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In this unique collection, ongoing Red Sonja series writer Gail Simone hand-picked eleven of the fiercest, most talented, and most popular female writers from the worlds of comics, prose, games, and television, to help her tell the greatest legen


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In this unique collection, ongoing Red Sonja series writer Gail Simone hand-picked eleven of the fiercest, most talented, and most popular female writers from the worlds of comics, prose, games, and television, to help her tell the greatest legen

30 review for Legends of Red Sonja

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Gail Simone has gathered some of the top female fantasy and comic book authors in the business to write a Red Sonja story. Simone writes the framing story of a group of mercenaries on the trail of Sonja who hear the legends of Red Sonja as they come across those who have crossed her path. It's works very well. As with any anthology story, the quality of the art and story varies along with the creative team. Gail Simone has gathered some of the top female fantasy and comic book authors in the business to write a Red Sonja story. Simone writes the framing story of a group of mercenaries on the trail of Sonja who hear the legends of Red Sonja as they come across those who have crossed her path. It's works very well. As with any anthology story, the quality of the art and story varies along with the creative team.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Frank Eldritch

    I have no idea who Red Sonja is, to be honest, and that means I had to go online to research about the character's origin and publication history as a comic book series. From what I understand overall, she was a character created by Marvel Comics around 1973 when she first appeared in a Conan the Barbarian issue. There was also a movie about her at some point. She's the quintessential pin-up fantasy heroine from comics. What made me want to read this more recent Dynamite comics title is because I have no idea who Red Sonja is, to be honest, and that means I had to go online to research about the character's origin and publication history as a comic book series. From what I understand overall, she was a character created by Marvel Comics around 1973 when she first appeared in a Conan the Barbarian issue. There was also a movie about her at some point. She's the quintessential pin-up fantasy heroine from comics. What made me want to read this more recent Dynamite comics title is because Gail Simone (from DC's Batgirl) is the writer of this particular line-up. Also, there is something nostalgic about warrior women for me. I did after all grow up to Xena: the Warrior Princess (but I was nine and I don’t remember specific things about that show except that Lucy Lawless rocked and kicked ass). And so reading Red Sonja definitely gave me that kind of nostalgia. The first volume of this revamped version from 2010 to 2012 entitled Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues reads more of an anthology with a sideline linear narrative. According to what I researched, this Red Sonja is a distant relative for the original She-Devil with a sword. Knowing this premise actually helped demystify some elements for this volume that seemed shaky and suspicious. Nevertheless, reading this collection had been enjoyable because of its action-packed moments and interesting blend of tall tales, feminist insight and sometimes clever subversion of tropes. A group of warriors named Grey Riders are the 'protagonists' of this story as they are on a quest to capture or slay Red Sonja whose reputation and deeds make her very larger-than-life if not almost mythical. For every issue, the Grey Riders have to interrogate an array of colorful side characters who have a tale or two to spare about the legendary She-Devil with a Sword. And that's how this volume reads and develops as an anthology because of the interwoven separate an standalone stories that the Grey Riders have to hear and often have to figure out whether or not these tales are authentic. A lot of the stories emphasize the badassery and cunning of Red Sonja. Some are exaggerated to the point of absurd while a few are designed to inspire paranoia or discourage the Grey Riders on their quest to seek out the infamous fire-kissed warrior who seems to keep eluding them throughout the journey. Simone has worked with many fantastic artists for this volume and the variety and quality of the artworks and illustrations are truly a feast for the eyes and a feat of the imagination. What stands out easily when it comes to the depiction of Red Sonja is her iconic bikini-style armor. It is so utterly gorgeous and in one issue Simone even had a self-aware flashback that acknowledges the deadly allure of a formidable fighter who happens to be a scantily dressed woman--and what that can do to unsuspecting fiends and rivals. I had a great fucking time reading this volume. It's ridiculous yet witty, infectiously daring and unafraid in its exploits and small doses of dark humor, and visually interesting with the multiple collaborations of artists working together. The first volume included a script for one of the issues as well as gallery for the concept art. This is something that can be consumed easily by novice and veteran comics readers alike. So if you like your women fierce and written by a female writer as well, you can’t go wrong with Gail Simone and her work for the Legend of Red Sonja. RECOMMENDED: 8/10 DO READ MY REVIEWS AT

