This past month, Dynamite Comics announced that the current run of Red Sonja (volume 4) would soon come to an end with issue #25. January will see the final issue of series writer Amy Chu’s current run, and February will launch Mark Russell’s with reset issue numbers (volume 5). As a Red Sonja fan, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Chu’s time on the title and I was equally as surprised at how much that title has dropped in quality in the last two issues.
Here, I give a detailed review of her run and Carlos Gomez’s excellent art in the video below.
[editor’s note] As a big fan of Amy Chu and Carlos Gomez’s tenure on the ‘she devil with a sword’ title also, I’m embarrassed for how Dynamite Comics is handling the property closing out this run. For one thing, the final two issues of the run were drawn by Andrea Mutti (Rebels, Port of Earth) who is an accomplished artist, but her style isn’t necessarily a good fit for what Gomez had been doing with the title. Gomez’s work was far closer to the Buscema and Thorne era of Red Sonja than any of Dynamite’s artists, save for Frank Cho’s occasional foray. Mutti’s style is much less emphasis on the alluring beauty of the character and approaches the title with a more gritty, realistic-looking style, incorporating lots of lines, more in line with what a horror comic might look like.
And don’t get me started on the final issue’s B-cover by Erica Henderson, who is best known for her Squirrel Girl work.
So it looks like Erica Henderson can draw “Squirrel Girl with a Sword”…
— Bleeding Fool (@BleedingFool) November 30, 2018
Also noteworthy, the new volume which is launching in February will feature scribe Mark Russell (The Flintstones, Lone Ranger) and artist Mirko Colak (Conan) will be taking Red Sonja in an all-new direction with Russell having thoroughly researched the She-Devil Of The Hyrkanian Steppes before tackling this arc. See our take on that direction here. Suffice to say, Mark Russell is expected to take things deep into the political realm if his body of work is any indication. From his turning Snagglepuss into an LGBTQ+ icon, making a sad tale about the Flintstones as they question humanity’s squandering nature and growing consumerism, and even supposing that God was upset with Jesus because he got crucified the last time he was on earth, nothing is sacred. Make no mistake, if Dynamite thought it was a good idea for Erica Henderson to do a variant cover for the final issue of Red Sonja volume 4, then there can be little doubt that they are about to deconstruct the She Devil with a Sword in the name of crass entertainment for volume 5.
Fans are advised to approach the new volume with caution when it hits shelves in February 2019. Fans of Carlos Gomez will be glad to know that Marvel Comics has picked him up. You can catch him on the recent Uncanny X-Men annual #1 (October) and the upcoming Star Wars: Age of the Republic and Secret Warps titles.