Review: Red Sonja/Conan #2

RSConan02-Cov-A-BenesRed Sonja awakens after her first battle against Kal’ang and his army, trying to piece together what has just happened. The bigger question though is, why is any of this happening?

The story opens with Red Sonja waking from her unconscious state, only to find three men scavenging a pile of corpses decaying on the battle field nearby. From there, she tries to remember what has occurred through the questioning of one of the men who saw the battle from afar. The problem with the story is that, it feels like a wonderful climax to a larger tale but, not enough work has gone into character development to make the battle compelling. Kal’ang’s motivation for fighting centers on his desire to conquer the world but, we do not have enough time with the character to truly understand why. Similarly, Red Sonja and Conan have almost no interaction. Conan barely has any part to play aside from a few lines of dialogue and some brief scenes during the battle flashbacks. Sonja and Conan’s relationship grows little and there is minimal development on why they are fighting together either. With more time for characters to grow, this could have been a fantastic climax to a violent war. Instead, it feels rushed, with the battle ending only in flashbacks and the final confrontation seemingly already on the horizon.

The art works very well to accentuate all of the action and violence. The set pieces are well laid out and the battles feel chaotic. There is a sense of tension many times in these sequences where the fighting is fast and impactful. Kal’ang’s beasts look especially impressive in combat. Although, the art does have moments when it falters. There is a lack of consistency in how characters muscles are accentuated. Some are done in only in light gray shading, while others are inked in dark black. There are other issues of consistency as well. On one page, the monsters created by Kal’ang are larger than the humans they are fighting but not by much then, on the very next page, Sonja and her horse are barely as big as the foot of the very same creature.

Overall, this issue feels like it could have been a great final chapter to a larger narrative but, the build up to it was too rushed and none of the action feels like a rewarding payoff of what the series has done so far.

Story: Victor Gischler Art: Roberto Castro
Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review