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jesse A

    As is usually the case when you have a book filled with different writers, this one is a mixed bag. Unfortunately it falls more towards the poor. 2.5 stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Red Sonja has been accused of murdering a prince, a band of mercenaries called the Grey Riders are hunting her to avenge his death. On their travels they hear the legends that surround her and one by one they realise that she is no easy target. I wasn't overly sold on Sonja when I first started reading the comics but she quickly grew on me. She's a pretty likeable character; strong, intelligent and a sharp sense of humour, I felt completely invested in her characters outcome. Artwise it was pretty Red Sonja has been accused of murdering a prince, a band of mercenaries called the Grey Riders are hunting her to avenge his death. On their travels they hear the legends that surround her and one by one they realise that she is no easy target. I wasn't overly sold on Sonja when I first started reading the comics but she quickly grew on me. She's a pretty likeable character; strong, intelligent and a sharp sense of humour, I felt completely invested in her characters outcome. Artwise it was pretty good but there was a bit of an issue with consistency, the style seemed to change too often and it was a bit jarring. This volume collects issues #1-5 and overall this is a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    A collection of the 5-issue miniseries. This is a collaborative work: Gail Simone gathered an all-female group of writers for this revisitation of everyone's favorite female barbarian fighter. The framing story is: a group of vicious mercenaries is traveling through the countryside, searching for Red Sonja. Out for revenge, they question those they meet along the way. Nearly everyone has a tale of their own encounter with Sonja. Those tales are the ones written by the guest authors. Overall, they're A collection of the 5-issue miniseries. This is a collaborative work: Gail Simone gathered an all-female group of writers for this revisitation of everyone's favorite female barbarian fighter. The framing story is: a group of vicious mercenaries is traveling through the countryside, searching for Red Sonja. Out for revenge, they question those they meet along the way. Nearly everyone has a tale of their own encounter with Sonja. Those tales are the ones written by the guest authors. Overall, they're not bad. However, with the limited space allotted to each (there are two full stories per issue), there isn't really time for any of the authors to really develop an involved story. My favorite was the first one, "Eyes of the Howling God," which was written (I didn't check until after reading!) by my already-favorite one of the contributing authors, Nancy Collins. The book also contains the covers for each of the 5 issues by original Red Sonja artist Frank Thorne. His work is classic; his Sonja is both cute and sexy. For each issue, there's also a full-page, pin-up style artwork by Jay Anacleto. This guy's good - he presents a more modern, alluring Sonja. I like his art a lot. Unfortunately, the interior art is both inconsistent and a little amateur-ish - I wasn't impressed. (Some more anatomy lessons would seem to be in order.) Recommended for all of Red Sonja's fans... Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy - as always, my opinions are my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    Received to review! I didn't love this TPB of stories about Red Sonja as much as I did the first TPB Gail Simone worked on, but I definitely appreciate what she did, the way she drew together female creators for this, and also the stories they all chose to tell. Women are prominent in many of them, and there are some delightful lines -- like, "What's wrong with men? I know plenty of decent male fighters." (If you don't know why that made me laugh, well, it's the flipside of what you usually get. N Received to review! I didn't love this TPB of stories about Red Sonja as much as I did the first TPB Gail Simone worked on, but I definitely appreciate what she did, the way she drew together female creators for this, and also the stories they all chose to tell. Women are prominent in many of them, and there are some delightful lines -- like, "What's wrong with men? I know plenty of decent male fighters." (If you don't know why that made me laugh, well, it's the flipside of what you usually get. Normally it's a man damning women with faint praise for whatever skill or job.) The whole storyline consists of a frame story with the Grey Riders, who are hunting Red Sonja, and then a series of stories told about her by her allies. What I loved about those was the way they emphasised different aspects of Red Sonja: her body, yes, but also her links with other women, her beliefs, her skill at fighting, and her cunning. Especially loved the little hat tip to complaints about her costume when she's first given it, with the lady who gives her it telling her that if men are watching her curves, they aren't watching her sword. Red Sonja is kind of a male fantasy fulfilment thing. The chainmail bikini makes no sense, and probably chafes. But Gail Simone has made me feel very fond of her anyway: she and her team take everything about Sonja makes it feel more real, more worthy of celebration. She might've started as a sexist fantasy, but she doesn't have to stay that way.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    Short story collections can be hit or miss. I wasn't really expecting that much from this one, to be honest. But that's a really impressive collection of talent, in both writing and art. And I was pleasantly surprised by how much thought and planning had to have gone into this. Simone wrote a good framing story that both explains why we're getting all these Sonja stories and has a plot momentum of its own. A group of mercenaries being sent to hunt down Sonja is more than plausible, and naturally Short story collections can be hit or miss. I wasn't really expecting that much from this one, to be honest. But that's a really impressive collection of talent, in both writing and art. And I was pleasantly surprised by how much thought and planning had to have gone into this. Simone wrote a good framing story that both explains why we're getting all these Sonja stories and has a plot momentum of its own. A group of mercenaries being sent to hunt down Sonja is more than plausible, and naturally each member of the group and nearly everyone they encounter have a story about Sonja. For the most part, those different stories work together. The framing device gives a lot of room for inconsistency in characterization. We aren't seeing Sonja from her own perspective, as in Simone's regular comic, but from the perspective of people she encounters. That said, the stories do tend to be really short and rushed. Which makes the few that fall entirely flat so much easier to get through, come to that. Most of the stories are quite good, though. I wouldn't suggest this as a starter for Red Sonja. It's a little too disjointed to give an idea of what Simone is doing with the character. Even for returning readers, it won't exactly shed any new light on her. But it is (mostly) a fun read with a character who can be used in interesting ways.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    This book was great! And to think I almost gave up on this character after the first issue of Red Sonja: She Devil With A Sword Volume 1. Red Sonja seemed like so many other overly sexualised female heroes with bad lines and uninteresting storylines. I stopped reading Mike Carey's Sonja and decided to go with this book written by women. It made all the difference in the world. In this book, a band of assassins are trying to kill Red Sonja and because they've never met her, they rely on word of mou This book was great! And to think I almost gave up on this character after the first issue of Red Sonja: She Devil With A Sword Volume 1. Red Sonja seemed like so many other overly sexualised female heroes with bad lines and uninteresting storylines. I stopped reading Mike Carey's Sonja and decided to go with this book written by women. It made all the difference in the world. In this book, a band of assassins are trying to kill Red Sonja and because they've never met her, they rely on word of mouth for guidance. They meet so many people who explain Red Sonja's exploits and a lot of them downplay her accomplishments, some go as far as to suggest that Sonja took credit for other people's victories. Basically the writers use this opportunity to address some very nasty, misogynistic stereotypes while weaving in a great deal of character's backstory. I would recommend starting your Red Sonja experience with this book. I'll be starting Red Sonja, Vol. 1: Queen of Plagues soon!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Red Sonja is being hunted by a group of mercenaries who would see her beheaded, burned, skinned alive, etc for her misdeeds, not the least of which is killing their prince. As they track the She-Devil across the land, they come across many people who have known the warrior and are eager to tell their story. This is not exactly a collection of short stories, though each section is written by a different female writer, hand picked by Gail Simone herself. Every story weaves together nicely with Sim Red Sonja is being hunted by a group of mercenaries who would see her beheaded, burned, skinned alive, etc for her misdeeds, not the least of which is killing their prince. As they track the She-Devil across the land, they come across many people who have known the warrior and are eager to tell their story. This is not exactly a collection of short stories, though each section is written by a different female writer, hand picked by Gail Simone herself. Every story weaves together nicely with Simone’s over-arching story of the hunters searching for their prey, while all the while revealing just how powerful and cunning their prey is as she leads them into her trap. A fun read, though for an established fan, it’s probably not an enlightening one. For those looking to step into Sonja’s world, as rebooted by Gail Simone, this serves as an excellent invitation to embrace the metal bikini and the fierce warrior that unapologetically wears it. www.BiblioSanctum.com With thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tim Martin

