Review–Red Sonja faces new challenges as Samurai Sonja

Review by C.J. Bunce

We first previewed Samurai Sonja here at borg this past March.  With comic publisher Dynamite rolling out multiple realities over so many titles for the character leading up to next year’s 50th anniversary celebration, the next story of Red Sonja turns to late 15th century Japan.  Spinning out of the world-altering events of Sonjaversal, readers will meet Sonja in an entirely new incarnation, as the daughter of a samurai leader just killed in battle.  Before she can take up his cause against an evil warlord, she must make a pact with a goddess to purchase her very survival.  Can she prove herself worthy of her family’s legacy?

The first issue of Samurai Sonja arrives at Elite Comics and your local comic shop next week.  The only question is which cover option you’ll want to grab for each issue.


Writer Jordan Clark (Aquaman, Star Wars) doesn’t waste any time with worldbuilding, placing Sonja at the end of her father’s ill-fated battle at the point where she must meet her fate with the supernatural world.  Family, duty, and honor as themes will come as no surprise to readers of Japan’s post-feudal shogun world or anyone who has read the best retellings of Red Sonja in novels or Dynamite’s many comic titles.


Artist Pasquale Qualano continues his expansion of multiverse Sonjas here with some impressive layouts with action bursting off the page.  His Sonja is both the beauty fans know and a strong warrior, newly fitted with a set of impressive armor, swords, and bow and arrow.  The creative team is rounded out by colorist Kike J. Diaz, whose alternating blue and peach tones create an interesting vibe, plus lettering provided by Jeff Eckleberry.


Chapter One isn’t merely an origin story, as Clark and Qualano fit into their introduction a key Ray Harryhausen-inspired battle moment.

If a good story and artwork doesn’t convince you to give this a try, take a look at some of the variant cover options for the first two issues.


Samurai Sonja combines elements of real-world Japanese history with the unique mythology of that culture. The Sengoku period was between 1467 to 1615, marked by endless civil war and tension following the collapse of the last major government.  Prominent figures such as Oda Nobunaga are known for this period, and many of the most famous historical dramas in film, television, anime, manga, and video games are set in this time.  This new vision of Sonja will be encountering legendary creatures from Japanese folklore, including the Demon King, Shuten-Dōji–with a glimpse of him in Issue #1.

Artists with variant covers for the series include Lucio Parrillo, Lesley “Leirix” Li, Clayton Henry, and Paulina Ganucheau.

An easy recommendation for your comic shop pull list, Samurai Sonja arrives at your comic shop Wednesday, June 22, 2022.


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