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Red Sonja, Vol. 3: The Forgiving of Monsters

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From the acclaimed creative team of Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Batgirl) and Walter Geovani comes an all-new Red Sonja epic that will shake the She-Devil to her core! While the Hyrkanian warrior aids a small village against the ravages of a rampant parasite, she picks up the trail of the man she hates and distrusts most in the world: the last survivor of the marauders who From the acclaimed creative team of Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Batgirl) and Walter Geovani comes an all-new Red Sonja epic that will shake the She-Devil to her core! While the Hyrkanian warrior aids a small village against the ravages of a rampant parasite, she picks up the trail of the man she hates and distrusts most in the world: the last survivor of the marauders who murdered her family. In the grip of a vengeful obsession that is all-consuming, the heroine barely recognizes herself. Can even the unconquerable Red Sonja return from a darkness so complete? Includes an extensive cover gallery by talented female artists, hand-picked by Gail Simone, including Jenny Frison, Stephanie Buscema, Renae De Liz, Yasmin Liang, Emma Vieceli, Cat Staggs, Rebecca Isaacs, and Adriana Melo.


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From the acclaimed creative team of Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Batgirl) and Walter Geovani comes an all-new Red Sonja epic that will shake the She-Devil to her core! While the Hyrkanian warrior aids a small village against the ravages of a rampant parasite, she picks up the trail of the man she hates and distrusts most in the world: the last survivor of the marauders who From the acclaimed creative team of Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Batgirl) and Walter Geovani comes an all-new Red Sonja epic that will shake the She-Devil to her core! While the Hyrkanian warrior aids a small village against the ravages of a rampant parasite, she picks up the trail of the man she hates and distrusts most in the world: the last survivor of the marauders who murdered her family. In the grip of a vengeful obsession that is all-consuming, the heroine barely recognizes herself. Can even the unconquerable Red Sonja return from a darkness so complete? Includes an extensive cover gallery by talented female artists, hand-picked by Gail Simone, including Jenny Frison, Stephanie Buscema, Renae De Liz, Yasmin Liang, Emma Vieceli, Cat Staggs, Rebecca Isaacs, and Adriana Melo.

30 review for Red Sonja, Vol. 3: The Forgiving of Monsters

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    The Forgiving of Monsters is the third and final volume in Gail Simone and Walter Geovani’s wonderful Red Sonja run. Unfortunately, they close out with an uninspired last gasp. Sonja kills an evil sorcerer who curses her with the inability to forgive. To me, something that vague doesn’t mean that if someone asks you to forgive them, you stomp them half to death, but then I suppose there’s no story if Sonja just shrugged and ignored whoever was asking her forgiveness; it’s necessary but still a c The Forgiving of Monsters is the third and final volume in Gail Simone and Walter Geovani’s wonderful Red Sonja run. Unfortunately, they close out with an uninspired last gasp. Sonja kills an evil sorcerer who curses her with the inability to forgive. To me, something that vague doesn’t mean that if someone asks you to forgive them, you stomp them half to death, but then I suppose there’s no story if Sonja just shrugged and ignored whoever was asking her forgiveness; it’s necessary but still a contrivance. She’s also tested when she happens across the last survivor of the group who murdered her family when she was a lass. In the second and final story she defends a library run by nuns from a trio of assassins and a generically evil queen. Ho hum. Unlike the last two books, I can’t say I was ever interested in the least by the stories in this volume. I mean, will Sonja ever learn to forgive again – really? She also fights Death, which is very metal, but even so, she’s been unstoppable thus far, it’s hardly tense to see her go up against a force of nature. Of course she’s going to win! Of course she’s going to overcome the curse, save everyone, and learn a lesson, etc. etc. I liked the small touch of Sonja curling up on the lap of the surprised nun as she begins to read her a story – it says so much about her character in that one panel. Besides Sonja though, every other character is one-dimensional and boring. The villains are pantomime-level bad, while everyone else is utterly forgettable. Though Simone’s script is poor, Walter Geovani’s art is as high quality as it’s been throughout the three books. The sorcerer brothers’ designs were over the top and amazing and I loved his Death. Sonja’s self-inflicted injury on her hands though was ridiculous; if you burned your flesh off so you had nothing but bone, there’s no way you could live without the infection killing you, let alone still being able to use your hands! Jenny Frison’s covers continue to be a highlight and I love Sonja’s awesome new haircut. Gail Simone and Walter Geovani’s Red Sonja has been a brilliant title but ends on a bit of an unimpressive note. The third volume may be lacking but the first two books are really something – I recommend fantasy comics fans check those out instead.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    The last of Gail Simone's solid run on Red Sonja. Simone has managed to take a one note character and tell some pretty decent stories. I'm surprised Walter Geovani's artwork hasn't been noticed by some of the bigger publishers. His art is far superior to half the artists working for the big 2 at any given time. The last of Gail Simone's solid run on Red Sonja. Simone has managed to take a one note character and tell some pretty decent stories. I'm surprised Walter Geovani's artwork hasn't been noticed by some of the bigger publishers. His art is far superior to half the artists working for the big 2 at any given time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sans

