Fantasy novelist Mercedes Lackey tells her first comics story of a child’s encounter with the She-Devil, and Marvel Comics writer and novelist Marjorie M. Liu tells a sexy, scary tale of the forest at night which is all wrapped in a story by Gail Simone and Jack Jadson. Three stories all combined into one continuous issue…sounds like the makings of an interesting read, but is it good?
Legends of Red Sonja #41 (Dynamite Entertainment)
This is one of those issues where you get a lot of bang for your buck as the story cuts in between other stories delivering multiple climaxes. It does so with a story from a bar wench, a story from Sonja herself, and finally in real time what’s going on with Sonja. Each story has a different angle at telling their stories which keeps things fresh and interesting.
Mercedes Lackey’s tale centers on a girl’s recounting of how she was rescued by Red Sonja with obvious embellishments and white lies. The pages are organized with her recounting on the left and the truth on the right. It’s a cool way to show a child’s need for attention but also a glorification of the hero in their eyes. Lackey does one better with the truth, showing Red Sonja as far less caring and heroic which further showcases her badass nature.
These two stories don’t add up… in a good way.
Writer Marjorie M. Liu then tells a tale of Red Sonja saving a forest god with a very sexual and intriguing twist at the end. I won’t ruin what happens here, but let’s just say it shows a sexual yet dominating side of Red Sonja that’s interesting and unique.
Finally there are the bookends of this issue written by Gail Simone. Not a lot happens in them aside from cradling the other two stories and it contains a Conan-like character to boot, but it tells the legend aspect of Sonja well. These men want her and know how dangerous she is, which is conveyed well here.
Each story is drawn by a different artist and each is good in their own right. Nei Ruffino draws the children’s recounting story and the simplistic style, drawn like a kids book, fits the story nicely. Phil Noto draws the forest god story and his style, again, fits the story really well as his lines convey an otherworldliness. Finally, Jack Jadson rounds out the artist circle with a much more hyper-detailed look. All in all the balance between the artists and their effectiveness for each story works.
Dude get an original look already.
Is It Good?
Very good. Each story is enjoyable and interesting with flair and panache that’s not seen every day on the comic book shelves. The Gail Simone portion is just okay, mostly because it’s telling a longer story that’ll be concluded next issue, but the overall package is well worth your time.