Review: Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #4

Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle has been an immensely entertaining miniseries within the Red Sonja mythos that addresses a period in Sonja’s life that I do not remember ever being covered.  The story has centered on a semi-retired She Devil who is teaching young ladies to carry on her legacy and to defend themselves in a harsh and bitter world of ignorance and badness. During the course of this miniseries, we have witnessed the birth of one Sutekh, the son of the god Set and one pretty dag nasty customer. As Sutekh has risen in power, he has left a trail of death and destruction upon all the kingdoms and villages to include our She Devil’s school.  By the end of Issue #3, all seems lost and Sonja has dispersed her remaining students to spread the word as she goes searching for answers and inner motivation to deal with this threat.

Issue #4 begins at the gates of the Kingdom of Aquilonia, the most powerful of the Hyborian kingdoms.  What we get through these pages are the battle for Aquilonia and its struggle to maintain freedom from inevitable doom at the slithery hands of Sutekh.  And things do not look to good.

Red Sonja - Vulture's Circle #4As for Sonja…Well she has merged. Or maybe overtaken, depends on how you look at it by the Goddess Scathach, Sonya’s patron goddess of her people.  With Scathach in control, Sonja is naked… and on fire… literally on fire… ready for a scrap with old Sutekh.  But not before she does a little bit of research first regarding Sutekh’s birth.  She transports to the Temple of Set, gets what she needs, and powers up from the best I can tell. Once all is finished, this issue sets up the big battle for all the marbles of humanity as goddess and demigod prepare to square up in mortal combat.

Co-writers Nancy A. Collins and Luke Lieberman have really impressed me with an original and unique Sonja tale that is comparable to the great monthly that has been going strong.  Typically, these side tales don’t quite live up to the power of the monthly.  But Vulture’s Circle has. I have been reading quite a few works by Nancy A. Collins lately and I have become very fond of the personal emotion that she portrays on all of her characters.  During this series, she has achieved a unique look to Sonja that shows vulnerability and power at the same time.

But with the goddess Scathach in her, a new and more cocky character has been portrayed that has overshadowed the vulnerable/strong Sonja that has been portrayed.  I understand why it is being done, I just hate that we did not see Sonja herself struggling with the goddess for control.  I think that would have made for an interesting read and still very well may occur once all is said and done.  But for now, we get this brazen and really bad assed flaming naked goddess working through Sonja to unleash what looks to be some hard-core intensive fury.  My money is on her for sure.

I have also enjoyed Fritz Casas art as he has for most of the series drawn Sonja devoid of her iconic metallic bikini, replaced with a more mature and modern looking Sonja.  But with this issues, there are no clothes at all for Sonja, just flames.  Casas does the flames well however, using a level of modesty in portraying this flaming naked goddess.  It is tastefully done.  Outside of naked flaming Sonja scenes, the battle scenes with Sutkeh’s minions are spectacularly done by Casas with the money shot being a full splash of Sutkeh’s “other” forces coming in after his human troops are laid to waste by the Anquilonians. It is good stuff.

I think if you are a fan of Red Sonja, that Vulture’s Circle is a good mini to read.  It is well done and worth a look as it is one of the better titles I have encountered with the She Devil.  It may not quite match the greatness of the ongoing monthly, but it is pretty darned close.

Score: 3/5

Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #4 Writers: Nancy A. Collins and Luke Lieberman Artist: Fritz Casas Colorist: Adriano Augusto Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/8/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital