Review: Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #2

Look Out!!! The Son of Set has been birthed in a most unholy ritual and he is coming upon the land like a plague, bringing death, destruction, doom, and a few other D words that you can add (despair, desolation, and darkness come to mind off the top of my head). Things are not looking good.  Nation upon nation upon nation has fallen to Sutekh’s slithery hands. Stygia, Kush, Darfar, Keshan, Shem, Argos, etc. etc..All have fallen.  Very little left stands in the way of this destroyer and those who do stand face almost certain guaranteed death.  This includes Red Sonja and her training school turning young maidens into mighty warriors.  But like the She Devil herself, these young ladies are up for the challenge and they will fight with everything they have, even in the face of impossible odds.

So goes the beginnings of Issue Number 2 of Red Sonja Vulture’s Circle which concludes with a battle with Sutekh’s dark forces.  Written by Nancy A. Collins and Luke Lieberman and drawn by Fritz Casas, this mini series enters into new territory portraying Sonja as a little bit wiser, a little bit older, and a little bit more fearful warrior who has started a school training young women after sustaining a near life ending wound while on the fields of battle. Sonja is shown in a way that is as vulnerable as I have ever seen with this character.  It is an interesting display considering that she is facing one of the most powerful adversaries that I have seen her face as well.  It looks like all the chips are down on the table and whoever walks away from this series will be the supreme winner of all.  It is a strong testament to the excellent writing by Collins and Lieberman as they are writing a mini that compares well to the monthly written by Gail Simone.  This has been the best Red Sonja title that I have read outside of the monthly to date.

RSVulture02-Cov-A-AnacletoAll the bases are covered within this issue.  We get some humorous elements in the opening through former priest of Set Sefkh and his interaction with Sonja and the ladies of the school.  We have Sonja having a period of doubt and thought regarding her past wounds and her need for resolve.  And then, we finish with quite a nice battle run between Sonja’s school and Sutekh’s “Eaters of the Dead”, fowl beasts from Hell itself, and a mano a mano showdown between Sonja and Sutekh himself.  Pretty nice for sure, but it doesn’t end there. The outcomes occur (No Spoilers) and you will leave this issue craving more as the intensity level is red lining by the time this one is finished.

And adding to the intensity level of the writing is the excellent art by Casas with impacting color power infused by Adriano Augusto.  The art is sound throughout, but the battle scenes are where the power is delivered.  Watching Sonja and her maidens battle with the Eaters is drawn with such a character contrast that saying its simple good versus evil is a huge understatement.  These ladies are fighting for their very souls and Casas demonstrates the point well.

There have been a lot of Red Sonja mini series, specials, and one shots to go as a companion piece on the success of the monthly.  By in large, most of those efforts have been simply ok or downright awful in their depiction.  Never have any of them been on an equal level with the monthly.  With two issues into this mini however, I believe that is not the case.  This one holds its own and is one worth reading. Bring it on lady and gentlemen.  I want more.

Score: 4/5

Writers: Nancy A. Collins and Luke Lieberman Artist: Fritz Casas Colorist: Adriano Augusto Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/4/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital