Mar 9, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 743: Red Sonja #3, May 1977

https://www.comics.org/issue/31051/

What I had not realized was that Red Sonja did not start out life as a part of the Conan mythos, but was actually a minor 16th century gunslinger character that Robert Howard wrote about. It was Roy Thomas who transposed her to the mythology that she's not firmly ensconced within.

Red Sonja is just excellent. She's by far the most famous of the chainmail bikini characters, but she doesn't let it get in the way of being a total, total badass. She takes down an entire kingdom's worth of champions in this issue, and then takes on the queen of the realm, who transforms into a giant spider that Sonja subsequently kills, and then she just ups and leaves, not caring about the power vacuum she's just created. If you'll forgive the colloquialism, literally no fucks are given for the fact that she has just destroyed, pretty much, an entire society's political system.

Frank Thorne's artwork somehow manages to be both highly stylized and highly detailed all at once, and it's a nice mixture for a fantasy comic, especially a high fantasy comic like this one. High fantasy characters live in the same very simple world as superheroes, but since they exist, more often than not, in fantastical places (as opposed to the contemporary cities of most superheroes), there needs to be far more detail in order that the world be believable. Thorne manages this with great panache. This is the only Red Sonja comic I have, but I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for others, I think, and especially the Thorne ones. There's something really quite cool going on here.

To be continued.

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