Legenderry: Red Sonja #2
Marc Andreyko (w)
Sergio Fernandez Davila (c)
March 18, 2015
Red Sonja’s Legenderry continues, this time with sea monsters! Or at least that is what Davila and Nunes cover would leave me to believe. I am delighted that the main cover is from this team because for the first issue, Davila’s cover was a variant yet he drew the most imposing and impressive Red Sonja. This trend continues with the cover of this issue.
She’s in action, she’s dressed appropriately, and she is screaming like a banshee. I will take it with a side of more, please.
Elizabeth, the former lover of Victor Frankenstein (not Frank-en-steen), is teaming up with Red Sonja to prevent the mad Dr. F from taking over the world, or something like that. It’s not exactly clear why Dr. F is trying to take over the world or how Elizabeth (deemed “Lizzie” by Red Sonja) ended up as another version of Frankenstein’s monster and feels she has to stop Dr. F. Either this will be revealed later or it will just be glossed over. But it means Red Sonja gets to get her pirate on which I am all for.
The issue is action-packed with the sort of off-the-wall anachronisms of steampunk: there are pirate ships, submarines, and even a rocket launcher wielded by Red Sonja which brought to mind:
Red Sonja continues to be swagger and witty asides. The steampunk backdrop serves Red Sonja’s bravado well and gives her a space to be a little less like a serious mercenary and more like a pirate always up for an adventure. In my review of issue #1, I was a little put off by her coming off as more genial and less curmudgeonly, but I was less concerned with that in issue #2 because Red Sonja’s good-natured bravado serves as a foil to Lizzie’s seriousness. (I mean, if my mad scientist lover resurrected me from the dead and turned me into a living monster, I might not be all laughs either.) Because of these contrasts, their bonding is enjoyable to witness.
The art keeps pace with the action driven narrative. The scene where Frankenstein’s monster killed Lizzie actually made me cringe, and the battles on the high seas scenes are equally dynamic. But as mentioned earlier this action tends to overwhelm the why behind the whole plot. Maybe this will be revealed later, but right now the narrative seems to be relying on audience knowledge that Dr. F is the archetypal mad scientist. Considering the character reveal at the end (a good one), Andreyko is doing some interesting work with this intertextual universe, but it’s because of that interesting work that I want a little more character background. I don’t want to entirely ride on my own assumptions about these iconic characters.
In sum: action is good, steampunk Red Sonja is growing on me, but the narrative needs some more layers, and minus one point for promising sea monsters with the Davila cover and not delivering.