    Gail needs to write everything, all the time. I don't think I've ever read a "bad" story by her. She really shines here with the over the top fantasy tropes and I'm sad that her run in this series was only 19 issues. Gail needs to write everything, all the time. I don't think I've ever read a "bad" story by her. She really shines here with the over the top fantasy tropes and I'm sad that her run in this series was only 19 issues.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    I hated a lot this Red Sonja reboot: the radical origin story change, her new Conan the Barbarian "Fight, drink, bed" attitude, almost no references to the Hyborian setting but for a few names and villains and creatures seeming more out from a D&D fantasy campaign... but the storyline of Sonja battling a chainmail bikini clad Death and using that too-much-open-armour to win was just 100% heavy metal! Loved it. Final vote: 3,5 I hated a lot this Red Sonja reboot: the radical origin story change, her new Conan the Barbarian "Fight, drink, bed" attitude, almost no references to the Hyborian setting but for a few names and villains and creatures seeming more out from a D&D fantasy campaign... but the storyline of Sonja battling a chainmail bikini clad Death and using that too-much-open-armour to win was just 100% heavy metal! Loved it. Final vote: 3,5

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    3.5* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is the final volume in the Simone/Geovani Sonja collaboration and whilst it's enjoyable it does end the short series quite abruptly. In this volume Sonja is cursed with not being able to forgive and finally meets the man who was responsible for her families demise. The second story sees her going up against an evil empress to protect a library and the nuns who live there. I do love Sonja, especia 3.5* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is the final volume in the Simone/Geovani Sonja collaboration and whilst it's enjoyable it does end the short series quite abruptly. In this volume Sonja is cursed with not being able to forgive and finally meets the man who was responsible for her families demise. The second story sees her going up against an evil empress to protect a library and the nuns who live there. I do love Sonja, especially her bawdiness and humour but whilst I liked it a lot it didn't come close to the other volumes. I thought the stories were a lot weaker in this volume and it felt like it had been done before in the series. I found it difficult to connect with any of the other characters, none of them were fleshed out enough. I also thought the art was a bit inconsistent in quality with some panels being really well detailed but other almost being a bit out of focus and there was a problem with font colour which was mostly black but occasionally was a very light yellow making it almost impossible to read. Hopefully the publishers will sort this out before publication and perhaps the lack of clarity in the illustrations could be put down to the pdf transfer. Not the best volume to go out on but still a worthwhile read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    (Received from Netgalley for review.) Sadly, the least of Gail Simone's run on Red Sonja. The biggest storyline is just kind of ok. The message of forgiveness is kind of heavy handed. But it isn't actually terrible, and I liked the story with the library. Sure, it was a little cheesy, but it was fun, and it actually said a lot about Sonja as a character. I guess what I'm taking away from Simone's whole run on this book is that I like Sonja as a character, as Simone writes her, but I'm still not t (Received from Netgalley for review.) Sadly, the least of Gail Simone's run on Red Sonja. The biggest storyline is just kind of ok. The message of forgiveness is kind of heavy handed. But it isn't actually terrible, and I liked the story with the library. Sure, it was a little cheesy, but it was fun, and it actually said a lot about Sonja as a character. I guess what I'm taking away from Simone's whole run on this book is that I like Sonja as a character, as Simone writes her, but I'm still not terribly into the whole swords and sorcery thing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    David

