Friday, August 07, 2015

Red Sonja/Conan Issue #1

   A little earlier this year, Dark Horse Comics and Dynamite Comics got together and teamed up Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja. Because of the arcane ways of licensing, each of these companies has control of one of the characters, so any team-up has to be agreed upon by both companies. Dark Horse did four issues of a mini-series called CONAN/RED SONJA, and apparently now it's Dynamite's turn to do RED SONJA/CONAN.
   The first mini series was a lot of fun. It had a fairly lightweight story involving the Stygian wizard Thoth Amon and a dangerous mystical plant called the Bloodseed. And it had really good art by my main man, Dan Panosian. I did get a little tired of the whole Bloodseed thing by the end of the mini series I must say.
   So you can imagine I wasn't overly thrilled when I opened the first issue of RED SONJA/CONAN to find that once again the menace for the two sword slingers to face was a Stygian wizard and the Bloodseed. New plot, people. Please.
   Anyway, the art in the first issue, by Roberto Castro, is really sharp. In fact I prefer it to the current art in the regular Dark Horse Conan comic, but that's probably because it's more Marvel style. I grew up with the Marvel Comics version of Conan and the closer something hues to that, the happier I usually am. What can I say? I'm an old school comics guy.
   The writing, by Victor Gischler, is serviceable, though Conan seems a little out of character, but we all know how picky I am about Conan, so that's a minor quibble.
   Oh one funny bit, maybe a little spoilery. In the old Marvel continuity, Sonja had a vow that she wouldn't sleep with a man unless he defeated her in combat. Not so with the Dynamite Sonja. In fact as she's written by regular Sonja series scribe Gail Simone, today's Sonja, much like Conan, is rather randy.
   So it finally looks like Conan and Sonja are going to get it on, when some of the wizard's monsters show up in the bed chamber and things go to hell in a Hyborian hand basket. So close, yet so far.
   So yeah, lightweight sword and sorcery fun from Dynamite with spiffy artwork. There's a preview here.


Paul R. McNamee said...

Yeah, I feel the same as you do. Not thrilled with the bloodseed again. Please don't tell me DH and Dynamite are having a contest like Iron Chef. "Here's your story; Red Sonja, Conan, Wizard, Bloodseed. GO!"

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Certainly seems like it. We'll see how it progresses.