Red Sonja Volume 5 #1
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Mirko Colak
Colors by Dearbhla Kelly
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Stygia has fallen and a new emperor has conquered the lands.
The new emperor, Dragan, has conquered the country and is in the midst of showing the people of the country his idea of mercy. The former king of the country is the last recipient of that mercy as Dragan has his sights set on the next country to conquer. A country that might be difficult to attain because of the nature of its people.
The emperor sends out an envoy to the country of Hyrkania in order to negotiate for their surrender. At the same time, Sonja has arrived in her home country of Hyrkania and finds that the journey is more treacherous than she remembers. Having to dispatch a number of cutthroats on her journey through the desert, her actions have caught the attention of the Hyrkanian leaders who thrust a title upon her and flee in order to put Sonja in the crosshairs of the oncoming Dragan army.
When the newly crowned Queen of Hyrkania gets the message to surrender, she sends a response to the emperor that is both unique in its delivery and deliberate in its message.
Mark Russell delivers a smart and funny story in this issue. The dialogue is clever and engaging and the side characters add to and enhance the narrative. The pace of this issue is well done. The moments leading to the reveal of Sonja are great and the character does not disappoint in both action and attitude when revealed. Dragan doesn’t really rise that far above a cookie cutter villain at this point which makes the issue more interesting as the reader begins to speculate what will happen when Sonja finally confronts him.
The art by Mirko Colak is very good. The backgrounds are beautifully detailed and the characters are nicely done. It will be interesting to see if Colak has more to express visually in the next issue.