Review: Red Sonja #6


In this end of the arc issue, a good loyal soldier finds out what many other good, loyal soldiers find out. That they have been lied to all along, and the blood that is on their hands has been spilled based on a lie and to serve an agenda that they didn’t fully comprehend. How the soldier deals with the revelation is one of the true tests of a lifetime, and in this tale I’m happy to report that the good loyal soldier responds in a way that at least leaves her with credit on her blood drenched soul.

The soldier I’m talking about here of course is the main nemesis of Red Sonja. her gladiatorial sister Dark Annisia. A woman who spent time in the same dungeon as Sonja and fought alongside her for the amusement of a cruel King. But a woman, who went to the dark side on her release, becoming a mercenary soldier who delighted in warfare, and the killing of innocents.

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Annisia and Sonja have been locked in battle during this arc, and often times it appeared that the final confrontation would be a battle to the death between the two female warriors. Annisia had been driven mad with guilt over her actions and the only way she could deal with this guilt was to throw herself even deeper into the madness and declare war to the death on Red Sonja.

But everything has changed now. In the first few panels of issue #6 Annisia has that moment of clarity where she realises that the enemy she has spend so much of her energy on was not her enemy at all. The real enemy was the tyrant King Bazrat, who now sits on his throne and laughs at the deceptions he has weaved, and how he’s used good loyal soldiers to carry out his blood drenched agenda.

This issue is the revelation, the moment when the curtain is drawn back and the Wizard of Oz is revealed as he really is. How will Dark Annisia react, how will Red Sonja react? Will the King get away with his deceptions, and what can our heroes even do to stop him as he laughs at his own cleverness, surrounded by soldiers and seemingly invulnerable from defeat as he boasts about his inevitable victory.

If you want to find out what happens next, and it is extremely satisfying to see it all played out, then pick up this book. All of the secrets are revealed, a definitive conclusion is reached, the final battle makes logical storytelling sense and the people I was cheering for all along finally get that moment with the bad guys that we all wish we could get in our real lives.

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So a satisfying end to the arc, and Red Sonja continues onto a new adventure next month. I’ve really enjoyed her adventures in the first six issues, and am all on board to get going with a brand new arc for a brand new year. The art by Walter Geovani has been consistently strong throughout, the story has been pitched at a frenetic pace, but taking the arc as a whole it all hangs together as a coherent story rather than a crash, bang wallop affair each month.

The character of Red Sonja herself is Gail Simone in comic book form. Strong, clever, funny and defiantly in charge of her own destiny. And those covers by Jenny Frison, beautiful, absolutely beautiful. 2013 has been a great year for Gail Simone’s Red Sonja, and here’s hoping that 2014 will be just as much fun. As long as Simone is on the title though, I know this is a cast Iron guarantee. Raise your glasses to Red Sonja, all hail Red Sonja.

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Bottom Line

A satisfying conclusion to what has been an extremely enjoyable arc.

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