Legenderry Red Sonja 4 Cover A by Sergio Davila, Dynamite 2015Legenderry Red Sonja #4

Marc Andreyko (scripter), Juanan Ramirez (illustrator), Impacto Studios (colorist), Dave Lanphear (letterer)
Cover by Sergio Davila & Ivan Nunes
Dynamite
June 3, 2015

(Note: This review contains some spoilers. Ginnis reviewed Legenderry Red Sonja #4 with an advanced review copy from Dynamite.)

In this issue, Red Sonja faces off with Sharknado!

Okay, it’s not quite sharknado. It’s more like several Jaws-sized sharks. Nothing a good kick to the head won’t fix, water resistance be damned. But ultimately, the swarm gets the best of Sonja until Captain Nemo shows up. Seeking revenge, he decides to assist Sonja in her quest. And that is the most disappointing aspect of this issue—the action is largely driven by Captain Nemo while Red Sonja tags along and assists. While this makes sense considering he saves her from drowning, I was surprised that this continued throughout the issue. It’s a bit of a sore spot for me as I want Sonja always leading the action, but also an invulnerable Red Sonja isn’t all that interesting.

On the whole, I continue to enjoy Legenderry Red Sonja. Having not read comics in the steampunk genre before, my ideas about the steampunk genre in the comic medium are solely based on this series. In fact, most of my steampunk experience is limited to clothing design and Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate book series (which you should read). That being said, I am liking steampunk in Legenderry Red Sonja. There’s a swaggering, pulpy, tongue-in-cheekness, along with fantastical anachronisms. And this being steampunk, of course, the setting and costumes are ridiculously fun. I am now considering reading Legenderry Vampirella based on how much fun this comic has been.

Legenderry Red Sonja has a new artist on duty. While Aneke did the first three issues, Jaunan Ramirez (Transformers: Prime, Dungeons & Dragons) illustrates issue #4. This is not his first time drawing Red Sonja, though. He also drew her for Altered States: Red Sonja (interesting concept, but not particularly well thought-out). What stood out for me in particular with Ramirez’s art was how he wove smaller panels throughout larger panels with a minimal use of gutters. At times, it throws the eye off a bit, but it also forces you to stop and experience the art and appreciate the thoughtful composition. I prefer Aneke’s facial expressions, which brought a comical quality to the comic that seemed fitting to the swaggering Red Sonja of Legenderry, but Ramirez’s facial work still is strong. Ramirez also shows us the blood and gore, like when Nemo rips a shark in half, because why not? It’s fun and over-the-top pulp. In comparison, Aneke’s art had more of a comedic bent to it, while Ramriez goes for the action and guts (quite literally).

Issue #5 will wrap up the series. I am curious as to see what other monstrosities of Dr. Frankenstein we will encounter. The creative team is clearly enjoying coming up with them.