Review: Altered States: Red Sonja #1

This is far worse than Altered States: Vampirella.  Vampirella had a good concept that was handicapped by its short length.  There’s just not a whole going on here.  There’s so little going on here that there isn’t a lot to say about it.  I don’t know how I’m going to pad this review.  Seriously, how many sentences can I squeeze out of this thin concept?  Can I just ramble on and on and on… what’s that, I should stop?  Okay. Altered State - Red SonjaThis isn’t going to take long.  The basic plot is a wizard kills Sonja and she somehow puts her soul into her sword.  Flash forward into the future and wizard comes back because someone is stupid enough to read the inscription on his robes.  You know, you’re basic Evil Dead scenario except this Red Sonja is nowhere as interesting as Ash is.  Although a chainsaw hand, or at least a sword hand, would have made things interesting.  The wizard changes the world and Red Sonja drunk drives her newly sword possessed body to victory and everything goes back to the way it was.

The Altered States concept is a good concept but I think they would be better off either producing double sized issues to doing a run of 3 or 4 issues to flesh out a concept.  Given much more time they might have been able to save this story.  You could play with the idea of having a bloodthirsty warrior inside the head of a normal, soft museum curator.  There could be some kind of moral debate, some interesting characterization could be pulled from that idea.  How do ancient Hyborian morals and social norms compare and contrast with modern European ones?  What happens when you take a sheltered, asocial, introvert and subject them to sharing headspace with someone who is body confident, sex positive and incredibly social?  Or you could make it an OG Thor type concept and you could have a man who gets the sword but it turns him into Red Sonja when there’s trouble.  Then you could explore all kinds of gender dynamics on top of everything I mentioned.  Instead we get a very poorly paced, very clichéd story catapulted at us at the speed of light.  There’s not much more I can say beyond that, hard pass on this one.

Score: 1/5

Altered States: Red Sonja #1 Writer: Brandon Jerwa Artist: Juanan Ramirez Colorist: Rhovel Yumul Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/11/15 Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital