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Early Review: Gail Simone's RED SONJA #1

There's a new Red Sonja series coming and she's more than ready to kick plenty of butt.

Gail Simone's first issue of RED SONJA is on sale in July but here's an early review for the issue.

The Good

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Ever since it was announced at Emerald City that Gail Simone would be writing a Red Sonja series, everyone took notice. Both Red Sonja and Gail Simone are known for kicking butt so it sounded like a perfect fit.

We are dropped in the aftermath of an epic battle. It's great seeing the issue begin this way. Instead of page 1 panel 1 featuring Red Sonja, we get to see a set up of her world. Seeing the events unfold that lead up to her first appearance here builds up the anticipation. Without giving anything away, it's a great set up and nice twist. This isn't how I thought the series would begin.

What is Red Sonja capable of? Simone does not hold back in showing us. If you're looking for great Red Sonja action, you will not be disappointed. It'd be easy to go over the top but Simone manages to delightfully balance showing what she's capable of without making it too excessive. It is excessive. But it's the right amount of excessiveness.

This isn't just a tale of Red Sonja kicking butt though. We do get to find out a little more about her. She is not simply a she-devil with a sword. There is, believe it or not, some compassion present. Also, if you've read Simone's writing, you know she will sprinkle in some humor at just the right moments. And be prepared to see Sonja in a way you haven't seen her before.

Walter Geovani's art is a perfect fit. The art in a series like this can be crucial in making it stand out from the rest. Red Sonja needs to have a certain level of elegance when she's in the midst of action or in her down time. There are also the big action scenes. When there's an invading army on the horizon, the threat needs to be credible. As mentioned above, the action scenes contain the right amount of violence without being gratuitous.

The Bad

This series is off to a great start. The only bad thing is you have to wait until July for the first issue and I now have to wait until August for the second.

The Verdict

There is a craving for epic fantasy adventures these days. Red Sonja is no stranger to these types of stories and Gail Simone shows she completely understands the character. Usually seen as just a female warrior with a sword, Simone shows Sonja is not someone your favorite comic character would want to mess with. This is the perfect jumping on point new readers and old readers will enjoy Simone's take. We find out a little about her past without this being a full fledged origin story. There is a great mix of action, backstory, humor and good old fashioned storytelling here. I've read Red Sonja comics off and on in the past and this issue fully captures my attention. There's good news and bad news about this series. The good news is we're off to a great start for this new volume. The bad news is this means you now have a new series to add to your pull list.

5 stars out of 5. I can't wait to see what Simone has planned for future issues.

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Here's an unlettered preview for the first issue:

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