Red Sonja is on a mission. A mission to save thousands of lives and to become the best female warrior there’s ever been in comics. Both missions are under progress right now, thanks to the pen of Gail Simone and the pencils of Walter Geovani. Ever since their reboot of this popular swords and sorcery series last year, they’ve really turned Red Sonja around in terms of who and what she is and with each issue they’ve managed to impress and wow. No small feat, but then again, they are two of the top creators in comics right now, so I’m sure that’s a big contributing factor. It is all about the mad skills.
Red Sonja #10 has the titular character meet with Osric the Untouched this time, a man who is supposed to be the best swordsman in the entire world. How Red Sonja wins over this character to her cause is the best part of this comic and Gail Simone certainly does not disappoint on that front. And she has some great moments with the former courtesan Aneva, moments which really help define Sonja as a character and which made me a huge, huge fan of Aneva as well. As for Walter’s pencils and Adriano Lucas’ colours, no complaints there at all this time. Almost a perfect issue!
The main cover for this issue is by Red Sonja veteran Jenny Frison and the variant is by Allison Sohn. While all the covers for the series thus far, whether main or variant, have been quite incredible indeed, and none more so than the entire batch for the first issue, Red Sonja #10 is where a variant cover has really managed to impress me and has even been better than the main cover, which are usually the best ones IMO. Allison Sohn captures the character’s deadliness, her lethality, her sexuality, everything, really well. And the same goes for Jenny’s cover as well, which features another badass moment for Red Sonja.
For the internal story itself, we see how Sonja is at first defeated repeatedly by Osric and even humiliated by him, but when she turns the tables on him, for we all know that she is eventually going to do that, that’s when the issue really kicks into high gear. Gail Simone combines some fantastic swordplay with excellent introspective character moments and also sprinkles some of her trademark humour elements here. Plus, this is Red Sonja after all, so some bawdy moments are most certainly called for, and when the conversation between Sonja and Osric turns to matters of sex, I couldn’t stop laughing because of the answer that he gives her about a… request that she makes.
Ah Sonja. You are utterly awesome in every single way that counts.
One thing that bothered me, and this was the one and only thing and also quite a small one, is that there is no mention of the other “greatest artisans in the world” we’ve seen thus far. Aneva is Sonja’s only companion and this seems to be a bit of a weird error or something.
Still, even without that, Gail does tell a very focused story, as she usually does and Sonja’s moments with Aneva are absolute story gold I think. The last issue was absolutely amazing in part because of how Gail portrayed Aneva and here she continues all of that as she stands by Sonja no matter what the other is going through at the moment. Man, if we could get an Aneva/Red Sonja buddy action-comedy series, I would be the first in line to buy that. These two have some great potential indeed.
Walter’s pencils and Adriano’s colours are the best that they’ve ever been in this series. The best moments from the artwork are undoubtedly those dealing with the characters’ expressions, specifically Sonja. Given that she is the She-Devil, a warrior without peer, the fact that she loses to Osric so many times really bothers and Walter captures her frustrations and her rage really well. It also helps that his Sonja is inherently badass, and when the gears shift in the second half, he and Adriano really bring all that out into the open once more to show just how great Sonja really is. Honestly, Walter and Adriano could draw Sonja for years and years and I wouldn’t complain, not at all.
For another awesome issue of this series, a toast!