    Continuing my recent reading of Red Sonja comics, I come to _Legends of Red Sonja_, a trade paperback collection of “Legends of Red Sonja” issues 1 through 5. In contrast to the previous books I have read, this one is an anthology both in terms of writing and artwork, with ongoing series writer Gail Simone picking eleven female writers to each tell a part of the story of Red Sonja (including some elements of her origin story as well as later adventures). Simone, according to the back-cover blurb Continuing my recent reading of Red Sonja comics, I come to _Legends of Red Sonja_, a trade paperback collection of “Legends of Red Sonja” issues 1 through 5. In contrast to the previous books I have read, this one is an anthology both in terms of writing and artwork, with ongoing series writer Gail Simone picking eleven female writers to each tell a part of the story of Red Sonja (including some elements of her origin story as well as later adventures). Simone, according to the back-cover blurb, penned the framing “wrap-around tale” that unites the various tales into an overarching story. The framing story is that Red Sonja is being hunted by a band of mercenaries called the Grey Riders, “twelve lords of death, twelve gifted murderers” that while each more or less has their own beef with Red Sonja, they are hired to find her and kill her by a king, father of a prince she slayed. We are introduced to a few of the mercenaries in the first few pages, a few more of them in the pages to come, their members including Kahar, a Cimmerian, who leads them, Dagar, a crazed looking man who longs to unleash his hunting hounds upon Red Sonja, Eles, a scholar monk and former acolyte of the Howling God, and Glasfindil, a woman archer and tracker. The tales are related as part of the hunt for Red Sonja, some tales of why particular members of the Grey Riders wish her dead (such as the tale from Eles, about how she robbed his temple of a pair of sacred artifacts, a pair of giant rubies known as the Eyes of the Howling God, in the process killing a bit too), others tales from people they encounter along the way that Sonja has helped (such as the tale of Jenny, “the miller’s gal,” about how Red Sonja saved her from “an army of devils”). Some tales are set fairly far back in the past, such as the story of Gentrelle, now a garbage picker, but who once dreamed of much bigger things, completing a ritual under the guidance of a magic owl sent by the goddess Scathach (a plan a teenage Sonja accidentally and humorously disrupted) or a bit later, a tale told by the female blacksmith Gerd, how she convinced Sonja to don a metal bikini, saying to Sonja in her blacksmith shop: “I used to be like you. I’d truss myself up, Weigh myself down. But that takes away our edge. Strong men are slow. But we have speed and dexterity.” When she presents Sonja with the final outfit, Gerd adds, “If they’re looking at your curves, they’re not looking at your blades.” The whole chainmail (really scale mail) bikini thing has been troubling for me but I have grown to accept it. It was nice to see some acknowledgment of at least why Sonja might choose to wear such a thing. Also it helped in this story she didn’t always wear it, though for the most part she did. I had read in an interview (sorry I forget who was being interviewed) that it helps not to view her armor as armor at all. Anyway, there were a lot of things I liked about this anthology. Several had some interesting ways of showing the teller of a particular tale wasn’t being truthful, either lying on behalf of Sonja or in a hero-worshipping way exaggerating her deeds just a bit. This was done different ways, my favorite being one set of panels showing what the tale teller now remembers through somewhat rose-colored glasses and wants her audience to believe, the other panel in a side by side comparison with what actually happened (this being Jenny’s tale). There were lots of women in this tale, both good and evil, and it was good to see more and more women in the world Sonja inhabits, as in many of her older tales (and some fairly recent) she is often the only woman, certainly the only woman warrior, the only other women in the stories either prostitutes, “serving wenches,” or voiceless peasants in the crowd; instead, we get a vocal daughter of a miller, an understandably spiteful former witch, a female tracker and bowwoman, a female blacksmith, and more…this is great. At least two female characters are shown as being inspired by Red Sonja, a strong and proud warrior, powerful, standing up for the weak, honorable, and a fierce opponent of evil. Though a mercenary, she only ever appears to pick “good” tasks like defending villages, escorting honorable priests and merchants through dangerous lands (not priests of death gods or “gods” that are just horrible monsters), etc. This is the first Red Sonja tale I have read where supernatural creatures are some of the characters encountered rather than just monsters, the most memorable (and surprising) encounter was with a dryad-esque forest god (though very much male). On the other hand, there are far fewer monsters in this particular collection of tales in comparison to what I have read previously and they are featured for fewer panels (though there are some, my favorite being a giant Haraanian boar though there are others). Some of the artwork was really outstanding, my favorites being how wonderfully expressive Sonja is in the second issue of the collection issues (in the tale of Gordrak the Beheader, the most Hyborian name