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Witness the Early Years of Red Sonja in Birth of the She-Devil

Dynamite invites fans to witness a young, raw and reckless adventurer in Red Sonja: Birth of the She-Devil this June!

Writer Luke Lieberman, artist and fellow Sonja all-star Sergio Davila and colorist Ulises Arreola have come together for an early tale of everyone’s favorite fiery-haired heroine. This limited series will feature Red Sonja’s trademark armor – and her temper. Not yet the legend she will become, but building a fearsome reputation!

Sonja finds herself against the demon conqueror Raka, whose alchemy turns men into thralls. Luckily her mentor Ozzyus is still kicking at this point. He was last seen toward the beginning of Dynamite’s contributions to the Red Sonja mythos in the previous series by Lieberman and Peter David, Red Sonja vs. Thulsa Doom. Discussing where Red Sonja is at the start of this story, writer Luke Lieberman said, “This story is about her figuring out what kind of woman she wants to be, what she wants to do with her gift of violence. Sonja is a total badass, but what makes her so compelling and iconic is her humanity. She sees the world for what it is and she is who she is unapologetically. She has already taken the worst Hyboria can dish out, so there is nothing left to fear. Despite this hardness, or perhaps because of it, she recognizes innocence as rare and precious and she will protect it.” 

Readers can pick from three unique covers on each issue. Master painter Lucio Parrillo delivers jaw dropping pieces. For a more old school option, interior artist Sergio Davila is drawing covers as well. Rounding out the selection is a set of cosplay photos starring fan favorite Shannon Kingston. Or collect them all of course!

Red Sonja: Birth of the She-Devil

Preview: Red Sonja Vulture’s Circle TP

Red Sonja Vulture’s Circle TP

writers: Nancy A. Collins, Luke Lieberman
artist: Fritz Casas
cover: Jay Anacleto
FC • 136 pages • $17.99 • Teen+
COLLECTS ISSUES 1-5!

Red Sonja, now older and battle-scarred, has turned away from the warrior’s lifestyle of bloodshed and vengeance. As the headmistress of an academy for sword maidens, she prepares a new generation of She-Devils to face whatever conflicts and horrors the Hyborian Age can muster. However, when the fate of the world once again stands upon the edge of blade, Sonja must come out of retirement to wield it!

Deep in the shadowy realm of southern Stygia, cultists have performed a blood ritual, giving birth to Sutekh, the son of the ancient god Set. A winged reptilian with the  power to draw human souls out of his victim’s bodies, the vicious demigod raises an army to conquer all mankind. Kingdoms fall one by one before his wrath, and the temples of all other gods are razed to the ground. Red Sonja, aided by her prize pupils, must blaze a path to the fabled God Caves in search of the only divine power capable of matching Sutekh’s might… but to win the favor of her patron goddess Scathach, Sonja must face the failings of her earlier life and make a terrible sacrifice of her own.

Acclaimed author Nancy A. Collins (Vampirella, Swamp Thing) joins with Luke Lieberman (writer of the sweeping Queen Sonja saga) and skilled artist Fritz Casas (The Blood Queen) to tell a heart-wrenching, world-shattering tale of the once and future She-Devil!

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Review: Red Sonja #1973

RS1973-Cov-A-Benes“Tall tales and Swords”

Red Sonja: The She-Devil with a sword has been around since she was created in 1973. (Which I love how the number of this issue is an homage to that particular fact.) She’s been a brave warrior, a fierce lover and loyal comrade all through out her existence. Her stories are the stuff that “tall tales” are made of. Which is exactly why I loved this book. It’s a collection of tall tales of sorts, each showcasing different aspects to the She Devil’s personality so that you could get the impression that these would be the type of stories told by friends of hers or others whom merely came into contact with her on their daily travels. The stories are told well. Some of them have adventure and bloodshed while others have heart. Since this is anniversary issue done in anthology style we are not bogged down by long-standing continuity that might be found in other current comics on the shelves today. (Which works out great for me since I am a big fan of the character but admittedly have not been an avid follower of her exploits throughout the years)

Our first story opens with Sonja tracking a caravan through the trail that is transporting suspicious cargo. She views the caravan from afar before making her move. She decides to ambush the marauders, which ends up quite badly. For them. We get some great moments and dialogue here as she kicks the driver off of the moving wagon and says “One side fellow.. I need your wagon more than you do.” This indignation of course draws the ire of the leader of the pack. The warrior decides to attack her head on. While he holds his own at first it is shown that he cannot handle the fierce barbarian and she relieves him of his hands via her blade. My favorite moment of the story is when after she disarms (literally) their leader she tells them she won’t take it personally if they feel that they have not brought enough men to handle her in combat. She then gives this mischievous smile and the remaining warriors quickly retreat. Such a great scene.

