THE END IS HERE! Unfortunately, for the peoples of Hyboria, that end could spell their end. Or at least a slow and painful end filled with some hardcore suffering and torture. The demigod Sutekh, slithery son of Set, has set off with his cursed minions of doom to lay waste upon the land. Ushering in a deformity of its former self. Everyone and everything has been laid to waste. Not even Red Sonja and her school of warrior women were spared in the onslaught. Nothing else remains but one kingdom. A last stand (and fall) is in the making. Hope is in short supply.
But there is one possible hope that still remains. Merging with the goddess Scathach, Red Sonja has surrendered herself (body, soul, and mind) to the fiery goddess in the hopes that some divine intervention can be made to save the world as we/they know it. But this goddess isn’t the friendliest there is. And she herself may have a motive of her own regarding the mortals and their flesh.
So begins the battle that consumes all of Issue #5 of Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle. The conclusion of this miniseries, which has been one of the better ones regarding the She Devil with a Sword. Or as has been the case for much of this series, the retired She Devil with a Sword. Wounded in battle some years ago, the Sonja of this tale has been hardened by life and war, and has recognized the power of love. She had started a school training and empowering the next generation of young ladies to be masters of their arms. All had been going well. That is, until some priests of Set decided to hatch out Sutekh from one of its virgin sacrifices.
This miniseries has been wonderful throughout, really adding a new dimension to Sonja. Focusing on a time well after her days of heavy ass kicking had ceased. This Sonja is a kinder/gentler sort. But don’t let that exterior fool you. Sonja is still all warrior at heart. And it has been through that heart that this wonderful story has been told. It has been great spending an extended amount of time delving into Sonja’s inner thoughts and motivations.
But as we reach this great story’s conclusion, I felt like Issue #5 lacked some of the heart that has filled the previous four issues. There is very little Sonja involved here, as Scathach has very nearly taken her over, directing all of the battle. Of course, Sonja does return somewhat, but it feels too predictable. I would liked to have seen more of the inner struggle played out between Sonja and Scathach as opposed to the outer which is depicted in the issue.
But as far as struggles or opinions of struggles go. The outer struggle is not too bad. I enjoyed the meeting between Sonja/Scathach and Setekh. It was a battle of the ages, made particularly entertainment to the fact that those mortals in the fray are equally fearful of both battling sides. As they should be. These two forces are nasty. And their battle is also. It is all very nicely played out. Equally represented both in writers Nancy A. Collins and Luke Lieberman’s words as well as Fritz Casas art. Neither of these forces are none too pleasant. And all write and draw this battle as such.
Still though, despite the impressive fisticuffs, things just feel a little too predictable in this issue after the previous four issues introduced us to new things regarding Sonja. There is a slight plot twist after the battle that tries to up the ante some. But based on what has been seen here, it once again just felt kind of predictable. I am not sure what I was expecting, but Issue #5 left me feeling kind of anticlimactic.
But even though the ending of this issue didn’t quite do it for me. The series as a whole was wonderful. If you are looking for something original with Red Sonja, much in the same vein as what Gail Simone and Walter Geovani have been doing with the monthly. Then, I think Red Sonja: Vultures Circle completely fits the bill. It stands on its own as one of the better miniseries in the legend.
Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #5 Writers: Nancy A. Collins and Luke Lieberman Artist: Fritz Casas Colorist: Adriano Augusto Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/3/15 Format: Mini Series: Print/Digital