ever) and I loved how Gertrelle’s tale was drawn and colored, a short tale with an almost fairy-tale proportioned cottage, jagged, skeletal branches against a night sky crowned by a leering, glowing, cock-eyed owl, and sputtering candles surrounded by mounds of melted wax, providing faint spots of flickering illumination in a dark forest. Negatives, since I just talked about the artwork, some wasn’t as good. I really liked the format of the dual sets of panels telling Jenny’s tale, of showing what Jenny is telling the Grey Riders and what actually happened (this in issue 4 of the collection) but some of the artwork was sort of flat, cartoonish, almost kind of bad, though I did like the concept. Different artists drew Sonja’s face so very differently that she looked like different people entirely, that was a little distracting. A couple of times I had to reread (or whatever it is you call rereading a graphic novel panel) to see what happened, such as key scene during the forest god tale. It seemed to abruptly change in the space of two panels, with one of the panels very unclear other than to say “they fought” but just not done how I would have picked. I have literally no idea when the Hyborian Age was supposed to have taken place. I always imagined it was some sort of Tolkienesque prior to history time, lost tens of thousands of years in the past, a world whose countries are either lost to history or only survive as names in mythology, but several times the arms and armors looked late medieval with sometimes clothing styles more modern than that (and the name Jenny feels very modern). I do wish the writers had chosen to make the Hyborian Age another world entirely but I believe that ship has sailed. Also in relating to the Hyborian Age it was hard to get the feel of any land in particular, that while individuals might be quite distinct and maybe a particular scene very well drawn, it was hard to get the feel of anything other than vaguely western European medieval culture, each place just called different things but seeming like all the same place more or less (just the occasional desert in between medieval town or village). Good collection though, I liked the opening and ending framing tale and if one is going to have different artists this collection of tales is definitely the time to do it. With more and more women writing and illustrating Red Sonja, it will be interesting to see how her character evolves and how she will be viewed in the years to come. I look forward to what will come.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    I loved Gail Simone's run on Red Sonja. It was my introduction to the character and she handled it so well. There were parts of the plot that didn't appeal to me. This book is basically a sum of that run with guest writers brought in. Gail Simone wrote the frame of the story in which a group of mercenaries called the Grey Riders are hunting Sonja for killing a prince. They travel across the land searching for her and they are told tales about her exploits along the way. The guest writers step in I loved Gail Simone's run on Red Sonja. It was my introduction to the character and she handled it so well. There were parts of the plot that didn't appeal to me. This book is basically a sum of that run with guest writers brought in. Gail Simone wrote the frame of the story in which a group of mercenaries called the Grey Riders are hunting Sonja for killing a prince. They travel across the land searching for her and they are told tales about her exploits along the way. The guest writers step in for each of these side tales. These tales are entertaining. None of them stick out to me as being bad, although the artwork can be hit or miss. I like that the guest writers use their own take on the character or tell the story from the perspective of a side character. That perspective can skew the view of Sonja that has been built, but it feels natural to get these extreme views. It speaks to the way that depending on who you ask, you can get a different story of events. There are times where the book does not transition well between the frame and those other stories. Sonja is also off stage for a lot of the book, even though she is being talked about by these other characters. Things pick up once she gets more involved in the overarching part of the story. Overall, this is a nice tribute to the character.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Overall, Decent, But With A Killer Final Issue I like Red Sonja well enough, but she has a lot of mediocre comics. I enjoyed how this was made like a mini anthology with an overarching plot. Most of the stories were nothing special, but it was neat to see stories from the perspectives of other people, people who didn't always like her. The best issue by far was the last issue; it bumped up my rating and I'd recommend it for that alone. I do recommend this, especially if you're a Red Sonja fan, but Overall, Decent, But With A Killer Final Issue I like Red Sonja well enough, but she has a lot of mediocre comics. I enjoyed how this was made like a mini anthology with an overarching plot. Most of the stories were nothing special, but it was neat to see stories from the perspectives of other people, people who didn't always like her. The best issue by far was the last issue; it bumped up my rating and I'd recommend it for that alone. I do recommend this, especially if you're a Red Sonja fan, but also if you just want fun sword and sorcery action.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Albert

