[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Red Sonja is roasting her dinner on a spit when she hear someone crying out for help. She finds an old man being menaced by a crew of bandits. Sonja leaps to the rescue, cutting down the bandits and saving the old man. The man’s name is Tariq, and he is a traveling musician on his way to Kambuja. Red Sonja is on her way back to Hyrkania, but she agrees to help the old man reach Kambuja for some coin. To her surprise, Tariq turns quite judgemental of Red Sonja’s methods, and this sparks conflict between the two weary travelers.
Red Sonja #25 challenges the red she-devil by pairing her with a pacifist who disdains Sonja’s trade.
Stories like this one pose a difficult balance to walk, and many who attempt to make it work trip to some degree or another. Unfortunately, Red Sonja #25 makes some mistakes even if it is better than many such tales.
The challenges arise from the very premise; readers come to Red Sonja for often-bloody action and adventure. While many may detest violence in the real world (myself included), Sonja wouldn’t be Sonja without her sword.
That said, when Tariq does get through to Sonja, it is impacting. Red Sonja is immovable, but this man’s music manages to speak to her. In that, there is a spark of hope that perhaps art and writing can get through to that violent aspect of humanity.
Red Sonja #25 doesn’t outright flounder, and it is still largely an entertaining comic despite the flaws. It’s far better than most comic framed like this.
Carlos Gomez’s artwork is sleek and serves action scenes quite well. The background detail is done quite well, and the characters are made to be very expressive. Mohan’s color work contrasts well and adds personality to the environment.
Red Sonja #25 has its problems and may even annoy some readers, but it is still a solid comic. Sonja is as boisterous and fun as ever, and the artwork is solid. In the end, it’s still worth a recommendation. Feel free to pick it up.
Red Sonja #25 comes to us from writers Amy Chu and Erik Burnham, artist Carlos Gomez, color artist Mohan, letterer Taylor Esposito, cover artist Mike McKone, and variant cover artists Erica Henderson, Tom and Sian Mandrake, and David Williams.