Bento Review: Legends Of Red Sonja

I think this may very well be the best book from Dynamite that Comic Bento has managed to send me so far.  To date, the various offerings of licensed books haven’t done much for me, but the company managed to do right with the fierce She-Devil herself, Red Sonja.

How?  The book is an anthology, and all the stories inside it were written by women.  That certainly helped.  Nothing in the book felt exploitative.  I can’t exactly make that claim about Dejah Thoris.

Having a book where the main character famously spends most of her time in a chain mail bikini not come across as exploitative is a rather neat trick in and of itself.  Heck, one of the stories involved explains why she dresses like that (it makes her lighter on her feet and a lot faster than most of the men she faces off against).

The book has a framing device:  twelve warrior/bounty hunters (initially) are after Sonja for killing the son of the king who hired them.  As they follow her trail, they recount stories of their own meetings with Sonja or hear tales from others who have.  Some of these tales come from grateful people Sonja rescued or touched in some way.  Others are mad at her for one reason or another.  About all they have in common is Sonja herself, a mighty warrior who makes others around her look bad by comparison.

Dynamite got some rather impressive writers on this thing.  Gail Simone handles the framing material in each issue/chapter, while other stories come from the likes of Kelly Sue DeConnick, Nancy Collins, Marjorie Liu, Mercedes Lackey, Tamora Pierce, and Devin Grayson among others.   The artwork includes a number of men, but there are no slouches in that department either.  Whether the book all adds up to something coherent may be up to the individual reader, but I found it rather fun.  In the end, that’s about all I ask for.  I’m giving it nine out of ten necromancer traps.

NEXT BOOK:  Man, I feel like I am intruding on Jimmy Impossible’s territory.  Why?  The last book from the box is the Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale Marvel property Spider-Man: Blue.  Be back for that one soon.

tomk74

Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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