Red Sonja: Berserk ( Dynamite Entertainment – Collins/Casas/Linsner )
After a fight in a tavern results in Red Sonja being arrested and becoming a prisoner, she is sold to a promoter who stages gladiatorial games. There, in the blood-soaked sand of the arena, she finds herself pitted against an old friend — a huge snow bear that she once saved from hunters. But will they unite to wreak havoc on their enemies, or will they fight one another to the death?
I’m usually the kind of comic fan who states that a good story is what sells comic books. I usually say that you can take a great artist, but a mediocre story and have a book that undersells. And then there are times when I have to dislodge my size 13 shoe from my mouth.
I’m going to be up front: The story told in Red Sonja: Berserk isn’t ground breaking, swimming with subtext, or something you’re going to hand off to a friend in a “dude you gotta read this!” kind of way. It’s like writer Nancy A Collins was told, “Write a story about Red Sonja and a polar bear, GO!” I’m not trying to be mean. Collins is an accomplished novelist and comic book writer, this one just seemed phoned in.
But let’s be honest, shall we? The story is not the first reason we buy a Red Sonja comic. A novel, sure, but not a comic. No, we look at the cover by the ever so awesome cover by Joseph Michael Linsner and out come the wallets! I’m also pretty impressed by the Fritz Casas interiors. It certainly can’t be easy to put a woman in a scale mail bikini in battle poses and make it reasonable that we can see all her goodies. And you know what, he just draws people well. Not too realistic, not too cartoony. Just what I want in a comic book.