    Hmm. Okay, I'm going to have to downgrade this third and final volume of Gail Simone's Red Sonja run. A few things that have bothered me about her writing from the beginning really gnawed at me here, culminating in the final pages in which she seems to be attempting to assuage the feminist guilt she's been feeling for writing a swords & sorcery adventure about a red-headed pin-up who runs around fighting battles in a chainmail bikini. Sonja's character development, it must be said, has been prett Hmm. Okay, I'm going to have to downgrade this third and final volume of Gail Simone's Red Sonja run. A few things that have bothered me about her writing from the beginning really gnawed at me here, culminating in the final pages in which she seems to be attempting to assuage the feminist guilt she's been feeling for writing a swords & sorcery adventure about a red-headed pin-up who runs around fighting battles in a chainmail bikini. Sonja's character development, it must be said, has been pretty consistent, and while there's still a touch of "Conan with tits" in her bawdy barbarian revelry, as Simone has made it a running gag throughout the series that Sonja's first priority after skewering bad guys is to find a tavern, get drunk, and get laid, in that order (and from the illustrations, it's implied she's not too particular about gender), there have also been several storylines in which Sonja has to get in touch with... well, her feminine side. Or at least the non-bloodletting side who occasionally contemplates what it would have been like to be a girl who didn't grow up killing everything that tried to touch her. In this volume, the story starts with Sonja killing yet another evil sorcerer. Because in Hyborea, sorcerers gonna evil, and sword-wielding barbarians gonna kill them. Of course the sorcerer has a brother, who is also an evil sorcerer, so he goes around terrorizing hapless villagers until Sonja kills him too. In between, there's a curse in which Sonja acts like a violent psychopath before deciding she doesn't believe in curses, which actually turns out to be a nice little story about the power of forgiveness. Then, there's Sonja defending a library defended by a bunch of nuns against an evil Queen Bathory type, which dredges up some more of Sonja's childhood issues like being only semi-literate and not quite getting the whole "books" thing. So yes, there were touching moments, but I remain somewhat unimpressed by how Simone borrows the names of Robert E. Howard's Hyborean cultures, but not much else - this is basically a D&D world where Egyptian pharaohs coexist with feudal lords and Dark Ages knights, barbarians, and priests and nuns. Also, Sonja becomes such a bad-ass that after going through the obligatory paces of hacking down intermediate bosses before reaching the Big Boss, the Big Boss, having spent his wad, is generally left wailing "No! No! No!" and pleading for his life and otherwise just kind of haplessly lying there waiting for Sonja to finish him off. As opposed to, I dunno, running or fighting or throwing another curse? It happens repeatedly, whether it's an archer or a sorcerer or another swordsman. Like Sonja is some kind of unstoppable Michael Meyers and once she's stalking you, all you can do is face your doom. The bottom line is, Red Sonja, love her or hate her, is 100% cheesecake designed by and for the so-called "Male Gaze." She is a bad-ass warrior woman and so just like other superheroines, she can be inspiring and a figure of female empowerment, but just like those melon-breasted super-babes in their painted-on spandex costumes, you cannot escape the fact that Sonja's pulchritude is deliberately on display, because even if Simone puts a few lines in Sonja's mouth to hang a lampshade on her choice of lightly armored lingerie, she's still wearing a damn chainmail bikini. And it was evident by the end of this series that Simone was never quite able to make peace with that, which is, in my opinion, why she has Sonja hack her hair short to ride off in the last few panels wearing a pixie bob, almost like a masculine defeminizing of her infamous red locks. Or, one suspects, just a teeny tiny middle finger raised to all those fanboys who are reading Red Sonja 'cause they like hot chicks in chainmail bikinis. Red Sonja: a guilty pleasure who's far more pleasurable without the guilt.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

    'Red Sonja Volume 3: The Forging of Monsters' end the run by Gail Simone. I've been able to read most of it, and it's been some of the better comics I've read, and certainly the best I've read of this character. When a village hires Sonja to do a job, she ends up with a strange curse. She is cursed never to forgive. She doesn't believe in curses, but when she sees the results of such a life, it frightens her. This is also complicated by someone from her past that she runs into. She sees a man who 'Red Sonja Volume 3: The Forging of Monsters' end the run by Gail Simone. I've been able to read most of it, and it's been some of the better comics I've read, and certainly the best I've read of this character. When a village hires Sonja to do a job, she ends up with a strange curse. She is cursed never to forgive. She doesn't believe in curses, but when she sees the results of such a life, it frightens her. This is also complicated by someone from her past that she runs into. She sees a man who helped kill her family. Sonja has hunted all of the people responsible for her family's death down except this man. She can't forgive him, curse or no. He evades her again as the village is threatened. Will Sonja pursue her revenge or save the village. There is a back up story in which Sonja has to help a religious order save their library. She thinks this is a stupid job because they are just books, but when one of the stories speaks to her, it gives her the courage to fight back. I will miss this writer with thsi character. I feel like the character got taken to a new level under Gail Simone and I hope whoever takes over next builds on that. The writing is smart and the art is also good. I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Dynamite, Diamond Book Distributors, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    47Time

