Red Sonja: Queen of the Frozen Wastes
by Frank Cho, Doug Murray, Homs (Dynamite, 2007)

OK, so we all know Red Sonja has good reasons for wearing a chainmail bikini into battle. But even she can hardly excuse wearing little more than that on a foray in the Arctic north of her barbarian homeland. I mean, the exposed flesh (which accounts for most of her) would be frost-bitten in moments, and the bits under the chainmail -- damn, that metal must be cold.

Fine. So we gamely remind ourselves that all the rational explanations in the world can't actually tell us why Sonja wears that outfit. The truth, we all know, is because her readers are largely male, and warrior women wearing chainmail bikinis are hot.

That matter aside, the story by Frank Cho and Doug Murray is another episode of rollicking, swashbuckling fun as Sonja, after leading a small band of warriors against a pack of northern barbarians, falls captive to a community of yeti and neanderthals led by a primal heart-eating sorceress queen. And really, it's better than it sounds. I mean, if nothing else, you have a bikini-clad swordswoman duking it out with large, hairy men, and their queen wears even less -- yes, it is possible -- than Sonja.

Anyway, just remember how bad those old Red Sonja comics from Marvel were -- and this looks like fine literature in comparison. And besides, if you couple good art with a fun story, you can't really complain.

review by
Tom Knapp

8 March 2008

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