Reviewed: Sonja Returns To Khitai In ‘Red Sonja #13’

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

The war between Hyrkania and the Zamoran Empire is over at last. It would be inaccurate to say that Hyrkania won the war–they merely survived the experience. The Zamoran Army is returning to Shadizar in droves, adding pressure to the city’s resources. Meanwhile, Red Sonja needs to plan a future for Hyrkania. They burned all of their own crops to slow down the empire and they used all of their grain reserves in the war effort. Sonja knows that Hyrkania’s only hope is to reach out for aid to a neighboring country…and their only option in that regard is Khitai. This causes Sonja to reflect on the day that her mentor, Domo, died.

Red Sonja #13 cover by Jae Lee and June Chung
Red Sonja #13 cover by Jae Lee and June Chung

Red Sonja #13 picks up after the war between Hyrkania and the Zamoran Empire. Both sides lost a lot in their quests for victory and neither nation seems long for this world.

Phatmos, the new Empress of Zamora, celebrates the death of Dragan. She had intended for her son to ascend to the throne, but Cyril left once she learned of the deception against Dragan.

It’s an issue that showcases the complex ins and outs of the war’s aftermath. Hyrkania had to burn itself to the ground just for the slightest chance of survival and the Zamoran Empire had the luxury of burning through countless resources just to force a regime change. 

The comic mainly serves to show the new status quo for both countries, though it does still advance the story. We get to see Red Sonja grapple with her past anew and are left to wonder what exactly waits for her back in Khitai.

Red Sonja #13 art by Bob Q, Dearbhla Kelly, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Red Sonja #13 art by Bob Q, Dearbhla Kelly, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Bob Q gives the new arc a cleaner and more cartoonish aesthetic. Things are still given the grim touch they need, but it looks far less dirty and gritty than the work of the very talented Mirko Colak. Q gives the book a different look for its new direction and it looks damn good. Dearbhla Kelly continues to provide the color work and it remains dynamic and highly appealing.

Red Sonja #13 shows us the fallout of Hyrkania’s war with the Zamoran Empire while showing where Sonja must next venture if her home country is to survive. It’s an excellent setup for the next arc, leaving us to wonder just what will become of Sonja and Hyrkania now. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.

Red Sonja #13 comes to us from writer Mark Russell, artist Bob Q, color artist Dearbhla Kelly, letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, cover artist Jae Lee with June Chung, and variant cover artist Joseph Michael-Linsner; Bob Q; Marc Laming; Sanya Anwar; and Andrew Pepoy with Jason Millet.

Final Score: 8/10

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