    Sonja is less focused on booze in this volume. In fact, it's the best one in the series. So it took three tries for this author to understand the character in a way that agrees with me. I even thought the dialogue funnier. Kalas-Ra the wizard has been murdering innocents for a while until Sonja kills him in his cave. With his last breath he curses Sonja to never forgive. She doesn't think much of it before she blindly atacks a barkeep. (view spoiler)[To stop herself from hurting others she mutila Sonja is less focused on booze in this volume. In fact, it's the best one in the series. So it took three tries for this author to understand the character in a way that agrees with me. I even thought the dialogue funnier. Kalas-Ra the wizard has been murdering innocents for a while until Sonja kills him in his cave. With his last breath he curses Sonja to never forgive. She doesn't think much of it before she blindly atacks a barkeep. (view spoiler)[To stop herself from hurting others she mutilates her own hands in a fire. (hide spoiler)] Havan, the fire mage who has lost faith in his power becomes Sonja's apprentice. She emboldens him to regain access to his powers(view spoiler)[ which are pivotal in defeating Katharas-Ra, Kalas-Ra's brother (hide spoiler)] . Sonja will face some serious threats before this volume is done, but she emerges victorious against all odds thanks to her allies. (view spoiler)[The exertion from fighting Katharas-Ra and her wounds kill her. In the realm of the dead she defeats the Goddess of Death and is resurrected. Everyone celebrates, including her six companions from her quest for the pharaoh and the many people she has helped in the past. Sonja feels more free than ever. She even forgives Fellan, one of the men who massacred her village before she became Red Sonja. And it's orgy time! Sadly, nothing graphic. After it's over the nuns called the Daughters of Elrik ask for her help with the evil empess Laranda-Fa who accuses them of poisoning young girls' minds with books from their library. Sonja faces the emperess's assassins the Vipers who almost defeat her. The nuns heal her and Sonja learns to love the books she shunned since her youth. And she gets a new haircut. (hide spoiler)]

