Red Sonja Outwits A Sphinx And Outfights A Griphon In Red Sonja #23

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Red Sonja is travelling through Corinthia when she is called upon by a goddess named Minasha. She wants Sonja to make good on a crime the She-Devil perpetrated upon one of Minasha’s followers. The follower is a king, and Red Sonja killed him in combat some time ago. Minasha brings Sonja to the king, and, after some debate, the king requests that Sonja finds a jeweled axe that his grandfather lost to a griphon decades ago. After further debate, Sonja agrees to go on this quest for the king.

Red Sonja #23 cover by Ben Caldwell
Red Sonja #23 cover by Ben Caldwell

Red Sonja #23 presents an entertaining one-off story tracking the red-haired She-Devil on this coerced quest on behalf of a king and a god.

Sonja is in her traditional combative and irritable form, fighting against both

Minasha and the king to avoid being sent on this journey in which she has no true personal stake.

That doesn’t mean that Sonja doesn’t put forth her warrior’s tenacity and skill, especially in a wonderful sequence wherein Red Sonja encounters a riddle-giving sphinx in a cave.

I personally love a good monster-fighting tale, and Red Sonja #23 presents that twofold. She fights monsters across the Corinthian mountain range to find the jeweled axe.

Plus, it’s nice to see Red Sonja literally talk back to a god with immense power.

Red Sonja #23 art by Roberto Castro, Salvatore Aiala Studio, and letterer Taylor Esposito
Red Sonja #23 art by Roberto Castro, Salvatore Aiala Studio, and letterer Taylor Esposito

Roberto Castro’s artwork is phenomenal, giving the comic a bit of classic swords-and-sorcery comic aesthetic with imposing and athletic figures, heavy lines and shading, and well-articulated action beats. The framing of characters and facial expressions are memorable and grabbing too. Salvator Aiala’s color work doesn’t disappoint either, giving bold and contrasting shades to keep this comic energetic and lively to the eyes/

Red Sonja #23 is an excellent read from Amy Chu and Erik Burnham’s take on the sword-swinging hero. She gets to fight monsters, shoot her mouth off to a king and a god, and the art looks fantastic. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.

Red Sonja #23 comes to us from writers Amy Chu and Erik Burnham, artist Roberto Castro, color artist Salvator Aiala Studio, letterer Taylor Esposito, cover artist Ben Caldwell, and variant cover artists David Williams, Tom and Sian Mandrake, and Carlos Gomez.

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