First things first: Jenny Frison's cover work stuns; Red Sonja looks both beautiful and strong, and her pose captures the calm before the storm of this issue and the next. Also worth a look: Becky Cloonan's severely badass variant cover, which captures a fiercer side of Sonja.
And on the interior, Sonja is immediately imposing, casting an impressive shadow and inciting calls of "The Devil!" It's perfectly played, since this issue marks the penultimate of the Dark Annisia arc, and has a newly-restored Sonja embarking on a revenge mission; she absolutely should be coming out with guns -- or, swords, as the case may be -- blazing.
Escalation is the name of the game this issue; there's a city held hostage, a gladiatorial stand-off, and a surprise twist at the end. It's quite a lot of action for a single issue, but, more importantly, it's a great set-up for the next. Tensions are razor-sharp, there are multiple villains at play, and Sonja just got her stomach pumped to the max.
I may be missing a critical note of Red Sonja's character -- I've admittedly only started the series with this run -- but her rekindled anger over the inaccessibility of alcohol in Patra seems bizarre. Certainly, Sonja is entitled to a beverage or several, but it's an oddly-placed bit of humor in her otherwise-focused journey.
This issue is the serve for Issue #6 to spike; it's an action-packed setup that runs on the momentum of a well-executed first arc, and if the next issue delivers a satisfactory ending, RED SONJA will be cemented as a must-pull series from Dynamite's recent swath of revivals. Simone and Geovani have tackled the title with energy and passion, and bring readers an adventure story as strong as Sonja herself.