In Review: Legenderry Red Sonja #5

A terrific conclusion capped with plenty of action.

The covers: A trio of covers have been created to close out this series. The A illustration is by Joe Benitez with colors by Beth Sotelo. A stunning Sonja wearing her pirate gear has stopped mid stride to look at the reader. She’s shown from her right and has her left hand on her sword, ready to release it should the need arise. Behind her is a metallic orb that’s encased in thin gray metallic bands. The entire image is against a concrete colored background that contains rust splatters. This is fantastic, but everything by Benitez and Sotelo always is. The B is the B&W Incentive cover. It is the same image as the A, though without any colors. I like this, but I prefer it colored. The C is the “Virgin” Incentive cover, which is the same image as the A, though now without any text. It’s the purest form of the illustration and one to pick up. Overall grades: A A, B B+, and C A 

The story: Sonja is making her way through the sewers with an odd looking device that beeps continuously. She realizes the device is telling her she’s getting closer to Kulan Gath. She has a flashback to whom she acquired the device from, Marie Curie who told her the device detects radioactivity. She warns Sonja not to be in contact with the wizard’s bomb because it could be fatal. Back in the sewers, Sonja discovers several headless corpses. Going further, she discovers the bomb, surrounded by the heads from the bodies she’s encountered. Hearing noises, she hides just as Gath and his lover Tesla Thorne arrive. The ancient wizard tells Thorne that they can remain when the bomb goes off. “The Dark Gods will not only protect us from the blast they will, in their gratitude, make us gods ourselves.” Of course, that’s when Sonja’s Geiger counter goes off. Gath uses magic to reveal the hero’s position and summons a mischief of rats to kill her. Marc Andreyko has this action sequence go quickly, with Sonja doing everything possible to escape and what she does is awesome. Once away with the bomb, Sonja hatches a plan that, unsurprisingly, doesn’t go as she had wanted. This is a terrific conclusion to this series with plenty of action, some great lines, and a conclusion that teases more adventures to come. Whom do I have to speak with to get Andreydo to write another? Overall grade: A

The art: The art on this final issue is also good. Rodney Buchemi’s characters look great. Sonja’s introduction is a close-up of her looking at the Geiger counter and then pulls back in the second panel to show her walking almost knee deep in the worst possible place. The three panels that are flashbacks with Curie are neat for having no borders with the edges of each illustration disintegrating into nothingness like a dream. Curie’s reaction at the top of Page 2 is excellent foreshadowing of danger and it was neat to see Sonja make almost the same reaction in the panel that follows. The water in the sewer is cool looking, with it having neat ripples from objects that shouldn’t be in it. Gath and Thorne’s entrance has the pair shown from an angle looking up at them; the perfect point of view for villains. The way Gath’s magic is illustrated is different from anything I’ve seen other magic users employ; it’s simple, but looks good. The action following the object on 6 is great and Gath’s reaction to it is terrific. The same can also be said of Thorne’s reaction on 7. Gath is exceptional looking on 10. The bottom three panels on Page 13 had me cheering. The reveal at the top of 15 is great and would make the Winchester brothers proud. The final page of the book has a neat visual surprise that makes the looks on the pair that ends the book smile worthy. Overall grade: A

The colors: I’m so grateful that colorist Adriano Augusto uses green for the walls of the sewers, rather than gray, giving the environment a sickly feel rather than a utilitarian one. Those greens also allow Sonja’s hair to stand out well. The three panels of flashbacks with Curie are colored with a moldy yellow that really ages these sequences. Kulan stands out incredibly with his violet skin and costume. The interiors of Nautilus are given a cool blue, giving it a mechanical flavor, but not an overwhelming one. When Sonja and Tesla battle their backgrounds are colored yellow and orange to intensify the fight. The large panel on 17 gets a great blast of violet to emphasize for the reader what’s occurred. Overall grade: A

The letters: Thomas Napolitano creates this issue’s narration, sounds, dialogue, yells, and the final two words of the book. I have loved since the beginning of this series the narration that Sonja uses, with it employing lower case letters to make it different from the dialogue. Such a little thing, but so darned cool! The sounds are incredible in this issue with the Geiger counter, rats, and a lot of punches. The final two words that end this series look elegant. Overall grade: A

The final line: A terrific conclusion capped with plenty of action. I enjoyed the story and really liked the visuals. In fact, I would be disappointed if Dynamite doesn’t continue the exploits of this Steampunk Hyrkanian. Overall grade: A 

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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.
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