The best part about legends is that there’s usually a kernel of truth to them… but you have to wade through a lot of exaggeration to find that kernel. A larger-than-life figure like The She-Devil, Red Sonja, is perfect fodder for legend; how could you possibly run out of material? Gail Simone, Meljean Brook, and Tamora Pierce recognize this, and give us some great storytelling in this latest issue of Legends of Red Sonja.
Linked again by Gail Simone’s framing story of a group of Grey Riders on the hunt for the She-Devil, we get two more tales – The Undefeated (written by Meljean Brook) Double-Edged (written by Tamora Pierce) – of Sonja and her travels. In The Undefeated, a soldier by the name of Gordrak the Beheader tells a story of his time with Red Sonja – and his tale paints a very different picture of Sonja from the one that the Grey Riders were expecting. Is The She-Devil’s reputation fabricated? Is she really a cowering woman, looking for a man to hide behind – or is there a reason behind Gordrak’s tale?
Tamora Pierce’s Double-Edged sees the Riders encounter a young girl at an inn, who warns the riders of the dangers of tangling with Sonja by relating a tale where Sonja accompanied the girl and her mother on a mission for their goddess. This story is more along the lines of the Red Sonja we know and love, with plenty of sword-swinging and bloody justice.
Jack Jadson (framing story), Mel Rubi (The Undefeated), and Cassandra James (Double-Edged), all create cohesive, tight artwork to put flesh on the bones of the Red Sonja stories. Jay Anacleto’s cover gives us a beautiful sword-and-sorcery fantasy rendering of the warrior, holding an axe over her usual trusty sword.
All in all, Legends of Red Sonja #2 is another great issue. I love the concept for this book, and wonder what’s going to happen if the Grey Riders ever catch up with Sonja – or is that a story for another Red Sonja issue?
The book hits shelves in two days – if this isn’t on your pull list already, jump right in and pick up an issue. Every issue is a great jumping on point!
LEGENDS OF RED SONJA #2
Writers: Gail Simone, Meljean Brook, Tamora Pierce
Artists: Jack Jadson, Mel Rubi, Cassandra James
Cover Artist: Jay Anacleto
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
On Sale: December 4, 2013
Diamond ID: OCT131050