Published on August 17th, 2017 | by Chris O'Connor
Red Sonja Worlds Away Volume 1 TP Comic Review
Summary: Red Sonja is set to defeat a giant beast when Khulan Gath appears and sends her into the unknown. Waking a long way from home and out of her element... she must get her bearings and track down Khulan Gath and face him once and for all.
Comics can often get a bit “samey” with stories, the hero faces a giant monster, cuts the monster to ribbons, saves the day hooray! There’s nothing wrong with that and stories are often retold time and time again… it’s the way they are told that makes the difference. In this story a new twist is thrown in by taking Sonja out of her element… in a much bigger way than usual.
The barbarian She-Devil with a sword seems all to comfortable in her home world, no challenge seems too great or too fierce for her to throw herself at in the pursuit of justice. So how do you attempt to defeat someone who seems so impervious? Well in this case you send them to a whole different world, New York City to be precise. It’s an interesting idea and it certainly gives a few new options of obstacles to face Sonja… such as the generally frowned upon act of running through the streets barely dressed and wielding a giant sword (or any sword really for that matter). But once she gets a sense for her new surroundings it doesn’t take too long for Sonja to figure out who is behind it and to bring together a merry band of allies to help bring about justice.
Every panel is vibrant and full of life. From Sonja’s home world to the subway to the streets of New York… it all resonates with a liveliness. The lines and colours are nice and clear, scenes pop when they need to and are more subdued when the artist wants to suggest that perhaps this is a fate Sonja won’t be escaping so easily. Superhero outfits are always a bit “showy” especially for the women and I guess because of the shift to contemporary New York Sonja’s outfit seems even more revealing (though it’s not more so than usual), it’s an interesting effect of the contrast of cultures and time periods. That very same difference in contexts does lend itself to the odd “gag” here and there about the appropriateness, or lack there of, of walking around with little to no attire.
It’s an interesting story approach that I wasn’t expecting but certainly brings up some interesting challenges for someone not of the modern world. A longer series could no doubt have examined that change in environment even more but it’s covered perfectly well in this story. Will it sit well with the die hard Red Sonja fans? Maybe, maybe not… I suppose it depends on how much you value the setting over the character… sometimes it just doesn’t work to take someone out of their natural environment… but other times it gives an opportunity to see how that character would fare in other circumstances. A city with such a large wilderness area as Central Park was probably about as good a setting you could have to enable a “soft move” to a new environment. I certainly love the more traditional story settings… but this does make for a nice change.
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Carlos Gomez
Cover Artist: Nick Bradshaw
Format: 202pgs, FC, TP
Release Date: 5th July, 2017