Written By: Gail Simone
Artist: Walter Geovani
Colorist: Adriano Augusto
Lettering By: Simon Bowland
Cover by Aaron Lopresti
Published By: Dynamite Comics
What are you in for with this book? A boisterous journey alongside two fearless companions complete with perilous situations, lively bantering, some surprise guests, and a vile villain. Sound pretty close to what you expected? Me too!
A long time fan of Red Sonja and Conan both, I’ve always looked to these books as a break from superheros and a counter to the more literary comics on my shelves. They are usually fun with all of their heroic hijinks, but they can be quite serious as well and they certainly fulfill that part of me that adores ancient epics, be they actual or fictional. I enjoy a good story from the Hyborian Age and Red Sonja/Tarzan delivered what I was anticipating.
The dialogue could be smoother in parts, but it does hearken back to the originals of both Tarzan and Red Sonja, so I will let that slide. However, I’ve always felt that neither of these protagonists would be such talkative types, but maybe that’s just me. There wasn’t a ton of characterization going on, but these two are so established in the comic culture, it wasn’t really needed. Plus, I was a little dismayed at Gail Simone’s portrayal of the She Devil with a Sword in the last run she did (which I had been so excited for because, well, Gail Simone) so I was hesitant to read more of the same. Instead, the characters are just how you would picture them and have read them in other narratives, and the plot is fast-paced with plenty of action. I did feel that the flashback lasted a bit long, but since it featured some of the best panels artistically, I was content to roll with it.
Speaking of the art, I was slightly disappointed, as I normally love Geovani’s work. The poses of the characters were stiff and awkward at times, which suggested a rush job, and the continuity wasn’t always accurate. On page 8, Sonja has tall lace up boots on, but then kicks a gun with her bare foot and stands there in the next panel with her boots back on. I know she’s amazing, but that is a miraculous feat, indeed. Pun intended. This was a little distracting, but it was never meant to be a comic that you went back through and drooled over and studied, so it didn’t matter too much to me.
In the end, Red Sonja/Tarzan is exactly what you would expect: an adventurous tale about two of our favorite scantily clad superstars. And for that, I am pleased and just feel fine, despite some of its shortcomings.