    The character of Red Sonja, an early female version to Conan the Barbarian of Marvel lore is given a reboot here by Dynamite and they freakin' nail it!! Granted, the chain mail bikini has its attractions to the teenage male demographic, but the legend and backstory to the character of Red Sonja is what gives the comic books its staying power. Forget the Brigette Nielsen movie that failed as a vehicle for her to achieve stardom. Flavor Flave took care of that for her. This is Red Sonja as it was m The character of Red Sonja, an early female version to Conan the Barbarian of Marvel lore is given a reboot here by Dynamite and they freakin' nail it!! Granted, the chain mail bikini has its attractions to the teenage male demographic, but the legend and backstory to the character of Red Sonja is what gives the comic books its staying power. Forget the Brigette Nielsen movie that failed as a vehicle for her to achieve stardom. Flavor Flave took care of that for her. This is Red Sonja as it was meant to be. There is a cult like fandom surrounding Sonja that has held its ground for years. Given that this character has no superpowers, does not try to save the world and is not interested protecting the innocent. Unless it serves her own interest to do so. She is a murderer, a thief, a brigand and that chain mail bikini actually serves a very strategic purpose in battle. As the blacksmith who created it for Sonja says, "If they're looking at your curves, they're not looking at your blade." Sonja is one of the reasons I have such an issue with the new let's make Thor a woman attitude from Marvel. There are so many strong women already in comics. Develop them! Promote them! Take these women of comics and turn them into more than just eye candy. You don't need to take a male character and re-tread it into a female. There are plenty of strong, powerful, beautiful female characters in comics and have always been! Develop them! Okay, stepping down off my soap box now. The Legends of Red Sonja is a five book arc told through the narrative of the band of twelve murderers known as the Grey Riders setting out to capture and kill Red Sonja. "...So this is how it came to pass, that twelve lords of death, twelve gifted murderers, came down from the mountains with but one goal in mind. To kill a small slip of a thing. A girl, some might say. I do not call her a girl, for I know her true nature. We hunt the DEVIL..." Five separate comics. Five stand on their own books. Five legends of Red Sonja. Five awesome reasons to pick up this book. An excellent read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

