Monday, 29 April 2019

Red Sonja : She Devil with a Sword

First post of the week, and I am still carrying on with the comic book based theme as FCBD is rapidly approaching (Saturday 4th May). I still have posts on Conan and King Conan to follow this one over the next couple of days, and one or two similar before getting back onto gaming and my miniatures collections next week, hopefully.

Following on from the Kull and Solomon Kane summaries, here is a similar one for my Red Sonja collection. This didn't appear last week as it took an age to find and enter all the details - I spent a fair bit of the weekend tracking stuff down and collating the details for this post and the Conan ones to follow over the next couple of days. That said, as most of the work for Red Sonja was done over the weekend, it meant I could post earlier today as most of the details had already been added to this entry.

This is a far more extensive collection than either of her Robert E. Howard stable mates but I didn't actually buy everything that was available. I avoided the Marvel reprint collections, and some of the cross-overs and weird tales that featured Sonja were not added to my delivery list by my comics dealer. I feel that I may have missed a few good tales, but equally I probably missed a few turkeys too, which is a common theme with these comics - there are a lot of turkeys but the occasional good one-off tale makes up for them.

As I have already read all of these I cannot really run a brief synopsis on each comic or mini-series, without unboxing and re-bagging them all again, as that will take forever, so I will just list the stuff that I have and move along.

Dynamite Entertainment Monthly Runs...

Red Sonja v1 0–80 (2005–2013) - printed as 13 trades & 5 omnibus editions
Queen Sonja 1–35 (2009–2013) - printed as 6 trades
Red Sonja v2 0–18 (2013–2015) - printed as 3 trades
Red Sonja v3 1–6 (2016) - printed as 1 trade
Red Sonja v4 0–25 (2016–2019) - printed as 2 trades
Red Sonja v5 1-  (2019-)

The monthly runs were generally broken down into five or six issue mini story arcs within the whole tale, and each monthly run series seemed to take Sonja off in a different direction character wise - lots of the old tropes disappeared to allow the character a little more freedom on the page. The use of female writers (Gail Simon on Volume 2, Margueritte Bennett on Volume 3 and Amy Chu on Volume 4) certainly changed a lot of Sonja's character.

What I didn't like about Dynamite's marketing tehcniques on the Red Sonja titles was the release of three or four cover variants per issue. I generally got what my comic dealer sent through (occasionally getting a rarity, but mostly the bog standard release) but I was not going to spend lots of time, effort and money trying to grab each variant. There were some I preferred over others, but I am more interested in how they read than what they look like.

Dynamite Entertainment Mini-Series...

Savage Red Sonja: Queen of the Frozen Wastes 1–4 (2006)
Red Sonja: Wrath of the Gods 1–5 (2010)
Red Sonja: Revenge of the Gods 1–5 (2011)
Red Sonja: Unchained 1–4 (2013)
Legends of Red Sonja 1–5 (2013–2014)
Red Sonja: Black Tower 1–4 (2014)
Red Sonja: Vulture's Circle 1–5 (2015)


These titles were generally collated into trade paperbacks after publication of the mini-series. Again, some were rather hit and miss but I quite like these mini-series as they are ideal for a quick dip into the world of Red Sonja without having to get too immersed in any one reading session.

Dynamite Entertainment One-Shots...

Red Sonja Annual 1–4 (2006–2013)
Red Sonja: One More Day (2006)
Red Sonja: Goes East (2006)
Red Sonja: Monster Isle (2006)
Red Sonja: Vacant Shell (2007)
Giant Size Red Sonja 1–2 (2007–2008)
Red Sonja: Deluge (2011)
Red Sonja: Break The Skin (2011)
Red Sonja: Blue (2011)
Red Sonja: Raven (2012)
Li'l Sonja (2014)
Red Sonja: Berserker (2014)
Red Sonja and Cub (2014)
Red Sonja: Sanctuary (2014)
Red Sonja #100 (2015)
Red Sonja #1973 (2015)
Red Sonja: Altered States (2015)
Red Sonja: The Long Walk to Oblivion (2017)
Red Sonja: Halloween Special (2018)
Red Sonja: Holiday Special (2018)


All of the one-shots up to and including those released in 2014 were collected into two trades. Some of these tales are very good and take us back to the days when Sonja was a wandering adventurer and sword for hire and each tale is a one-off; in my opinion when this character is at her best.

Dynamite Entertainment Crossovers...

Red Sonja vs. Thulsa Doom 1–4 (2005)
Red Sonja & Claw 1–4 (Wildstorm crossover) (2006)
Savage Tales v3 1–10 (2007–2008)
Sword of Red Sonja: Doom of the Gods 1–4 (2007–2008)
Spider-Man & Red Sonja 1–5 (Marvel Comics crossover) (2007–2008)
Witchblade/Red Sonja 1–5 (Top Cow Productions crossover) (2012)
Red Sonja: Atlantis Rises 1–4 (2012–2013)
Conan/Red Sonja 1–4 (Dark Horse Comics crossover) (2015)
Red Sonja/Conan 1–4 (Dark Horse Comics crossover) (2015)
Red Sonja/Tarzan 1-6 (2018)


I am not a great fan of crossovers but those related to other REH characters are of an interest to me. The Savage Tales collections were OK, but I found that the filler stories between major characters were mediocre at best in these collections.

Dynamite Entertainment - The ones that got away...

Classic Red Sonja Remastered 1–4 (2010)
Prophecy 1–7 (2012–2013)
Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure 1-7 (2014)
Swords of Sorrow 1-6 (2015)
Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja/Jungle Girl 1–3 (2015)
Legenderry Red Sonja v1 1–5 (2015)
Pathfinder: Worldscape 1-6 (2016–2017)
Pathfinder: Worldscape - Red Sonja (2017)
Legenderry Red Sonja v2 1–5 (2018)

I was either unable to get hold of these or didn't really want to. I must admit to a liking of steampunk, so not sure why I didn't get those particular Legenderry issues - maybe I missed their announcements and forgot to order them from my comics dealer? Anyway, I doubt I will track them down as single comic editions now, and may go for the trades when I have any spare cash and am at a loss for things to read in the future.

The only Robert E Howard character I haven't listed so far is Conan; my favourite of all his characters. This collection is also quite extensive but there are not quite so many variants as the Red Sonja versions. I will try to get onto those listings tomorrow.


  1. Thanks for the post. As for the ones you've missed, I've heard Legenderry is very, very good but don't waste your time with Swords Of Sorrow or Pathfinder. Prophecy is OK.

  2. Thanks for the comments and advice. I may look into grabbing that Legenderry mini-series then.