In the second story we follow Sonja at a local watering dive, enjoying a brew while she is propositioned by a rather untimely beast. He makes his intentions to Sonja quite clear and which she declines and quietly walks off. Having been embarrassed the beast makes his way after the fire haired beauty to make her change her mind. (Sure that always works, sigh) Sonja being the smart cookie she is, realizes this is about to occur and she makes her way to the next bridge and stops. She readies her weapon for conflict and all of a sudden behind her a larger troll rises from beneath the bridge! (I know it’s a stereotype here, but it just works.) The troll says he’s the new troll of the bridge and thus sworn to eat any human that dares crosses it. Sonja says fair enough but there is a brute twice her size chasing her, perhaps he could wait for that meal. Sonja gleefully takes back a top her horse and sets off. She gets only a few yards up the way when she can hear the sound of the troll and her deranged suitor in battle. She then doubles back and just as the troll is going to enjoy a meal, he shrieks loudly as a sword pierces his eye and he falls backwards. Sonja then strikes him with her blade twice more to give a fair warning. The troll does not heed and she finishes him off swiftly. Upon the troll’s demise she tells her unwanted admirer, that there is “No need to thank me.” To which he tries yet another advance. (Jeez some guys don’t know that no means no) A quick shot to the barbarians “treasure chest” and he finds himself down on the ground mating with the road. This was pretty funny. It showed Sonja’s softer side by offering to save her adversary from a grim death, but then relighted her fiery spirit when she knocked him out. Two stories in and it’s just plain fun.

Our next tale finds Sonja deep in the mountains of winter, trying to keep warm when she spots a cabin. The cabin contains a couple and their ungrateful son. The couple take Sonja in no questions asked and they clothe her and feed her accordingly. Sonja takes notice this is the first time she’s felt safe and cared for since the slaughter of her own family. She chokes back tears thinking “Don’t let them see you cry here Sonja. Not now not ever.” Character moments like this go a long way into making Sonja likeable from her battle tested exterior, and enrich her great character. The son gets jealous and does not like the attention being bestowed upon the beautiful stranger, and in a fit of anger lashes out at both of his parents. Sonja upset that this young man can not see what he has in his family, wants him to realize the error of his ways. He then strikes his own mother, which makes Sonja furious and confronts him. He challenges her to a test of wills with his blade to an unarmed Sonja and she obliges. He makes his way to do battle in the front yard when he turns his back a moment and Sonja packs a snowball with a large rock. With his back turned, she hurls the rock at him and takes him off his feet. Sonja quickly disarms him and has the young man at her mercy. Since she views him as a creature devoid of honor, she marks him for death. Before she can strike the killing blow, the boy’s father intervenes with his bow aimed squarely at Sonja’s head. He and his wife thank her for bringing them small joy, but that is their blood and will handle it themselves. Sonja reluctantly agrees and honors their wish to leave this place. They tell her to keep the blade as it will suit better in her hands than in the clutches of their fool of a son. It is bittersweet as she takes her leave because she realizes that Ori their son, no matter how much of a mess up he is and how much he may prove to be in the future he will always have a place with family. She stows her blade and makes her way on the road not sure of what’s to follow but crystal clearly sure what she’s lost. Very poignant tale, indeed.

Overall: The rest of the issue is rounded out with a few more short tales. One depicting Sonja on trial for a murder (Written by Gail Simone! of Batgirl and Birds of Prey fame) the other with her being captive and forced to be the love slave for a disgusting wealthy patron, and last but not least in a short silent tale written by Cullen Bunn, with no words whatsoever and art by Jonathan Lau (Who must have studied Frank Frazetta, because each panel is gorgeous stuff) makes this quite the collection of talent in one place. So like any good birthday party you want to hit the major bullet points:

Honor the guest of day properly: check

Throw a good feast: check

Have some entertainment: check

Leave people talking with a story: check

I’m surprised it took me so long to come back to these pages, but now that I’ve crashed the party so to speak I will most definitely be a regular. Great story, good dialogue, fantastic art, what’s not to love? I only have one question. Who does Sonja’s dry cleaning? All the blood spilled she should look into that. Dynamite Entertainment blew me away here with their homage to in my opinion the best action/fantasy heroine of all time. Raise a tall glass to this one! Here! Here!

Story: Eric Trautmann, Roy Thomas, Luke Lieberman, Gail Simone, David Walker and Cullen Bunn Art: Ivan Rodriguez, Rich Buckler, Kewbar Baal, Bilquis Evely, Jonathan Lau
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Strong Buy

Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

 

 

Preview: Red Sonja 1973

Red Sonja 1973

Cullen Bunn, Eric Trautmann, Roy Thomas, Luke Lieberman, Gail Simone (w)
Ivan Rodriguez, Rich Buckler, Rod Rodolfo, Kewbar Baal, Bilquis Evely, Jonathan Lau, Ivan Nunes, Marcio Menyz, Arison Aguiar (a)
Ed Benes (c)
FC • 48 pages • $7.99 • Teen+

Since her fearless debut in 1973, the She-Devil with a Sword has redefined the fantasy genre thanks to the efforts of acclaimed writers including Gail Simone, Roy Thomas, Luke Lieberman, and Eric Trautmann! Joined by first-time Sonja writer Cullen Bunn and a handful of amazing artists, these titanic talents each contribute tales of derring-do to this supersized, action-packed anthology. Everyone’s favorite red-tressed heroine battles monsters, rivals, and ne’er-do-wells in Hyborian adventures retro-tinted to capture the flavor of her classic comics era!

