One page. Granted it is an impressively-rendered splash page, but it is one page nonetheless. That’s how much Red Sonja appears in this book. Sure, she’s the driver of the plot and the biggest plot device in this book, but she is hardly more than a mention.
That said, this book is less a period piece, less a true sword and sorcery epic than it is a WB-esque reimagination of the legend of Red Sonja. Geovani’s art is like a light version of Ed Benes, complete with Benes’ most critical pitfall — lack of a range of body type. His backgrounds are resplendent and enticing, his knack for detail keen, but his beautification of what should be a rugged set of people is distracting. Sure, it makes for a pretty book, and when Sonja does appear, she appears very nicely, thank you. If Geovani would vary the body type — and thusly body language and acting of his characters — this book would be a far more striking visual collection.
Brian Reed writes a compelling story that begins in tragedy and finds more tragedy heaped upon unfairness and treachery. Not the most light-hearted fair, nor is it the feel good story of the year, but it is compelling enough to make for some intense page turning. Reed’s characters lack significant depth, but in a setting such as this, those men and women in touch with their feelings a few and far between.
This book offers a glimpse into a world that is uncommon in today’s comic book market, but for me, it’s not enough of a glimpse to be memorable. This is a story that will be fleeting and most likely never return to my consciousness, but it is a smaller snippet of a larger tale. Perhaps if I took in more of the adventures of “Red Sonja,” then this book might have more relevance for me, but as a single standalone sample, I’m uninspired to add this to my regular reading stack.