In Review: Legenderry: Red Sonja #1

Fun adventure with a classic character in a Steampunk setting.

The covers: Several covers for fans of the Hyrkanian to collect. Joe Benitez and Ivan Nunes have created an excellent cover of the She-Devil with a sword in profile, turned slightly toward the reader. She’s wearing her chain mail bikini, but also a leather half top, pants, gloves, and a head scarf topped by goggles. The look on her face suggests mild annoyance at being looked upon. Behind are the metallic gears and globes that this artistic duo used on their Legenderry mini-series covers. Very, very good. The B is by Cedric Poulat and it’s set within a lavish brown matte, with Sonja in black stockings and matching corset, yet also clad in her metal bikini, gloves, and goggles. She’s posed before a gigantic clock, looking like an Irish beauty more than an exotic Mediterranean fighter. This is good, but not the Sonja I’m used to seeing. The C is by Sergio Fernandez Davila and Ivan Nunes. This is the fighter I’m used to seeing. A smoldering orange-red sky leads to Sonja standing atop a pile of bones and weapons. The wind is sweeping her hair back, revealing the tails of her head scarf and threaded beads within her locks. She wields a sword and mighty battle axe. Ashes and embers cascade about her. Beautiful, strong, and poster/print quality. There’s also a Cards and Comics Collectibles Exclusive by Aneke with the red haired maiden atop some cogs and gears with the city at night behind her. She’s looking playfully at readers, actually twirling some of her hair. Odd pose for Sonja, but alright. Overall grades: A A, B B, C A+, CCC Exclusive B-

The story: A nervous old man makes his way through the crowded streets of the city wondering, ‘Are they here?…It’s only a matter of time before they find me.’ And a shadowy figure on a building watching him confirms this. The man spots his pursuer and escapes in a taxi, leaving the cloaked character growling. Her face is partially revealed, showing a nasty scar as she thinks, ‘I loathe this city. Too many places to get lost.’ This leads to an excellent transition to Sonja who thinks, ‘I love this city. So many places to get lost.’ Her ship is coming into the port of the Big City and she can’t wait to disembark. Making her way to a local tavern, she encounters the old man from the opening pages and gets between him and a quartet following him. Marc Andreyko has a nice flavor for Sonja’s voice and chooses just the right words to set her off. The action that occurs in the tavern is good, with a nice supernatural twist on Page 16. It evoked a sick buy funny scene from Evil Dead II. I didn’t know what to expect on the last page, and Andreyko has an outstanding reveal that fits perfectly with this Steampunk universe. This is a fun story that captures the best of Howard’s character with her in a unique setting. Overall grade: A

The art: The visuals are by Aneke and they’re good. He’s created a nice Victorian setting for the Big City and it contains a few examples of the Steampunk genre: women in corsets and top hats, obligatory goggles on foreheads, and pipes in the walls. There were opportunities for more of these elements, such as the cars and lamps, but they too closely resemble modern devices, rather than the stylized genre. The characters’ dress more exemplifies Steampunk, with the garb on Sonja, the mysterious stalker, and the four attackers being the traditional combination of leather and brass. His Sonja looks good, with her anger and frustration equally matching her joy. The four attackers are excellent hulking thugs that telegraphs the stalker’s identity. The action that begins on Page 14 is very well done, with Aneke moving the point of view around, making the action more fluid. The splash on Page 15 is a spectacularly perfect way to start the clash. I also wanted a splash for the final page’s reveal, but I’m hoping there’s one for this individual in a future issue. Overall grade: B+ 

The colors: Good work throughout from Impacto Studios. The exteriors of this book are set at night. I was glad to see that the Studio was able to evoke the time without making the art obscured through dark colors. Page 3 shows how colors transport readers to a new character with Sonja’s green eyes and red hair the complete opposite of the man’s stalker. I also liked that color–orange–was used to differentiate Sonja’s narration from other’s narration and text. An excellent visual signpost. The interior that is introduced on 11 has a wonderful hue that brings out the browns of the wood and reinforces the presence of this early, artificial light. Overall grade: A

The letters: Two different forms of narration, dialogue, scene settings, sounds, and “To Be Continued…” are crafted by Dave Lanphear. I wanted the four attackers and the stalker to have their own unique font for dialogue, rather than the shape of their speech balloons being done in unusual shapes to make them different from others. Doing so would have made the characters more powerful, but what Lanphear does is fine. Overall grade: B+

The final line: Fun adventure with a classic character in a Steampunk setting. I’ll definitely along for the entire ride. Overall grade: B+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

    8 Comments on this post.
  • anadreiko
    11 March 2015 at 10:26 am -

    Oh the colours are fine, but the characters look so strange with his penciller, it seems she don´t care about Sonja. Anyway the plot was fine. But I´ll no continue with the collection ´cause the pencils.

  • Ginger
    11 March 2015 at 4:22 pm -

    Hahahaha. You put Sergio Davila GEORGEOUS cover ćause Aneke’s art is so ugly. Hahahahaha

  • krillin
    12 March 2015 at 2:33 pm -

    Totally with you guys. She’s the penciler of Dammsels I thought that she tried to give that ‘deformities of style ’cause of that, but not, also if you ser prudente forums pe reviews they claim to remove her from penciler.

  • Rodrigo Gonzalez
    17 March 2015 at 9:03 am -

    With you guys. I don´t know if you saw the preview of the #2 but is the same. I hope they change the penciller

  • wismael
    30 August 2015 at 4:14 pm -

    UFFF don´t like Aneke, now she´ll do an annual of Vammpirella 🙁 I so afraid of it.

    • RAOUL
      14 October 2015 at 11:09 pm -
      • wismael
        17 November 2015 at 3:11 pm -

        And did you see what happened on Vampirella´s review??! She answered to a “fan”

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