Dynamite invites fans to meet an all-new variant on the Red Sonja mythos this summer in new series Samurai Sonja! Thanks to the boundary-exploding crossover event of Sonjaversal, readers learned that infinite variations on the concept of Red Sonja exist across time and space. The next breakout take on that premise brings fans to the Sengoku period of Japanese history. In a time of near-constant war, a new Sonja rises. The daughter of a slain samurai, she will take on his sword and eagerly set out to prove herself worthy of her family’s legacy.
Yet her journey goes awry when she makes a deal for her life with the goddess Amaterasu in a desperate moment. Sonja will be gifted a set of magical armor and powerful weapons capable of slaying mythical beasts. However, if she falls in battle, her entire bloodline will be erased from history, and her family’s name will be no more.
The new series is being crafted by writer Jordan Clark, known for his contributions to Aquaman and the Star Wars franchise. He’s joined by artist Pasquale Qualano, continuing his exploration of multiversal Sonjas. The squad is rounded out by colorist Kike J. Diaz and letterer Jeff Eckleberry.
“I’m so excited to introduce readers to the world of Samurai Sonja!,” said writer Jordan Clark. “As a long time fan of samurai culture and folklore, getting a chance to merge those sensibilities with a timeless character like Sonja has been a blast. She embodies so much of the Bushido Code as a fierce warrior with a strong sense of justice as well as compassion. This is my love letter to works like Seven Samurai and Vagabond and if you’ve enjoyed Pasquale’s work in the Sonjaverse so far, just wait until you see what he’s doing on this series!”
Samurai Sonja combines elements of real world Japanese history with the unique mythology of that culture as well. The Sengoku period lasted circa 1467 to 1615 and was marked by endless civil war and tension following the collapse of the last major government. Prominent figures such as Oda Nobunaga are known for this period, and many of the most famous historical dramas in film, television, anime, manga, and video games are set in this time. On top of that, this new vision of Sonja will be encountering legendary creatures from Japanese folklore, including the Demon King, Shuten-Dōji.
For longtime fans of the She-Devil With a Sword, this will be a thrilling alternate take on her journey and hallmarks. It’s also the perfect pickup for someone who’s never read a Red Sonja comic in their life. While the creative team is also pulling inspiration from other major samurai classics like Samurai Jack, the Vagabond manga, and of course the masterpieces of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa.
The series will feature a range of beautiful covers capturing this new take on Sonja. Artists attached to the first issue include Lucio Parrillo, Lesley “Leirix” Li, Clayton Henry, and Paulina Ganucheau. Below fans can see some character design work from interior artist Pasquale Qualano.