Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja/Jungle Girl 1

Red Sonja is plunged through the Rift to Jana the Jungle Girl’s tropical island, just as paradise is besieged by a terrifying monster that rains down ice and snow with killing cold. Jana, terrified for her homeland, is determined to destroy the source of the magic and return balance to her world – even if that means combating the She-Devil herself! An official tie-in to the epic Swords of Sorrow crossover event, written by celebrated writer Marguerite Bennett.

The best thing I can say about this comic is that the cover is amazing, capturing all the best aspects of both Jana and Sonja in all their glory. The background effects with the water accentuate the finely rendered characters, and the shading makes each muscle in Jana and Sonja stand out. From this cover the reader is excited to open the comic and delve into the joys that the interior has to offer. At that point the reader will be met with disappointment because it’s all downhill from the cover. I had not had the opportunity to read the previous installments of Swords of Sorrow, but it wasn’t really necessary because the plot is pretty much the same as a dozen other arcs of the same concept that allows two or more characters from different time/space locations to interact. The first issue of the latest installment of Swords of Sorrow has little new to impart.

The characters behave pretty much exactly as one might expect, first they fight, then they unite with the all too familiar quips and pundits as they work their way toward the as yet unnamed evil which is bending the reality of Jana’s isle paradise. The writer and artist seem a little more in touch with Jana than Sonja but both come off as being wooden, two dimensional, parodies of themselves. the characters are rendered in an animated style that does little justice to the she-devil with the sword. Individual panels come off looking static, lacking the movement that we see in the regular Red Sonja title. While the swords themselves have some intricate detail, Sonja’s characteristic “armor” is just a hodge podge of tiny circles. Also in most of the close ups, she seems to resemble a twelve year old girl rather than the hard-bitten mercenary we are accustomed to. Jana fares a bit better, but still lacks any real punch. All in all, the book just looks and reads as half finished. This first issue could have done with considerably more work to bring it up to Dynamite’s usually high standards of execution and delivery.

This comic has very little to offer beyond the novelty of the two characters appearing in the same book, I would avoid this one unless you are already of a fan of the Swords of Sorrow arc.

For more information about Swords of Sorrows Red Sonja / Jungle Girl or other much better offerings from Dynamite, please visit their website. Dynamite Comics

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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