When the new story arc hit Red Sonja last month, I was very pleased. Gail Simone had eased up on some the stone cold seriousness found during her Queen of the Plagues arc and she started to yuck it up as the next story focused on Sonja’s attempt to find the six greatest artisans in several fields to be present for an end of life party being held by an ailing pharaoh. On the line for Sonja are the lives of 1000 slaves that are to be given freedom either by emancipation or death with the outcome to be determined by Red Sonja's success or failure. In issue #7, she bagged a master chef from a band of cannibalistic, sexual deviant, swamp people who had extraordinary taste palates. Here in Issue #8, the hunt is now on for a master of beasts. There's just one problem for Sonja. Well actually, there are two problems. #1, Sonja hates this "beast master" and her desire is to kill him over taking him to the party. And #2, Red Sonja can't get laid. This pretty much sums up the issue and it definitely continues in the vein that began in issue #7, playing for laughs rather than drama.
While I found this issue to be an enjoyable read, I don't know if it had the same flow as #7 had. This one seemed a little bit choppy and follows a rather predictable formula that doesn't enlighten. It was kind of interesting however for Sonja to realize that she might actually stink from time to time during her adventures. This was a nice touch and did a good job on the light-heartedness.
In spite of the light-hearted moments however, I typically do like some level of seriousness, and I don't really know if I ever got it here. It almost felt like it was trying too hard to be funny. I am all for laughs, but I do like some serious moments too, and with the exception of the side story of Rat (you will have to read it), there was really no amount of seriousness. It was just too lighthearted in its delivery.
Even so, Walter Geovani’s artwork kicks it. He can change locales, change people. He can even change to drawing various animals and creatures with just the greatest of ease. He draws with a passion that is fitting of the talent that he is.
I get where the story is going and I think all in all, it is of a good design. I just don't know if this particular issue quite hit its mark. But hey, we are just two artisans in. We still have four to go and here's to hoping that the mark will be found as it was in Issue #7.
Writer: Gail Simone Artist: Walter Geovani Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price $3.99 Release Date: 4/2/14 Format: Ongoing – Print/Digital