Book Review: Red Sonja Vol.1: Queen of Plagues by Gail Simone

18813717Gail Simone (Batgirl, Birds of Prey) gives the iconic fantasy heroine a fresh new attitude! Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, intends to pay back a blood debt owed to the one man who has gained her respect… even if it means leading a doomed army to their certain deaths! Who is Dark Annisia, and how has this fearsome warrior accomplished what no god nor demon has been able to do: force Sonja to her knees in surrender? An epic tale of blood, lust, and vengeance, Queen of the Plagues takes Red Sonja from the depths of her own grave to the heights of battlefield glory.

Rating: 8.5/10

Overall Impression: Surprisingly good. Red Sonja pretty badass, and I want to read more.

Recommended for: Fans of barbarian and action comics. Fans of female heriones

I learned about this graphic novel from Sam Maggs’ book The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy. She said that it was pretty awesome, so I decided to take her word for it, and I’m glad I did.

I ended up requesting most of the books and graphic novels that she suggested in the book, but I almost didn’t get this one. This isn’t normally something I would read, but then I thought, maybe that should be the reason I should get it. It’s good to try new things since you never know when you might fall for something.

Basically, Red Sonja is a badass. She’s a woman who does her own thing, and has no loyalties to anyone but herself and the king who rescued her from the fighting pits. So when he asks for her help to save his people, she answers his call. There, she learns that she must fight a woman that she used to fight alongside in the pits. What follows is an epic tale of war, betrayal, revenge, and redemption.

Red Sonja is an amazing fighter who brings down her foes swiftly, and in great fashion. Sometimes while hungover. It’s no secret that Sonja likes her alcohol and at some point exclaims that she wants to “get drunk in legendary fashion”. A phrase that I believe I will adopt. She hates dressing in anything but armor and furs, and while her metal bikini number seems a little impractically, she does don some pretty sweet armor for the epic battle near the end.

I couldn’t put this graphic novel down and read it all in one sitting. It was so refreshing to read a comic where women took center stage and were the kickass heroes that save the day. Not only does Red Sonja take the leading role in the plot, but the two girls who are appointed as her “bodyguards” gradually come into their own, learning to both fight and lead an army—made up of both women and men—to defeat those that aimed to oppress and kill them. Pretty awesome stuff.

So, if you’re looking for a graphic novel/comic that feature women being awesome, and that has a pretty rocking story along with it, this is the series for you. You won’t regret it. I know I didn’t!

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