Legenderry Red Sonja 3-Cov-A-Davila, Dynamite 2015Legenderry Red Sonja

Marc Andreyko (writer), Aneke (artist), Impact Studios (colors), & Dave Lanphear (letters)
Cover by Sergio Davila & Ivan Nunes
April 22, 2015

While I didn’t expect it, I find myself enjoying Legenderry Red Sonja. Too often, these side ventures can be painful, cough, cough, cough. But in Andreyko’s and Aneke’s hands, Legenderry Red Sonja is a fun ride I look forward to. Also, sharks.

Let’s begin with the cover. In Davila and Nunes’s hands, Red Sonja continues to wield her mighty and comically oversized battle ax. This cover is in line with his other covers, which depict Red Sonja on the battlefield. Being that one of Red Sonja’s key traits is that she is a warrior, I am loving Davila and Nunes’s covers. Considering that Davila will be the artist on Swords of Sorrow #1-6, his work on Legenderry Red Sonja has me in high hopes for the art. He does that particular brand of action, pulp, and badass without veering into gross objectification.

In issue #3, Red Sonja continues to face off with Dr. Frankenstein (she calls him “Vic”) and his various monsters and lackeys. In the last issue, we got another surprise guest—a Frankenstein-ed Captain Nemo. As is typical with Frankenstein, the common concern with how scientific progress often imbues humans with a sense of godliness is present. Unsurprisingly, Red Sonja questions this, which makes sense with her prior barbarian incarnations; however, I would like to see this theme explored and pushed a little further instead of just being left in its usual place. Red Sonja has always been skeptical of powerful institutions, so it would be interesting to see a more nuanced approach to how she resists these particular manifestations of power.

Aneke does some great work on Red Sonja’s facial expressions. A comedic scene where Red Sonja’s hair gets caught in a door particularly stands out, and anytime Red Sonja is moving, Aneke makes highly expressive with lines and body movement. While I imagine Barbarian Red Sonja as more stoic, it seems fitting to for Legenderry Red Sonja, a slightly more genial character, to have a range of expressions.

In my review of issue #1, I was a bit put-off by Legenderry Red Sonja, as the barbarian version is so near and dear to my heart, but by issue #2, I warmed up to her, and issue #3 doesn’t disappoint. I could go for a standalone Legenderry Red Sonja where she swaggers about and hangs out with famous gothic literary characters. I love pulp, and I love goth, so Legenderry just keeps working for me.

Oh, and there are sharks at the end. Sharks are cool.