REVIEW: ‘Killing Red Sonja,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Killing Red Sonja 1 cover

Killing Red Sonja #1 is published by Dynamite.  The writers are Mark Russell and Bryce Ingman. The issue is illustrated by Craig Rousseau, with colors from Dearbhla Kelly, and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

Killing Red Sonja #1 is a series that picks up after events in issue twelve from the Red Sonja regular series. Young Prince Cyril has left his kingdom to avenge the death of his father, Dragan the Magnificent, at the hands of Red Sonja. Joining Cyril is a really funny talking boar named Kump, Josef (the muscle), his tutor Nicodemo and about nine other men. Along the way, Cyril reveals a critical secret to his tutor, and later his men successfully face off against a couple of bandits.

What really grabbed me about the story, is that given the serious subject matter of a boy seeking revenge against the person that killed his father, it is a really humorous comic. Russell and Ingman portray Cyril as a naive boy that is seeking to fulfill his promise to his father, but he is too young to make the journey and some of the decisions that are expected from an emperor. You would think that power would corrupt a child like Cyril, but fortunately, he is nothing like Joffrey from Game of Thrones.  Some of the funniest dialogue comes from Kump the talking boar. Kump manages to anger the Makon the boar-keeper (pictured below) by threatening to eat him and even challenges him to a fight. The writers manage to strike a good balance of humor and serious moments, but I found myself chuckling more times than I thought I would during the story.

Killing Red Sonja 1 panel

It was hard for me to get into Craig Rousseau’s art because it looks rushed and unfinished. That being said, I do have a hunch as to why Craig is taking this approach to Killing Red Sonja #1, but I would like to mention something else I noticed first. Hassan’s lettering looked a bit crudely done as well. The word balloons look sloppy and the tails are just a line drawn toward each character talking. But here’s the thing, I loved the look of the word balloons because it reminded me of how I used to draw word balloons as a grade school kid when I would make my own comic strips. This makes me think that Craig’s artistic approach to this series is intentional just like Hassan’s lettering because this is a story about a child and from his perspective.

Overall, Russell and Ingman are telling a good story with plenty of humor. Kump and the humor are the highlights of the issue. The art might not appeal to a lot of readers, but maybe it helps to go into this series thinking about the fact that it is being told from the perspective of a child. Over time the artwork might grow on you, but if it doesn’t you might still stick around for Kump. With that said, I look forward to reading more about Prince Cyril’s quest for revenge.

Killing Red Sonja #1 is available where comics are sold.

Killing Red Sonja #1
3.5

TL;DR

Overall, Russell and Ingman are telling a good story with plenty of humor. Kump and the humor are the highlights of the issue. The art might not appeal to a lot of readers, but maybe it helps to go into this series thinking about the fact that it is being told from the perspective of a child. Over time the artwork might grow on you, but if it doesn’t you might still stick around for Kump. With that said, I look forward to reading more about Prince Cyril’s quest for revenge.