    'Legends of Red Sonja' is just more proof of the great work that Gail Simone is doing on this title. That she draws on so many other great female writers this time out makes for a pretty good story. A band of hunters is out to find and kill Red Sonja. They are a varied bunch and all have their reasons for hunting her down. Along the way, they share their stories of her and run across people with their own stories to tell. They also find out that while they are hunting Red Sonja, she might be out 'Legends of Red Sonja' is just more proof of the great work that Gail Simone is doing on this title. That she draws on so many other great female writers this time out makes for a pretty good story. A band of hunters is out to find and kill Red Sonja. They are a varied bunch and all have their reasons for hunting her down. Along the way, they share their stories of her and run across people with their own stories to tell. They also find out that while they are hunting Red Sonja, she might be out hunting them as well. The main story is written by Gail Simone. The backup stories are written and illustrated by a variety of people. The writers include Meljean Brooks, Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey, among others. The tone of those stories varies, but this fits nicely since they are told by different characters with differing memories and experiences. I thought the writing flowed together nicely. Some of the art is so different, that it is a bit more jarring to move from the main art into the side story art, but the art is all really good. The covers by Frank Thorne are classic and iconic. The alternate art by Jay Anacleto is also good. While I enjoyed Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues a bit more, this is another good story and proof that Gail Simone is in the right place at the right time. I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors, Dynamite Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Mclean

