Red Sonja has got to be my least favorite book on shelves right now. I’m not just saying that to be contrarian; I honestly haven’t an inkling of an idea why people even allow this book to be published. But everybody deserves a…fifth chance? So as this arc comes to a close, we must ask one simple question: is it good?
Red Sonja #5 (Dynamite Entertainment)
My first problem with this comic is the narrative as an overall tale. It doesn’t feel like a flowing narrative, more like a chain of events held together by little story. The story itself isn’t terrible (certainly not a memorable or groundbreaking story by any measure, but it could be fine), it’s just so poorly executed it seemed like Gail Simone just never really thought through the comic, just sort of typed away.
And my gripes don’t stop there. The pacing is wonky as well. The short scenes don’t flow together in the least and the flashbacks seem poorly placed and don’t hold much meaning in comparison to the current story thread. Although I don’t expect a story about fish-men and giant leeches to be completely grounded in reality, some of the aspects of this story just don’t make any sense. There are several character appearances that seem random and very unlikely.
Not only do I have issues with the characters’ appearances throughout the story, the characterization also seems weak at best. Red Sonja is written like a boring and emotionless Michonne in that she doesn’t seem to feel anything but upset and anger.
And again, I must comment on how in every single issue of Gail Simone’s run so far there has been a scene with a bunch of bandits around a fire, and Red Sonja #5 is no exception. It just doesn’t seem like this part of the story was really thought through. It’s boring, it’s repetitive, and it certainly isn’t sophisticated writing.
I don’t really like Walter Geovani’s style, but I definitely don’t hate it. I feel like there isn’t really anything special about it; the line work is standard and the inks and colors don’t add anything. I do enjoy the few minimalist panels scattered throughout the book and appreciate the effort behind those. Again, this book looks exactly the same as all of the previous issues. I know that an artist shouldn’t be expected to change his style every comic, but all of the aesthetics feel exactly the same. I don’t attribute this to the artist, however. I believe it’s Gail Simone’s fault for not giving him anything else to work with.
I don’t think that this arc will be at all memorable in five years or even a couple months. There really just isn’t anything to be wowed by, and this issue is no different. I know that Ms. Simone is trying really hard to expand the mythos and give future creators new characters and stories to work with, it’s just not that effective a storytelling technique.
- Art is good, I guess
- Weak story
- Art isn’t risky enough
Is It Good?
Ha, nope. This is a bland and uninteresting tale that reads and feels exactly like every issue since the reboot. At least Sonja isn’t oversexualized like usual.