REVIEW: ‘Killing Red Sonja,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Killing Red Sonja #2

Killing Red Sonja #2 is published by Dynamite Comics and written by Mark Russell and Bryce Ingman, illustrated by Craig Rousseau, colored by Dearbhla Kelly, and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elahaou. This story takes place after Red Sonja #12. Despite appearing in the title, Red Sonja isn’t the main character of this story. Instead, this series follows Cyril, the current Emperor of Zamora on his quest to kill Red Sonja and avenge the death of his father Dragan the Magnificent.

When Dragan the Magnificent rode out to conquer Hyrkania he gave Cyril a knotted noose and told him to untie one a day. If he untied them all then Cyril would know his father was dead, killed by Red Sonja, and he should go after her and avenge his father’s death. 

Cyril is young and completely inexperienced when it comes to quests and revenge and his men are reluctant to listen to his orders. This is understandable because his directions lead to an ambush by giants. The way that Cyril narrates the story is further evidence that he doesn’t truly understand what it will mean for him to take revenge, rather his head is filled with grand stories and ideas that he will be remembered forever as a hero. 

With the Killing Red Sonja #2‘s story taking place from Cyril’s perspective, the plot is very easy to follow. He sees things as very grand and doesn’t believe that there’s any way he can fail. If he’s the hero of his own story, he believes he must be the hero of everyone’s story. 

Russell and Ingman open this issue with an excerpt from Kristopher’s Quest, a story of a young prince who became a hero through a grand quest. By including this story, Russell and Ingman show that Cyril clearly idolizes Kristopher and hopes to emulate his progress. The story never truly ends for Cyril who believes himself to be the hero of his own tale.

Cyril even speaks to his men of Kristopher’s Quest, referencing lessons he believes he’s learned. This serves the purpose of highlighting Cyril’s naivete, how little he understands the risk he’s putting himself and his men in. In addition to this, his ignorance leaves him open to suggestion and manipulation.

Rousseau’s art in Killing Red Sonja #2 relies on loose flowing lines and minimal details. And Kelly uses muted colors and soft blending. This combination creates a highly stylized look making it appear as though it belongs in a storybook. The reader truly feels like they’re reading Cyril’s Quest. 

With the minimalistic art style, it would be easy for the action to be overwhelmed by the word bubbles but Otsmane-Elahaou uses space efficiently. There’s enough space that the dialogue doesn’t feel crowded and is easily readable, and the use of various colors for the action words adds a fun visual element. 

While it isn’t a great story for people who want Red Sonja action, Killing Red Sonja #2 is still an interesting story about what happens when a child loses his father and suddenly has to hold the weight of an empire, and the world, on his inexperienced shoulders.

Killing Red Sonja #2 is out now where comic books are sold.


Killing Red Sonja #2
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Tl;DR

While it isn’t a great story for people who want Red Sonja action, Killing Red Sonja #2 is still an interesting story about what happens when a child loses his father and suddenly has to hold the weight of an empire, and the world, on his inexperienced shoulders.