  10. 4 out of 5

    Meepelous

    As far as warnings go, lots of graphic violence and (while no actual sex) lots of sexualized images. Not the most ever, but a mature action adventure starring a woman who gives zero fucks. Skipping over the creator bios (see volume 1 review), let's talk plot. Like with the Batgirl series, Gail Simone is skilled at organizing runs so that each story builds on the last, expanding the world of the protagonist in ways that flow effortlessly to the finale. Even better in this case because there was no As far as warnings go, lots of graphic violence and (while no actual sex) lots of sexualized images. Not the most ever, but a mature action adventure starring a woman who gives zero fucks. Skipping over the creator bios (see volume 1 review), let's talk plot. Like with the Batgirl series, Gail Simone is skilled at organizing runs so that each story builds on the last, expanding the world of the protagonist in ways that flow effortlessly to the finale. Even better in this case because there was no cross DC events, and temporary firings, to interrupt the flow. This structure also seems to generally involve us in a development arch that takes the "strong female character" from what we expect pre-Gail Simone into a much more pro-women space - in the most expansive way possible. Including, specifically in Batgirl a transgender best friend for Bab's, a anti-TERF stance that is backed up by Gail Simone's twitter presence. In contrast to Babs, however, Red Sonja offers some more interesting feminist potential in how much more sexual she is. And I'm not just talking about the chain-mail bikini! Because one of the issues that I discovered in my initial study of the patriarchal gaze of the "idealized female body" was that creators were not satisfied with the sexualization of CIS woman characters who enjoyed their sexuality, they wanted to deliver the forbidden. The virgin part of the virgin whore dichotomy. This ran headlong into my growing understanding of consent culture and struck me as pretty disgusting, considering how much power the creators of these comics had over how willing/unwilling their woman characters were. This is why Barbara's steady de-sexualization is important to the Batgirl run but not important to Red Sonja, a woman who gives herself over to all things physical with a lot of gusto! Going through the complete trilogy in digital form, I did want to highlight some of the different ways in which Red Sonja is portrayed. Honestly, generally not in the chainmail bikini (gasp). Unlike in the Conan/Red Sonja short series that Simone did with Jim Zub, Red Sonja remains a rather traditionally attractive hour glass figure, sans a brief period where her hands were reduced to rotting skeleton digits via an evil curse. Oh yes, and the plot at the very end where she she swaggers in looking super bad ass in her bikini with all of her hair chopped off. I only wish the series could have continued, but such is life. Otherwise, it's a bit hard to talk about the way the way that Red Sonja is presented because it's more about what is not there then what is in there. At least as far as the inside art is concerned. So there's going to be a few more mentions of the New 52 Batgirl. One of the keys to how disgusting I feel reading a comic that includes people presumed to have vaginas is artists like to create sight lines that point directly to them. Perhaps it was just the fact that's Barbara is jumping around through the air all the time, but this literally happened all the time in the first couple of volumes of the New 52 Batgirl. I sometimes wonder if it's just my prudish upbringing behind this, and I kind of wish I had a discussion group to talk over my ideas with, but I think the patriarchal gaze is just that simple. Draw attention to orifices that the presumed cit male audience can stick their dick into. Reviewing all of my snapshots of Red Sonja, maybe it was just dumb luck because she's standing on the ground, but her legs (and those of the other women in the comic) are generally only an ordinary amount apart. Clothing, or even just bent knees, are often used to disrupt the way our eyes might move up Sonja's body to her crotch. Another interesting switch from what I've come to expect for women in comics is the way Red Sonja's relaxing body is presented. After all, it would be very easy to use these scenes of luxury, often including well earned baths, to serve up Red Sonja on a platter to readers. And while these scenes may be arousing to some, I would argue the way that Red Sonja is being presented is on her own terms. For one, while I don't think it would have been the end of the world if they had been, these scenes are not composed to tease or titillate. Sonja is not making eye-contact with the reader, or contorted in any odd looking way that would clearly be drawing the reader in. She is also surrounded by other people. Because another issue I take with much female sexuality as presented by the patriarchal gaze is often it includes scenes where the character themselves is in private. Literally placing readers in the position of peeping toms. The covers by Jenny Frison felt like a bit more of a mixed bag. The majority of them certainly fall along the lines of a sexuality that is powerful and not submissive - even with the more pin up quality of the work. That said, the issue 7 cover where Sonja is being circled by crocodiles and Issue 13 where she's just standing next to a horse as kind of silly and submissive. With Issue 3 being the worst IMHO, not only using the unnatural body twist to present both boobs and ass at the same time, but also using clothing to make her appear even skinnier then this unnatural pose usually suggests. The anatomy on that alone is literally the worst. And to wrap things up with a nice little bow, the way my analysis of these things work, cleavage is almost always a powerful sexual energy, in contrast to the submissive feeling that drawing attention to bodily orifices gives me. Especially since none of it happened on set, it was nice of Simone to include several short snip-its of dialog where Sonja is talking about her desire to have sex. Sonja also struggles a bit with her gender presentation which was a very interesting sub plot that continued through the entire series. Sadly the series did not really take it the extra mile and really include a lot of sexy male presenting people, which breaks up the male-consumer female-consumed binary. That said, there was guy with a giant dick bulge in a way that did strike me as out of the ordinary, so yay? Race representation continues to be pretty dubious throughout the series. While there is an uptick in the number of obviously none white characters, it still remains within the boundaries of tropes of the swords and sandals genre. Disability vs ability is not touched on at all. You are either fully able bodied or at death's door. Class I suppose is decently represented in a genre sort of way, since Red Sonja is almost always working for the most underdog. At least once she admits she's wrong and often changes her mission to side with the most oppressed people in any given situation. So yeah, not a read for absolutely everyone, but a fun genre romp that gives us a glimpse into what pro-white-woman representation could look like.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    3 and a half stars. Do not mess with Red Sonja. I haven't read much Red Sonja, but I will. Solid story telling mixed some good action equals a good trade. I received an advanced copy of this from NetGalley.com and the publisher. 3 and a half stars. Do not mess with Red Sonja. I haven't read much Red Sonja, but I will. Solid story telling mixed some good action equals a good trade. I received an advanced copy of this from NetGalley.com and the publisher.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Ever had a warm, flat lager? Where sword and sorcery should be a strong stout, or maybe with this particular title a brisk Hefeweizen with a bit of lemon, this take on Red Sonja and Hyboria is nothing but warm, flat lager trying to pass itself off as some hip microbrew.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Burgoo

    A very satisfying run to Simone's run on the character. http://fedpeaches.blogspot.com/2016/0... A very satisfying run to Simone's run on the character. http://fedpeaches.blogspot.com/2016/0...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    I love Red Sonja with short hair!!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Timo

    So stumbles to its end this run of Red Sonja. Not even close the high times of the Red Sonja, but I read it through.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Geniece

    A great continuation of the Red Sonja that I have been reading. I love how bad ass she is!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelly W.

