Clara Noto Art: Franke Thorne
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read (or Buy)

Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

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