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Preview: Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #5

Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #5

Nancy A. Collins, Luke Lieberman (w)
Fritz Casas (a)
Jay Anacleto, Walter Geovani (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Jay Anacleto B/W Art retailer incentive cover
Walter Geovani B/W Art retailer incentive cover

The confrontation between the rejuvenated, goddess-infused Red Sonja and the merciless Sutekh, the half-human son of the serpent-god Set, is finally at hand! The battle lines have been drawn outside the walls of Zingara’s capital city, and the fate of the Hyborian Age hangs in the balance. But could Scáthach—the divine Queen of Swords—be an even greater threat to mankind than Sutekh’s legions of ghouls and demon beasts?

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Preview: Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #4

Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #4

Nancy A. Collins, Luke Lieberman (w)
Fritz Casas (a)
Jay Anacleto, Walter Geovani (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Jay Anacleto B/W Art retailer incentive cover
Walter Geovani B/W Art retailer incentive cover

Sutekh’s evil continues to spread as the Son of Set marches on the mightiest of the Hyborian Kingdoms. Meanwhile, Red Sonja—thanks to divine intervention from her patron goddess, Scáthach—has undergone a sea change that both surprises and alarms her comrades-in-arms.

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Preview: Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #3

Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #3

Nancy A. Collins, Luke Lieberman (w)
Fritz Casas (a)
Jay Anacleto, Walter Geovani, Lucio Parrillo (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Jay Anacleto B/W Art retailer incentive cover
Walter Geovani B/W Art retailer incentive cover

Following the aftermath of Sutekh’s siege of her school, Red Sonja travels to the fabled God Caves, where the barrier between the mortal world and those of the gods intersect, in hopes of contacting Scáthach, the ancient battle-goddess of her ancestors. But is she willing to pay the Queen of Swords’ price for her divine help?

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Preview: Red Sonja #100

Red Sonja #100

Gail Simone, Roy Thomas, Luke Lieberman, Eric Trautmann, Mike Avon Oeming (w)
Sergio Davila, Pablo Marcos, Dave Acosta, Taki Soma, Noah Salonga (a)
Ed Benes, Robert Hack, Andrew Pepoy, Ken Haeser, Pablo Marcos (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 48 pages • $7.99 • Teen+

Who knows how to celebrate ten years of Dynamite publishing better than the She-Devil with a Sword herself, RED SONJA? And she’s invited some serious barbarian bards to help! Past and present Sonja scribes GAIL SIMONE (current monthly writer), LUKE LIEBERMAN (the man behind Queen Sonja), MIKE OEMING (the first scribe of Red Sonja’s tenure at Dynamite), ERIC TRAUTMANN (who swept Sonja across the many Hyborian kingdoms), and ROY THOMAS (the man who started it all) pair up with beloved artists for this phenomenal five-story, supersized anthology, celebrating Red Sonja and her many roles and sojourns throughout the Hyborian Age!

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Preview: Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #2

Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #2

Nancy A. Collins, Luke Lieberman (w)
Fritz Casas (a)
Jay Anacleto, Walter Geovani, Lucio Parrillo (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Jay Anacleto B/W Art retailer incentive cover
Walter Geovani B/W Art retailer incentive cover

Red Sonja and her prize pupils, Lyla and Xoana, return to their school with the renegade priest Sefkh in tow. After the Stygian reveals that the half-human son of the serpent-god Set is marching forth to reclaim the world for his sire, Sonja realizes that the world is in peril. But before she can decide whether to come out of ‘retirement’ one last time, the school’s compound is attacked by The Eaters of the Dead—a legion of flesh-eating undead created by Sutekh from those who have dared to defy him. Now Red Sonja, her longtime companion, Yusuf, and her young pupils must battle not only hell-beasts and ghouls, but the terrifying Son of Set himself in a bloody fight for not only their lives, but their souls as well.

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Preview: Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #1

Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #1

Nancy A. Collins, Luke Lieberman (w)
Fritz Casas (a)
Jay Anacleto, Walter Geovani, Lucio Parrillo (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Jay Anacleto B&W Art retailer incentive cover
Walter Geovani B&W Art retailer incentive cover

From shadow-haunted Stygia emerges an evil undreamt of by even the most depraved minds: the demi-god called Sutekh. Born of an unspeakable blood ritual, he is the half-human progeny of the ancient serpent-god Set, sent forth to enslave Mankind in the name of his father and return the world to a primordial swamp. The new-born Sutekh leads a fearful army and uses powerful sorcery and a menagerie of demonic war-beasts to break the will of his mortal enemies as he marches forth to conquer the kingdoms of the Hyborian Age, defeating foe after foe — until he crosses the path of an older, battle-scarred Red Sonja, who has exchanged the life of a mercenary for running a school for sword-maidens. Can Red Sonja and her prize students, Lyla and Xoana, defeat the evil Sutekh and his private army of ghouls and devils with the help of the renegade Stygian priest, Sefkh, or are the Hyborian Kingdoms doomed to fall before the pitiless “Son of Set”?

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