Beginning in 2016, some of Dynamite Entertainment's most popular ladies are getting new looks and creative teams. Nicola Scott has given Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris, and Vampirella an updated look. Each will have a new monthly series in the first quarter of the new year.
Gail Simone, the writer on RED SONJA for the past two years, has created a road map for the three characters.
"We're doing a monster makeover with these characters, and it's a joy to be part of this. Make no mistake, these are characters we love, badasses all; the She-Devil with a Sword, the queen of all vampire hunters, and the warlord princess. Characters do not get any better than that," says Simone. "Our mission here is to spruce up their look and remind people that these were the original female ass-kickers that inspired Xena, Buffy, and Leia Organa. They are the map others followed, and we get to bring them each a hot, new look from brilliant artist/designer Nicola Scott, as well as thrilling new mission statements for each of them."
Red Sonja #1, by the creative team of Marguerite Bennett (Bombshells, A-Force, Angela) and Aneke (Legenderry: Red Sonja, Damsels) and scheduled for release on January 13, 2016, will see its titular heroine return to her homeland of Hyrkania, only to find it changed into an almost unrecognizable landscape. As envisioned by Gail Simone, the new series sends Sonja on a mission of infiltration, sabotage, and assassination when she discovers that her native people have been conscripted into the service of a Nazi-like regime.
"It's an honor and a pleasure to be the new writer on a book as crazy and colorful as Red Sonja," says Bennett. "While I've never yet had the pleasure of working with Aneke, our phenomenal new artist, I cannot wait for us to make the big, bloody, sexy, sweeping splash in a universe this rich with story, history, and the contributions of the creators and creatives who came before us. I am particularly indebted to Gail Simone, who has always been one of my idols in comics, who first suggested that I follow her run on the title and was endlessly guiding and encouraging as I broke into this new level of the medium."
Bennett says, "This current arc allows me to explore elements of my favorite stories, which have always been those that are enormously morally gray. In this case, we're nearly to 'Red Sonja vs. The Iron Age Nazis', as she watches her own people united and then profaned by a charismatic leader with intimate connections to Sonja's own long-buried past. She is placed in an impossible crisis, on the run from the very people she has saved, torn between saving her homeland... or destroying it. I hope readers will enjoy something dark but fun, vicious but witty, balanced between battle, romance, intrigue, and good old-fashioned monster-slaying. I'm so grateful to have a chance to lead Sonja into this brave new world."
"I was thrilled to draw Red Sonja from the beginning. She is one of my favorite characters ever, so when I was told that I would be drawing this magnificent warrior, I just couldn't stand the excitement," says Aneke, the illustrator of the new series and a self-proclaimed devotee of Frank Thorne, artist of Red Sonja's first-ever series. "I was expecting some powerful stuff from Marguerite Bennett, and I haven't been disappointed! The strength and the misanthropic touch of the red-headed heroine have always spoken to me, so I feel really lucky to draw her."
Dejah Thoris, a royal warrior who has served as a major supporting cast member of Dynamite's various Warlord of Mars series as well as the star of several solo Dejah Thoris series, will appear in a new #1 issue this coming February, courtesy of writer Frank J. Barbiere (Avengers World, Solar: Man of the Atom). As described by Gail Simone, Dejah Thoris would present a fall from grace for the Martian princess, as she embarks on a self-imposed exile, assuming a new identity and enlisting as a rookie soldier on the farthest, deadliest borders of her Barsoomian civilization.
Barbiere says, "I am truly honored to be writing Dejah Thoris, a character with such a robust history and celebrated pulp pedigree. I'm a big fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and to be able to contribute to the canon of one of his most celebrated characters is really exciting. This is a new start for Dejah Thoris, and I think our story is going to reignite the spark of what makes her great. It's a bold new take that really captures the spirit of Dejah as a dynamic, interesting, and capable character while exploring her past in a way that fans new and old won't expect."
"Dejah Thoris was about playing with themes and the Barsoom aesthetic," says costume designer Nicola Scott. "Plaited leathers, swooping, organic shaped armour, and gossamer fabrics seemed the right place to start. It was just a matter of playing around with shapes and proportions until it came together."
Vampirella #1, debuting in March 2016, will feature the writing talents of Kate Leth (Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors), and see a return to the character's roots as a horror hostess, as her costumed identity goes public... while privately, she uses her new celebrity status to uncover the links between silver screen killers and a real conspiracy of monsters.
Kate Leth, writer of the new Vampirella, says, "Vampirella takes Hollywood! In this new and twisted take on the classic horror queen, Vampi moves to the City of Angels to find more than a few demons in the mix. Along with her paramour/werewolf Tristan and trusty butler Coleridge, she begins to investigate mysterious disappearances in the shadowy world of B-movies and the monsters who make them. All the while, she finds herself a sudden sensation after a video of her monster-hunting in her classic ensemble goes viral. Can Vampirella be both a cult icon on the rise and take down an empire of ghouls and ghosts? Signs point to: Hell yes!"
Regarding the redesign of one of comics' most iconic costumes, Nicola Scott says, "Vampirella was a lot of fun. We could actually make her modern, with some retro influence. I liked the idea of keeping her in a one-piece but making it a leather jumpsuit with her logo embroidered on the back. Part biker, part roller-derby. I hope to see cosplayers in this one ASAP!"
Gail Simone also commented:
"You don't need to know their history, you just need to like awesome damn women doing awesome damn stuff. Come join us!"