Review: Red Sonja Goes Steampunk in Legenderry Red Sonja #1

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Legenderry Red Sonja #1

Marc Andreyko (w), Aneke (a)
Joe Benitez & Ivan Nunes (cover A)
Cedric Poulat (cover B)
Sergio Fernandez Davila & Ivan Nunes (cover C)

Admittedly, I haven’t read any of the Legenderry series. I read Fables for awhile, but stopped after Snow married Bigby because she then became drastically less interesting as Bigby took center stage more and more while Snow was relegated to taking care of all the brats. But enough about that, let’s talk Red Sonja.

Dynamite turned out a cover by Benitez and Nunes and two variants. Benitez and Nunes is the classic brokeback pose. I wish I could say more about it other than meh. Poulat’s variant takes the chainmail bikini and turns it into the full lingerie get-up with waist cincher, a garter belt, and stockings, which lolololol. I know it’s the genre, but c’mon, this is Red Sonja. Also, why is her right wrist so small? But there is redemption, dear readers! Davila and Nunes variant is pretty effing cool (in my super professional and totally objective opinion). Red Sonja is holding her sword at the ready with a laughably large battle ax that when coupled with the pose and facial expression immediately brought to mind Princess Ugg covers. I will be framing that one, thankyouverymuch.

The events in Legenderry Red Sonja #1 occur after Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure. Again, I have no idea what any of that means, but fortunately, I was able to step into the story with relative ease.

Red Sonja is a new kind of mercenary — a pirate. She’s traded in her chainmail bikini bottoms for pants, and the chainmail string bikini top has been replaced with something more akin to a chainmail bra (which, yay, for more support, I worry about Red’s poor back) that is overlain with a cropped jacket. She fortunately doesn’t wear heeled boots, but that doesn’t stop her from taking up space with long, swaggering strides. I appreciate the movement that Aneke gives her.

In sum, Pirate Red Sonja commands a crew of men to pull up sails at a local port. Like any reasonable pirate, she’s just looking for a good time and a good lay. She stops at the local pub for some booze which is nothing out of the ordinary for our favorite redheaded lass. However, her plans for a few drinks and a night of passion between strangers is thwarted because, like always, Red Sonja manages to find trouble, or it finds her. Before long, Red Sonja is wielding her sword in an all-out brawl. Her brawling is intercepted by a mysterious cloaked woman that leads to a big reveal in the final panel fitting to the steampunk genre.

As Red Sonja swaggers about the town, we quickly learn that this Red Sonja is quirkier than other Red Sonjas — more genial which, honestly, is kind of weird. I’m used to an aggressive and curmudgeonly Red Sonja. When a male stranger makes a move on her and grabs her face, she laughs it off and verbally puts him down. Barbarian Red Sonja would have hacked his arm right off for grabbing her like that which is one of the many reasons why I love her. Additionally, the language felt somewhat stilted coming from Red Sonja.  It feels like a clumsy attempt at steampunk colloquialism, but as I don’t really read steampunk, it may be pretty standard fare for the genre. *shrug*

The big reveal was a fun wallop and fitting to the steampunk genre. It left me intrigued, mostly,  for issue #2, but more out of interest for the reveal rather than Steampunk Red Sonja who feels more like a genial, swaggering redheaded character in her own right rather than the vicious swordswoman I am used to.


Any of you read the Legenderry series? What do you think of it? How are female characters handled in it?

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Smashing the patriarchy with glitter, pink lipstick, and cowboy boots. You can follow her on Instagram @ginnistonik

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