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Interview: Gail Simone Talks RED SONJA

The BATGIRL writer reveals her plans for her upcoming Dynamite Entertainment series scheduled to hit stores this Summer.

This year we have seen a lot of news from Dynamite Entertainment and among the news we've seen was the announcement that BATGIRL writer Gail Simone would be taking over writing duties for RED SONJA this coming Summer. We recently caught up with Gail to ask her what she has in store for the character as well as what we can expect to see from the series in the coming year. Check out the interview and images below.

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Comic Vine: This July Dynamite Entertainment will be relaunching RED SONJA and you will be taking the helm as the series' writer. What is it about Sonja's character that made you want to write her?

Gail Simone: I have been asked this question a lot, and I have a kind of stock answer, that I love her independence and fiery nature, and all of that is true. It's also true that I love barbarian stories, sword and sorcery stuff really appeals to me.

But there's also a bit of a feeling that the genre could use a fresh look. I do feel that there's a bit of traditionalism that seeps into some of these stories. The individual stories are perfectly told, but I'd like to spin that p.o.v. just a little bit, come in from a different angle.

That said, it's kind of an embarrassment of riches right now, there's some great stuff out there, and the recent Sonja series have been top-notch. I am just hoping to bring a bit of a new skewing of the vision.

I could probably break it down to a more simple sentence: I love Red Sonja and I want to tell stories about her.

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CV: How were you approached for this series?

GS: Nick's been asking me to work for Dynamite for years...when my exclusive at DC ended recently, he was the first person on the phone, and he kindly offered me anything in the stable of characters. But the first name on the list was Red Sonja, and we just both stopped right there.

That said, there's quite a few other favorites I would like to try my hand at, when time permits. The pulp heroes are some of my favorites.

CV: Sonja's tragic childhood led her to grow into a great, wandering warrior. Do you plan on keeping her origin in tact or will this be a reboot of sorts? Do you plan to explore her early years?

GS: I actually feel pretty strongly that time has passed a lot of that stuff by. Some of it is by the wayside already in the recent Sonja books, and I think that's good news for everyone. But this is a new number one, it's a reboot. People can drop right in.

And yes, we revisit Sonja's beginnings in the worst way possible, in issue three, for a start.

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CV: How will this series be different from previous Red Sonja series?

GS: Less history to worry about, mainly. These are new stories.

Other than that, the last few years have had some of my favorite writers working on this book, people like Oeming, Trautmann, Carey, Marz, and lots more. That's good company, big warrior shoes to fill.

CV: Is there a specific point in her career as a warrior that you plan to focus on?

GS: This is early on, she's young. But she has a rep, she's known as simply, "the Devil" to many throughout the land. I want her to still be imperfect and prone to impulsiveness.

She's a bit more wild than we've seen her lately. She's often written as a bit of an ice queen, whereas originally, she was more wild and untamed. I like that Sonja, the Sonja who is lewd and a bit of a drunkard and very, very impulsive.

CV: Will longtime fans be seeing any familiar faces in your series? If so, can you hint at a few?

GS: A couple villains MAY return this first year, but I don't want to say more than that, yet. Sorry!

CV: As far as adversaries and personal challenges are concerned, what are some that Sonja will be facing?

GS: Sonja is trapped in this first story by love and loyalty, and she doesn't like it. They feel almost like chains on her, and my Sonja has a bone-deep hatred of chains, for a good reason. She will not be bound again!

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