Next year, Red Sonja joins Thor, God of Thunder in the fight against Loki, God of Mischief in Dynamite Entertainment's "Red Sonja: Wrath of the Gods." Written by Luke Lieberman with interior art by Walter Geovanni, the new "Red Sonja" mini takes the warrior out of Hyboria and places her right in the middle of Norse mythology. "We have never done anything quite like it before, and I am not certain we will again," said Lieberman. "I wanted to take Sonja through the looking glass, beyond the boarders of the Hyborian world to a place where magic is more common. High fantasy, without being hokey or cliche."
High fantasy has always been the name of the game when it comes to "Red Sonja," and "Wrath of the Gods" promises to deliver in the same tradition with one massive climax. "'Wrath of the Gods' builds to a bad ass crescendo, and it was a lot of fun," Lieberman said. "Walter is knocking himself out on the artwork and it's going to be cool."
But while the mini will reveal some shocking truths about Sonja's past, don't expect any familiar faces from the "Red Sonja" or "Queen Sonja" series proper - this adventure is all Sonja, all the time with the focus of the series much more squarely set on her role in a more traditional view of Norse mythology, which marks it as a stark departure from the Thor, Loki and Asgard that comic fans are used to. "I don't think the real Norse elements have been used all that much," Lieberman explained. "The concept of Wodinaz and the tree of life are not things I have seen much in comics. Â Norse mythology was also used by the Nazis in crafting their bizarre cult religion - I wanted to weave this in and make Loki really evil."
According to Lieberman, Wodinaz (or Odin, as he is more commonly known) was one of the high points in the creation of the series. "Envisioning Wodinaz and creating a world for Sonja to explore [was most exciting for me]," he said. The writer also noted that Loki was the most fun Asgardian god to write, saying, "I love the idea that he is a bit too clever for his own good."
While "Wrath of the Gods" is currently Lieberman's main project as a writer, he was also able to reveal a few tidbits on the direction of the Red Sonja property as a whole. While Sonja's sojourn to Asgard won't begin until February 2010, Dynamite's "Queen Sonja" title is still going strong with Sonja coming into her own as Queen - and Lieberman was quick to reveal that the new title is a welcome callback to the initial Dynamite launch of "Red Sonja." "'Queen Sonja' is a return to the kind of hardcore storytelling that made the initial launch in '04 great," he said. "The stories will get personal with Sonja -Â real drama, not melodrama. I feel like towards the end of the old series we lost a rudder a bit; that won't happen again."
"Having [artist Mel] Rubi back is huge," he continued.Â "The way he handles Sonja, and just the way he does fantasy, is unique and compelling. [Writer Joshua] Ortega's first arc is solid. I just want to see 'Queen Sonja' focus on quality storytelling that makes its point and moves onto the next adventure; no 200-foot monsters or long drawn out arcs."
Lieberman was also able to shed some light on the recent "Thulsa Doom" miniseries he penned with Peter David, which featured the "Red Sonja" villain bearing an uncanny likeness to actor Djimon Hounsou, who was announced last year as playing Thulsa Doom in the upcoming film. "Djimon was really involved," said Lieberman. "We did some photography with him to give Alex [Ross] the raw materials to work with.Â [Hounsou] takes a keen interest in everything that is done with Thulsa.Â I wanted the Thulsa mini to delve into the character without treading on the turf we are saving for the film script." Speaking of the "Thusa Doom" feature film, Lieberman gave CBR News a tiny tidbit -"We should be getting the polish on that script before Christmas."
On the other hand, news on the "Red Sonja" movie starring Rose McGowan and directed by Robbie Rodriguez is in very short supply. Lieberman could only reveal that "there are a few things brewing, but it looks like they are going to shoot 'Conan' first, in the early spring." Production company NuImage will be handling both the "Conan" and "Red Sonja" features.
As for all other things Sonja, Lieberman was incredibly tight-lipped and unable to comment, only mentioning "What is happening I can't talk about, but there is a lot of activity."