    For an anthology featuring a character I have never read before I found this surprisingly good. The core story of a band of adventures hunting down Sonja leads perfectly to the flashback style tales as they hear as track the elusive red devil. I have been put off Red Sonja in the past due to it depiction of the main character, but was very pleased to find a diverse cast, and some very self aware story telling. As with most anthologies this one had it's good stories, and it's slow points but make a For an anthology featuring a character I have never read before I found this surprisingly good. The core story of a band of adventures hunting down Sonja leads perfectly to the flashback style tales as they hear as track the elusive red devil. I have been put off Red Sonja in the past due to it depiction of the main character, but was very pleased to find a diverse cast, and some very self aware story telling. As with most anthologies this one had it's good stories, and it's slow points but make a good introduction into a world I am now keen to read more of.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    3,5 stars

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andy Oerman

    After a 4-star first issue, this series went downhill fast toward a brutally bad fifth issue. Many reviewers have said the stories in this anthology were a mixed bag. I disagree... the various writers generally had one thing in common: a snide, phony tone that grated.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gef

    Possibly the only thing more impressive than this book is the list of contributing artists and authors. I hadn't read a Red Sonja graphic novel prior to this one, so I wasn't exactly well-versed in the history of the character beyond the few Robert E. Howard stories I've read. It took a moment to realize that this chainmail-bra-clad warrior was being presented this time around by an all-female assemblage of writers. Neat. After so many months of getting a chuckle at how ridiculous some comic book Possibly the only thing more impressive than this book is the list of contributing artists and authors. I hadn't read a Red Sonja graphic novel prior to this one, so I wasn't exactly well-versed in the history of the character beyond the few Robert E. Howard stories I've read. It took a moment to realize that this chainmail-bra-clad warrior was being presented this time around by an all-female assemblage of writers. Neat. After so many months of getting a chuckle at how ridiculous some comic book representations of female characters can be, I was keen to check this out. It is an anthology of sorts, kind of a bloody epic fantasy version of Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man, as Red Sonja is being hunted by a motley crew of killers and scoundrels, each with their own reasons for wanting Sonja captured or killed. Gail Simone handles that main plot point, while the flashbacks and interludes that tell of her adventures and crossings with these men are each handles by different artists and writers. There's Mercedes Lackey, Nancy A. Collins, Meljean Brook, and on and on. Maybe there are easter eggs and little winks-and-nods for dedicated readers, but I just don't know. What I do know is that despite the at-times-disparate tones of some of the stories, the sometimes jarring shifts in art style, the book as a whole is rollicking and boisterous in all the right ways. The guile and gruff of Sonja comes through quite well, both in her depictions and her dialogue. It's been suggested by fans that reading this book is best saved for after having read Red Sonja Volume 1: Queen of Plagues, a more straight-forward story helmed solely by Gail Simone. Perhaps that's true, but newcomers to the character should have no trouble falling under her spell. As far as Red Sonja's future is concerned, she has a strong allies in Gail Simone and Dynamite.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alysa H.

    Not the kind of comics I tend to like, but I've got a soft spot for Red Sonja, and when I saw that this was specifically written by a number of female writers along with series lead, Gail Simone, I had to check it out. Only nominally an anthology, this is really one long work with a framing story by Simone (with art by Jadson) and smaller sections -- the "Legends" of the title -- written and drawn by other people. I liked some of these better than others, as was expected, in terms of both story a Not the kind of comics I tend to like, but I've got a soft spot for Red Sonja, and when I saw that this was specifically written by a number of female writers along with series lead, Gail Simone, I had to check it out. Only nominally an anthology, this is really one long work with a framing story by Simone (with art by Jadson) and smaller sections -- the "Legends" of the title -- written and drawn by other people. I liked some of these better than others, as was expected, in terms of both story and artwork. Most of them feature unreliable narrators in clever ways. In the end we're never given a "real" picture of who Red Sonja is, which is precisely the point! So, overall, I enjoyed the writing. All of this aside, I realize that the art style(s) quite consciously harken back to old-school... shall I say... troubling jiggle imagery, but does it *really* have to be that way? One of the stories even covers the question of why Red Sonja shows so much skin, but in my opinion this kind of meta only goes so far. The positive aspects of this collection, including the globally high quality of the artists' work, just couldn't quite outweigh the discomfort of the "Sex Object" factor for me most of the time. I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Some stories are very good, others not so much. My favorites are those in which Sonja shows some vulnerability. She rarely acts like a person who actually has feelings, so, the contrast is appealing. That sex scene in the woods surprised me, but I'm not judging her for having a soft spot for that kind of creature. The guy had a good heart, after all. If you like strong leading ladies, Sonja will rock your world. “The toughest armor a warrior must wear is on the inside.” *ARC provided by Some stories are very good, others not so much. My favorites are those in which Sonja shows some vulnerability. She rarely acts like a person who actually has feelings, so, the contrast is appealing. That sex scene in the woods surprised me, but I'm not judging her for having a soft spot for that kind of creature. The guy had a good heart, after all. If you like strong leading ladies, Sonja will rock your world. “The toughest armor a warrior must wear is on the inside.” *ARC provided by Diamond Book Distributors via NetGalley.*

