Review by C.J. Bunce
A cyborg Red Sonja? Red Sonja with a gun? A Sonja multiverse? “Purple Sonja?”
One Sonja to rule them all–into the Sonjaverse. What Dynamite Comics bills as “the most important comic book to ever come out in the history of the world” is at a minimum likely to become the publisher’s biggest book of the year. Some ideas are “money” and that is true for a story of Red Sonja in her own multiverse. It’s coming the first Wednesday in February with the arrival of the first issue of Sonjaversal, a new, awesome, action book full of all kinds of fun. An evil force is punishing parallel world versions of Sonja by forcing each Sonja to kill the other. Who will stop the madness before there is only one Sonja left standing?
Red Sonja, Orange Sonja, Saint Sonja, Blue Sonja. it sounds like a children’s poem. Writer Christopher Hastings (Gwenpool) and artist Pasquale Qualano (Dejah Thoris) bring them all alive and together for the first time. The writing is funny, with subtle assists in the endeavor by letterer/designer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Pasquale Qualano’s artwork has the same expressive style as late artist Darwyn Cooke’s retro character designs.
But Ape Sonja and the She-Devil with a Dinosaur? Why not!
The year 2023 will mark fifty years of Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith’s creation (loosely based on two Robert E. Howard characters), and in advance of that benchmark Red Sonja at last gets a second wind, a fire lighting the jungle with so many new opportunities for the character to grow and expand into new stories and series. Classic Red Sonja meets Blue Sonja, a character pulled from a 1980s action blockbuster with big guns, a big bike, and bigger explosions. Then there is mecha pilot Sonja and Hell Sonja, and many more. How many multiverses can they pile into one series?
The story is driven by Saint Sonja, forced to travel from world to world, pitting Sonja against Sonja to battle in the ultimate tournament bracket. So many variants of Sonja mean an array of variant cover options. Jae Lee illustrated several Sonjas for the main cover, Joseph Michael Linsner’s painted cover features Hell Sonja, the mysterious Purple Sonja is the focus of Mayara Sampaio’s cover, with Will Robson and cosplayer Tabitha Lyons as classic Sonja. Three incentive covers by Drew Moss, Lauren Walsh, and Erica Henderson feature even more. Here are several of the covers that await comic book readers in Sonjaversal:
The first issue is a blast. The artwork is animated and fun. and the story could go anywhere from here. Don’t miss this one. Add it to your pull list at Elite Comics or your local comic shop now. The first issue of Sonjaversal is slated to arrive the first Wednesday in February.