Saturday, March 02, 2013

News! Gail Simone takes on Red Sonja!

SimoneGailThe ever-awesome Gail Simone will be taking over writing duties for their fan-favourite series, RED SONJA!

Published by Dynamite Entertainment, Simone’s run will kick off with a brand-new #1 issue, to be published in July 2013. Hopefully this means it’ll be good for new readers… Interior art for the series will be provided by Walter Geovani

Red Sonja is a character I’ve been aware of for many years, and I remember watching the Red Sonja movie, many moons ago. In fact, I believe I even had a bit of crush on Brigitte Nielsen, who portrayed the titular character in that 1985 movie. It was released when I was only two years old, but I think I must have seen it around the age of eight or nine… For nostalgia’s sake, here’s the trailer:

Anyway, back to Simone and the comic. I haven’t had a lot of past reading experience of Simone’s work, and have actually only read the first nine issues of her current, storied run on DC’s New 52 Batgirl series (which is rather excellent).


In the recent past she has also worked on DC’s pre-New 52 Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Welcome to Tranquility and Wonder Woman. Simone got her start in comics writing for Bongo Comics, home of The Simpsons, after which she worked on a run on Marvel Comics’ Deadpool, and later, Agent X.


Covers for the new Red Sonja series will be drawn by some of the top female artists in comics today, including: Nicola Scott, Colleen Doran, Jenny Frison, Stephanie Buscema, and one of my personal favourite artists, Fiona Staples (of Saga fame) – with more high-profile female cover artists yet to be announced, apparently.

RedSonja-01A (Fiona Staples)

Fiona Staples’s Cover Art

To help kick off the celebration of Gail’s take on “The She-Devil with a Sword”, which coincides with Emerald City Comic Con, Dynamite will be giving away limited edition premium prints featuring art from an upcoming Nicola Scott cover (possibly there will be a selection of variants? The press release was a little unclear), which Simone will be present to sign.


Colleen Doran’s Cover Art for #1 (above) & #2 (below)


Here’s what Gail had to say about the series:

“It’s like this... even most of the best female heroines when I was a kid were pretty polite. What I love about Sonja is that she isn’t polite, she says what she means and if you give her any lip about it, hello, sword in the gut. She’s smart, she has a heart, she has some compassion. But when it’s go time, she’s a hellraiser, a mad general, she’s a sword-edge virtuosa, she’s death on wheels.* She is the woman you never want to mess with. I can relate, Sonja. No offense to all her guy writers, but THIS Red Sonja is about sex and swords! It’s everything you love about Red Sonja, except with more monsters getting stabbed in the eye.”

* Points for not saying “in heels”…

Nick Barrucci, CEO & Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment, was effusive in his praise for Simone, stating that the new Red Sonja is “a character [Gail] was born to work on.” There was even a smiley-face emoticon in the press release, which was… Different. Barrucci continues, in an ebullient manner:

“I have wanted to work with Gail for years, and it’s incredibly exciting that her first choice in working with us is Sonja. A strong-willed female with fiery red hair writing about a strong-willed female with fiery red hair – AND A SWORD! It is a dream come true that this project has finally come to fruition! Gail and Sonja’s will be the blades that cut the deepest to her enemies chagrin!”

I’m still exploring Dynamite Comics’ titles and back-catalogue, working my way through select established series and new titles as-and-when I can afford them (or just when I get the chance). I haven’t yet managed to find one that has completely hooked me as much as some of Marvel’s or DC’s (well, really, Vertigo’s), or even as much as certain Image (Skullkickers, No Place Like Home, Witchblade & The Darkness), or newly-discovered-by-me Oni Press (The Sixth Gun). But then, I still have a lot to try. What I have read has been high quality (in terms of content and production), though – The Spider and Pathfinder (written by Skullkickers’ Jim Zub) have been particularly good.

Fans of the SFF side of CR’s focus should also know that bestselling fantasy author Peter V. Brett has also dabbled in writing for Red Sonja, with first the one-shot Red Sonja Blue [review link], and currently the four-part Red Sonja Unchained.


Brett’s Red Sonja Blue and Red Sonja Unchained #1 & #2

(The first three of Brett’s superb Demon Cycle series are currently available: The Painted Man, The Desert Spear and The Daylight War; as well as a pair of novellas, The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold.)

So, consider yourself informed. Roll on July, I can’t wait to give Simone’s Red Sonja series a read.


  1. Oh great Red Sonja finally beds a man. But she wants an abortion. Pro-Choice Sonja!

  2. Really looking forward to reading this, Simone is a great writer.