Red Sonja Battles a Chaos God in Birth of the She-Devil

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Red Sonja Birth of a She Devil 1

I'm familiar with Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith's creation, Red Sonja. But it's a passing familiarity. I recognize the character, I've read a few issues in my life. But there are years of story that I have not read, an entire mythology that I do not know.

Fortunately, I don't need to know any of that with RED SONJA: BIRTH OF THE SHE-DEVIL. Narrated by Ozzyus, the warrior who found and raised the red-haired little girl who grew up to be the scourge of despots, this tale from Luke Lieberman finds a somewhat younger Sonja on a quest to find a childhood friend, Shashana, who has been taken by Raka the Forsaken. To do what she has to do, Sonja is presented as a mix of ruthless and beguiling, strong and nubile. She dispatches warriors with ease, whether in combat or by drinking them under the table, and it would be a challenge to find a rendition of Red Sonja anywhere in comics sexier than the way Sergio Davila portrays her in this issue.

Sonja hits dead ends seeking her friend, and it's only when Ozzyas finds her, passed out drunk, that she finally gets a lead on Raka's location.

But Raka is not just a villainous warlord. He's a madman, a leader of a berzerker cult who worship a god of chaos. They ravage and pillage because it is his belief that this is what the strong are supposed to do. And the message he leaves behind for a king after wiping out the population of a town, save for one, is positively bone-chilling.

Sword and sorcery, sex appeal, and some serious storytelling make RED SONJA: BIRTH OF THE SHE-DEVIL a book that earns our highest recommendation this week.

(Cover presented here by Lucio Parrillo.)

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0