    I very much enjoyed this series as a whole, and I’m glad my intro into Red Sonja comics was at the hands of Gail Simone. But despite the fun I had reading these volumes, this last one left me wanting. Perhaps it’s due to the length of the run, or perhaps it’s just the way the creative team wanted to produce everything, but I was hoping for more of a bang to end the series. Don’t get me wrong - it was still fun. It just didn’t feel like an ending. Things I Liked 1. Storyline Focused on Books and Ed I very much enjoyed this series as a whole, and I’m glad my intro into Red Sonja comics was at the hands of Gail Simone. But despite the fun I had reading these volumes, this last one left me wanting. Perhaps it’s due to the length of the run, or perhaps it’s just the way the creative team wanted to produce everything, but I was hoping for more of a bang to end the series. Don’t get me wrong - it was still fun. It just didn’t feel like an ending. Things I Liked 1. Storyline Focused on Books and Education: Always assume that if the story is about protecting books, valuing books, or valuing girls’ education, I’ll be all over it. I loved that this story was a detour from Sonja’s usual adventures, and despite the character not valuing books and reading at all, she finally came around to it and learned to appreciate stories. She even uses a story from a book as inspiration to defeat her enemy! 2. Sonja’s Selflessness: The storyline with the wizard’s curse was one that I wished I could see more of. Sonja is cursed with the inability to forgive, and though it has the potential to destroy everyone around her, she elects to destroy herself rather than hurt innocent people. A bit dark, but I found it a touching story about Sonja’s big heart. Despite her rugged appearance and barbarian behavior, she really does care about people under it all. 3. Havan: What a loyal sweetheart! Havan is Sonja’s apprentice/companion for the length of the wizard arc, and I found him to be one of the most delightful characters in the whole series. He’s loyal and truly cares for Sonja, not just the image she represents. He also gets to be a badass and burn a dragon thing. Things I Didn’t Like 1. Organization: Honestly, this series might have ended better for me if the stories were flipped - if the story about the books came first and then the story about the wizard’s curse. At the end of the wizard’s curse arc, Sonja is reunited with her friends, and there’s much made about her connection to people. I think that’s a way more exciting ending to tie the series together than what we got. 2. Pace: To really make the curse arc feel more serious and weighted, I would have liked to see it play out a little more. Recommendations: I would recommend this book if you’re interested in barbarians (characters), sword maidens, warrior women, magic, wizards, sorcery, books, reading, and the power of stories.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Not sure. Maybe this just isn't for me. I liked the actual plot material in this volume better than the previous one. In the first half, Sonja is hired to kill off an evil sorcerer (is there any other kind?) who keeps capturing villagers from the village he rules over and using them for experiments. As the sorcerer dies, he curses Sonja with an inability to forgive, and she brushes it off until she realizes that no matter how small the slight against her, she'll react with killing rage. In the s Not sure. Maybe this just isn't for me. I liked the actual plot material in this volume better than the previous one. In the first half, Sonja is hired to kill off an evil sorcerer (is there any other kind?) who keeps capturing villagers from the village he rules over and using them for experiments. As the sorcerer dies, he curses Sonja with an inability to forgive, and she brushes it off until she realizes that no matter how small the slight against her, she'll react with killing rage. In the second half, Sonja is brought to a monastery by several members of a religious order sworn to pacifism and the promotion of knowledge, and since Sonja doesn't understand anything that's not beer, blades, or beefcake, she turns down the jobs and goes off to find more beer. Until she changes her mind, obviously. I liked the Dark Horse Conan comics, but even there, there was an obvious difference between the parts that were based on original Howard stories and the parts that were made up for the comics. Howard never wrote any Sonja stories and her very existence is a pastiche, so I'm not sure how much of that is why I'm not connecting as strongly with the stories here. In contrast to previous volumes, Sonja shows actual depth and character growth her. When she realizes exactly what the sorcerer's curse means for the people around her, she (view spoiler)[chars her hands to uselessly so she can never hold a sword rather than risk hurting strangers (hide spoiler)] . When she's successfully defended the nuns from their cruel empress--because of course she takes the job, there wouldn't be a story if she didn't--she (view spoiler)[listens to one of the nuns recite a bunch of stories from one of their books, about a young girl who stood up to a vengeful god and won salvation for her family (hide spoiler)] . These are never things that Sonja would have done at the start of the story, and there's a clear line that her adventures have taken her on that led her this point. But I'm just not feeling it. I don't think the problem is with the book, it's me. This isn't for me. Previous Review: Red Sonja, Vol. 2: The Art of Blood and Fire.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Hodson

