A new Red Sonja series just started called The Black Tower and I decided to check it out.
The very first page of the first issue claims this is the tale of the day Sonja died. To which I have to roll my eyes because another Red Sonja story about how she is going to “die”. Come on Dynamite really?
Anyway one day Red Sonja rides into Lur, some generic Hyborean Age town with nothing special about it until an evil looking black tower appeared out of nowhere. The people soon start freaking out about it. One particular generic savage jerk with a beard named Fengar and his pals start to harass and molest some sexy lady in a white dress until Sonja stabs one of the henchmen in the head. And there is a pretty great panel of Red Sonja standing there being awesome after stabbing a guy in the head. So Sonja gets in a fight with Fengar and his buddies, who are both men and women I should mention. She kills or dismembers most of them. Fengar almost gets the drop on Sonja but then she stabs him in the dick. There is one last henchwoman who tries and fails to get Sonja. After getting her ass beat she declares that the tower was sent by the gods and everyone should worship it. Sonja is not impressed and rides away. Also at some point the sexy lady in white dress apparently vanished without a trace.
The next issue of The Black Tower starts by telling us how Lur became the “heart of darkness” what with all the sex and violence the locals descended into. The one surviving henchwoman founded a sisterhood of evil nuns to worship the tower but they eventually turned on her and she was burned at the stake. I was kind of expecting more from her as a villain but nope, her rise and fall is chronicled in one page of back-story. A bunch of warlords tried to take control of Lur and Fengar was the winner. Fengar survived being stabbed in the crotch but his genitals did not so now people call him Swordless behind his back and he wants revenge on Red Sonja. She is captured and brought to a gladiator pit. It seems like everyone in the Hyborean Age had their own gladiator pit. And for some reason Sonja has an eye-patch now. First she fights two of the lackeys whose hands she cut off last issue. They are sore about it and Sonja makes a comment about them taking her eye. But they didn’t take her eye, at the end of issue 1 Sonja had both her eyes and no facial injuries. Did someone forget to include the part about Red Sonja losing an eye and then just hoped we wouldn’t notice? Well Sonja kills the henchs and then has to fight some kind of triceratops/bear/squid monster. It is both generic looking and defies easy description so… well done? Sonja kills the monster and manages to get up to kill Fengar but almost gets overwhelmed when the Black Tower finally opens. And out come some men dressed in black with metal masks, glowing red eyes and… red lightsabers? who proceed to start killing people and saying “Praise Thraxis” whatever that is. Sonja fights one and knocks his mask off to reveal… a robot underneath. Okay if I was at all ambivalent about this series before I am totally on board now. Red Sonja fighting an army of extra dimensional invading robots, I can get behind that. I will read the rest of this series and report back on it.
But once again the whole “Red Sonja will die” gimmick has been used before and it was already tired them. Dynamite needs to stop letting people use that one.