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

    Helmed by Gail Simone with cover art by her S&S muse, Frank Thorne and an embarassment of scripting and art talent, this story builds up nice to constitute the latest canon that is the legend of Red Sonja. Rambuctious action and a rollicking savage pace.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Geniece

    interesting...I like how all the stories came together in the end!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This was a really fun comic. Each of the "legends" were in different art styles, which really leant itself to the overarching storyline. I am quickly becoming a big fan of Red Sonja and look forward to reading more about her and her world. This was a really fun comic. Each of the "legends" were in different art styles, which really leant itself to the overarching storyline. I am quickly becoming a big fan of Red Sonja and look forward to reading more about her and her world.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tomas

    Another brilliant Simone Sonja. If only she would write her stories forever. I usually do not care about not sci-fi comic books but Simone can really write. And Red Sonja became one of my favorite comic book characters just because of her.

  25. 5 out of 5

    William Cox

    Enjoyed this quite a bit!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Timo

    Some nifty art but when mixing this lot of writers together.... the story just bounces all around way too much.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Arielle Ali

    I'm not a huge traditional action comic fan, but I enjoyed this well-told group of stories about the legendary Red Sonja. I'm not a huge traditional action comic fan, but I enjoyed this well-told group of stories about the legendary Red Sonja.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Yongyoon

    Just as Gail Simone did for Batgirl, she disappoints here once again.

  29. 5 out of 5

    sohrab sitaram

    A must read for all Red Sonja fans, fantastic artwork and even better story lines. A must read comic

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.5 of 5 I've commented, more than once lately, on the quality of the artwork in some graphic novels and the poor choices in over-emphasizing the female form.  Here is a character who is almost begging to be viewed sexually (no emails please ... let me finish!) and yet this book is incredibly tastefully put together, both from a writing standpoint and an artistic viewpoint. Gail Simone is the author of the arcing story and she has This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.5 of 5 I've commented, more than once lately, on the quality of the artwork in some graphic novels and the poor choices in over-emphasizing the female form.  Here is a character who is almost begging to be viewed sexually (no emails please ... let me finish!) and yet this book is incredibly tastefully put together, both from a writing standpoint and an artistic viewpoint. Gail Simone is the author of the arcing story and she has gathered together some of the top female authors (such as Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, Marjorie M. Liu, Nancy A. Collins, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Rhianna Pratchett) to help with some of the 'legends' of Red Sonja.  It's a bit of a coup to have the stories of Red Sonja told by women only because she's been more of a sexual object who fights rather than a fighter who is sexual. I really appreciated these brief looks at the early Sonja and what led to her fame.  Perhaps my favorite moment was when she was first given the chain-mail bikini (by another female warrior) and told why she should wear it.  But all the stories, while not intrinsically exciting as individual story-lines, were nice vignettes telling the Red Sonja legends.  Simone's over-arcing story holds the legend pieces together nicely, though there's nothing earth-shattering here and no conflict that has us holding our breath.  Simone tries to add a conflict story, but it is the legends that we're most interested in reading. The artwork varies.  The over-arcing story art is classic 'barbarian-style-comic-book-art.'  If you've read comics, you know what I'm talking about... the Marvel® style Conan's (think Buscema and Alcala).  In fact I wondered if one of the characters wasn't Conan with a goatee.  The 'legends' art was sometimes so simple as to create a Disney-fied effect, which didn't work for me. Somehow, through it all, the artwork never seemed to focus on her figure, or at least it never over-accentuated her form as I've seen too often in other comics.  Bear in mind that this comes from a middle-aged man reading a graphic novel of a women wearing a metal bikini.  Let the feminist assault begin.  But truly...it's a book about a female fighter and not teenage comic-book porn. The last portion of the book (a little too much of the book) was filled with the obligatory 'extras' that have become commonplace, and in this case (again, like most others) it is the written script by Simone with some sketches.  These can be fascinating, getting a glimpse of how the writer 'sees' the action unfolding on the page, but since I've just read the story, with completed art, why do we think I'm interested in reading the story again? Looking for a good book?  If you like the warrior age of sword-and-sorcery heroes, such as Conan, Kull, and Red Sonja, then this look back at the Legends of Red Sonja is the perfect book for you!

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