Red Sonja #2 Review

Red Sonja has found herself in quite a different situation than what she’s used to. She’s no longer fighting dragons or barbarians but instead she has found herself confronting a far different kind of challenge: adjusting to life in modern day New York City. Sonja has found herself magically teleported to our time and there’s a certain appeal to seeing this half-naked, sword-slinging warrior running around New York. The direction of the series is far different than I would have imagined it would be, especially since this is the first time I’m following a Red Sonja story. Not saying it’s bad by any means, but it’s definitely a bit jarring to see the typical fantasy heroine thrust into a world that is far different than she is. And that is what makes this series so engaging. Sonja is a complete stranger to our ways from our sense of fashion, our etiquette, as well as our breakthroughs in technology. While last issue saw Sonja outrunning police, this issue instead slows things down and lets us see how Sonja adjusts to her adventure in New York City.

Red Sonja #2 begins immediately following last issue with Sonja in Central Park. Sonja finds her way to a local bar for a drink and gets herself into a few arm wrestling competitions from some of the locals. She seems to grow very fond of this new world as some of it reminds her of home. Not long after, the police officer Max finds her in the bar and offers her a place to stay while they avoid agents of the evil wizard who sent her to New York in the first place. Max has a few secrets of his own as it was revealed in the first issue that he could understand Sonja. He reveals to her that he has also time-traveled and was not originally from this time and perhaps was a wizard himself.

The issue was rather slow on the plot but the real draw of the issue is seeing how Sonja deals with her new surrounding. I couldn’t help but laugh at the way her customs completely conflicted with our own such as watching television completely naked as if nothing was wrong, to Max’s horror. Or the scene in the bar where she bests the strongest men in the arm wrestling competition. Scenes like this really give Amy Chu’s Red Sonja some flavor and helps give us a story that’s far different than what you’d expect from a Red Sonja series. While some may find that to be a turn off, the new direction really provides a fantastic new experience for both the readers and Red Sonja herself. Amy Chu’s dialogue feels perfectly written for a woman out of her time and comfort zone and gives us a strong female character who isn’t phased by some of the citizens gawking at her. But she also gives us a character who can relax and enjoy simple things such as a bath that can instantly draw warm water. The art by Carlos Gomez is gorgeously rendered. His action sequences are exciting and his characters are beautifully drawn and gives fantastic facial expressions.

If there’s a negative to be found in this book it’s that the villain is completely forgettable. In fact, I can’t even remember his name, I just refer to him as the “evil wizard who sent Red Sonja to New York” (yeah I’ll work on shortening it up). Chu and Gomez are giving us a really fascinating take on Red Sonja, one that might be unexpected but one that is welcome to stay. With a book written well and drawn so well, I would recommend this series for anyone who wants to give Red Sonja a shot.

Score: 8/10

Red Sonja #2 is published by Dynamite Comics. In stores now.