    One of the hardest things to get right in hero comics is the stakes. The big houses have universal apocalypse almost every six months. In reviewing this collection I will make a point relates to the whole of Simone's run, that she understands the scope of Sonja's world, and there is nice variety in the scale of the threat. There are somd big threats here, like powerful wizards, but there are also smaller ones, like thug 752 approaches campfire. Either way, satisfying drama and tension ensue. I do One of the hardest things to get right in hero comics is the stakes. The big houses have universal apocalypse almost every six months. In reviewing this collection I will make a point relates to the whole of Simone's run, that she understands the scope of Sonja's world, and there is nice variety in the scale of the threat. There are somd big threats here, like powerful wizards, but there are also smaller ones, like thug 752 approaches campfire. Either way, satisfying drama and tension ensue. I don't always know if the character moments are right for Sonja. For example, The LOVE of orgies is a fun side point in the character and Simone clearly relishes giving Sonja the freedom to explore that, but it kind of feels like a writer's device, rather than a natural extension of the character. I think it would be possible to write that part in a way that was more part of the character, and it may be possible given even more freedom to explore an orgy rather than demur to 'what is allowed in comics'. Overall a great book as Volume 3 on its own, and a satisfying end of a great run.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tianna

    Gail Simone and Walter Geovani's run with Red Sonja comes to an end in this third and final volume. The conclusion, unfortunately, wasn't as good as the last volume, but was still very enjoyable. I think the stories in this last volume would have been better given more pages to tell them - this volume felt rather rushed. This is the first Red Sonja title I've ever picked up, and I can see why she's got such a large following. I'll definitely be looking for more Red Sonja in the future, though I Gail Simone and Walter Geovani's run with Red Sonja comes to an end in this third and final volume. The conclusion, unfortunately, wasn't as good as the last volume, but was still very enjoyable. I think the stories in this last volume would have been better given more pages to tell them - this volume felt rather rushed. This is the first Red Sonja title I've ever picked up, and I can see why she's got such a large following. I'll definitely be looking for more Red Sonja in the future, though I am sad to see this run come to an end. I loved the writing, the adventure, and the artwork, and I would have loved to see this iteration of Red Sonja expanded upon. Overall, this was a great run with a solid, tboeugh not particularly impactful, conclusion. I highly recommend this if you're looking for a fun high fantasy romp following a bold female fighter and her battles. If you've never Red Sonja before, I think this is a fairly good place to start. I'm no expert here, but I was able to read, follow, and enjoy this having known next to nothing about Red Sonja prior to picking this up.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    The first story in this volume, 'The Forgiving of Monsters' brings the great 'ole S&S trope of a monstrous sorcerer into the story, but doesn't go very far beyond that. There's a curse to keep Sonja from forgiving, but she beats it through pure will power when the story calls for it. The only interesting bit of this story is that it brings back Sonja's family of artisans from V2, but they're gone before you can blink. The second story in this volume, where Sonja defends a monastery full of books, The first story in this volume, 'The Forgiving of Monsters' brings the great 'ole S&S trope of a monstrous sorcerer into the story, but doesn't go very far beyond that. There's a curse to keep Sonja from forgiving, but she beats it through pure will power when the story calls for it. The only interesting bit of this story is that it brings back Sonja's family of artisans from V2, but they're gone before you can blink. The second story in this volume, where Sonja defends a monastery full of books, is the more charming of the two, because we get to see Sonja being pampered and loved. Overall, Simone's Red Sonja was ... OK. Her characterization of Sonja was great when she got her feet under her (about 3 or 4 issues in), but the continuity was so weak and the stories were so average that there just wasn't a lot to keep you reading.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nick Baldwin

    Those two stars are for Geovani, who does good work here - although he’s drawn Sonja better elsewhere. Simone doesn’t like the original version of Sonja so she creates her own character who really is nothing more than a more ill-tempered female version of Conan. Before Simone, Sonja was so much more than that and prior writers worked really hard to differentiate the She-Devil’s personality from her Cimmerian buddy’s. Simone doesn’t Like the vow so she basically transforms Sonja into a less intere Those two stars are for Geovani, who does good work here - although he’s drawn Sonja better elsewhere. Simone doesn’t like the original version of Sonja so she creates her own character who really is nothing more than a more ill-tempered female version of Conan. Before Simone, Sonja was so much more than that and prior writers worked really hard to differentiate the She-Devil’s personality from her Cimmerian buddy’s. Simone doesn’t Like the vow so she basically transforms Sonja into a less interesting version of Xena. Forgettable story as are all of Simone’s Sonja tales - everyone gushes about her Sonja stinking and drinking and rotting but nobody remembers anything about her actual adventures. I’m glad that subsequent runs have been so much better and that Simone hasn’t yet returned to ruin the character once more, aside from the abysmal Tarzan crossover.

