Friday, June 14, 2013

Red Sonja (Marvel Comics) Character Review

Red Sonja (Marvel Comics) Character Review

Red Sonja (Marvel Comics) Character Review

Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, is a fictional Character, a high fantasy sword and sorcery heroine created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith, and loosely based on Red Sonya of Rogatino in Robert E. Howard's 1934 short story "The Shadow of the Vulture". She first appeared in the Marvel Comics book Conan the Barbarian (February 1973). More about Red Sonja (Marvel Comics) Character Review...Keep on reading !!

Red Sonja has become the archetypical example of the fantasy figure of a fierce and stunningly beautiful female barbarian who typically wears armor resembling a bikini or lingerie. She was ranked first in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.

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Fictional Character Biography

Origin - The origin story for Red Sonja, "The Day of the Sword", first appeared in Kull and the Barbarians by Roy Thomas, Doug Moench, and Howard Chaykin, and was later redrawn by Dick Giordano and Terry Austin for The Savage Sword of Conan, issue 78.

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In this story, Red Sonja lived with her family in a humble house in the Western Hyrkanian steppes (this seems to be in modern Ukraine/Russia though historical Hyrcania was on the borders of modern Iran/Turkmenistan). When she had just turned 17 years old, a group of mercenaries killed her family and burned down their house. Sonja survived but was brutally raped by the leader of the group, leaving her in shame. Answering her cry for revenge, the red goddess Scáthach appeared to her, and instilled in her incredible skill in the handling of swords and other weapons on the condition that she would never lie with a man unless he defeated her in fair combat.

In the current Dynamite comic book series, Sonja's origins are portrayed in "flashbacks" within each issue beginning with issue #8. The goddess makes her first appearance in the new series in issue #12, which also marks the return of the deadly sorcerer Kulan Gath.

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Later during the series, the original character is killed off in issue #34. Instead, a new character of the same name, described as a reincarnation of the original Sonja, takes her place from issue #35 onward.

Revamped Sonja - In this new continuity, Sonja is described as a distant relative of the original Red Sonja, taking her name as a good omen, since Sonja had come to be known as the most beautiful and fearless woman in Hyrkania. A noblewoman, this incarnation lives a fairly sheltered existence, along with her sister Verona and her little niece, longing for a child of her own and waiting for the return of her distant husband, Lord Daniel.

Eventually she is reunited with her husband, but then a pirate crew (unbeknownst to them called upon by Verona's husband, Lord Lucan, in a bid for more power) slays him and leaves Sonja on the brink of death. Sonja is then nursed to health by Osin, in Sonja's previous life a bard companion and now a gruff swordsman, who accepted the curse of Claw the Unconquered for himself in exchange for the ability to locate, and train the new incarnation of Red Sonja.

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Osin begins her training, finding that, even if Sonja has occasional flashes of her former reflexes, she no longer has access to the full might of the skills bestowed upon her by Scathach (now an almost forgotten goddess with waning powers) in her previous life, nor the fit body she once possessed, due to her sheltered life. Despite these handicaps Sonja is able to learn faster than presumed, but decides to act stealthily, joining Lucan's pirate crew to be closer to Daniel's assassins.

In Other Media 

The character was played by Brigitte Nielsen in the 1985 film Red Sonja, which also starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as High Lord Kalidor (originally intended to be Conan). The film was directed by Richard Fleischer.

Actress Rose McGowan was originally intended to portray Sonja in 2010's Red Sonja film, but these plans were squelched by injuries that permanently damaged the mobility and strength of her right arm. In a February 2011 interview, film producer Avi Lerner stated that Simon West is was hired to direct the film and also mentioned Amber Heard as the frontrunner to star in the lead role.

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Angelica Bridges portrayed the character in the "Red Sonja" episode of the 1997 - 1998 TV series Conan.


  • 1973 Academy of Comic Book Arts Awards: Best Individual Story (Dramatic). The Song of Red Sonja. Written by Roy Thomas and pencilled, inked and colored by Barry Smith. The story first appeared in Conan the Barbarian issue 24 (March 1972), where two panels were censored by John Romita, Sr. The uncensored story was reprinted in Marvel Treasury Edition, Volume 1, No. 15, 1977, where it was recolored by Glynis Wein and the artwork was slightly cropped to fit the page format.
  • Red Sonja publisher Dynamite Entertainment was awarded the title of "Best New Publisher" by Diamond Comics Distributors in 2005.

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