  23. 5 out of 5

    The Sapphic Nerd

    "Hello Death. They call me the Devil." In the first arc, Sonja kills a wizard who's been terrorizing a village and ends up cursed never to forgive. Somehow she's able to break the curse out of sheer will, but has to battle death from an infection. The outpouring of love and support for Sonia and her stubborn will to live got me a little emotional. And the return of an old friend had me gasp! The second arc has Sonja defending a library against an evil empress and learning the value of written word "Hello Death. They call me the Devil." In the first arc, Sonja kills a wizard who's been terrorizing a village and ends up cursed never to forgive. Somehow she's able to break the curse out of sheer will, but has to battle death from an infection. The outpouring of love and support for Sonia and her stubborn will to live got me a little emotional. And the return of an old friend had me gasp! The second arc has Sonja defending a library against an evil empress and learning the value of written words. It also brings the story to a close with the penning of her own story and a hot new haircut! While I'm sad Gail Simone's run of Red Sonja is over, I'm glad we got this much from her! Simone writes the character like she deserves, and I hope future writers follow her lead.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    The end of Gail Simone's run on this series was not here strongest. The writing was a little preachy and heavy-handed and lacked the fun of the previous installments. The book is still a fun read involving wizards and giant snakes and evil empresses but they lacked the energy of the previous books. The artwork was the best thing about this book. It has good throughout but in this volume, it saves the day. The sequence where Sonja fights with Death is particularly memorable as are the new charact The end of Gail Simone's run on this series was not here strongest. The writing was a little preachy and heavy-handed and lacked the fun of the previous installments. The book is still a fun read involving wizards and giant snakes and evil empresses but they lacked the energy of the previous books. The artwork was the best thing about this book. It has good throughout but in this volume, it saves the day. The sequence where Sonja fights with Death is particularly memorable as are the new characters. The artwork stands out in a cinematic style with some great coloring - if only the writing was as strong.

  25. 5 out of 5

    David Turko

    This is the end of Gail Simone's run of Red Sonja. It was still great to see Gail Simone keep up the pace with the character and story. Also this volume has one of the most grizzly/gnarly scenes I've seen in a comic book for quite some time. So props to Simone for making this book go metal, which it does a handful of times. I think the biggest compliant I have with this book is that the story essentially ends midway through the book and Gail decides to tack on another story that is two or three This is the end of Gail Simone's run of Red Sonja. It was still great to see Gail Simone keep up the pace with the character and story. Also this volume has one of the most grizzly/gnarly scenes I've seen in a comic book for quite some time. So props to Simone for making this book go metal, which it does a handful of times. I think the biggest compliant I have with this book is that the story essentially ends midway through the book and Gail decides to tack on another story that is two or three issues. But that's okay, because this still was a great book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Judah Radd

    What a ride. I didn’t think it could get better. It does. Sonja is so loveable at this point. We know her quirks, habits, strengths and weaknesses by now. These last couple stories have the most heart. We see her confront who she truly is. She battles death. She continues to stand her ground and stare down certain doom. The battles are, of course, rendered beautifully by Walter Geovani. Listen... this Gail Simone Red Sonja run is outstanding. You have to read it. This character is so rewarding to What a ride. I didn’t think it could get better. It does. Sonja is so loveable at this point. We know her quirks, habits, strengths and weaknesses by now. These last couple stories have the most heart. We see her confront who she truly is. She battles death. She continues to stand her ground and stare down certain doom. The battles are, of course, rendered beautifully by Walter Geovani. Listen... this Gail Simone Red Sonja run is outstanding. You have to read it. This character is so rewarding to get to know. Just stop reading this review and get your hands on these books. It’s a must.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    I love Gail Simone's run with Red Sonja. In Simone's hands, she's terrifying, lethal, kind, and best of all, completely willing to own up to her mistakes and missteps. And Walter Geovani's artwork is just chef-kiss perfect in every single panel. While I'm sad that this pair only worked together for eighteen issues (I would have happily read another hundred or more), I can't recommend their Red Sonja run highly enough. I love Gail Simone's run with Red Sonja. In Simone's hands, she's terrifying, lethal, kind, and best of all, completely willing to own up to her mistakes and missteps. And Walter Geovani's artwork is just chef-kiss perfect in every single panel. While I'm sad that this pair only worked together for eighteen issues (I would have happily read another hundred or more), I can't recommend their Red Sonja run highly enough.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amory

    A good end to this run... a great call back to the beginning, and a little insight on why we think of Red Sonja as a hero usually, despite all her deficiencies (and, you know, the killing.)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    Oh, how I wish there was more.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Not as funny or interesting as the earlier issues, alas. Even the art seemed a bit off. Would recommend volume two.

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