Saturday, January 16, 2016

Red Sonja: The Black Tower

 Dynamite keeps the Red Sonja train chugging along with RED SONJA: THE BLACK TOWER, a twisty, episodic collection that spans decades.

 Author Frank Tieri and artist Cezar Razek deliver a neat little done-in-one collection that has a unique storytelling device: Each issue collected here (The book compiles issues 1-4 of RED SONJA: THE BLACK TOWER) tells of Sonja's encounters with the titular Black Tower in a different period of her life, stating with Sonja in her prime, and ending with her as an old warrior-queen in the final chapter.

 The story revolves around a nondescript village that suddenly finds a huge obsidian spire appearing in its center overnight. Sonja, looking for lodgings, stumbles across the village and is soon drawn into the conflict created by the tower's appearance. I won't spoil exactly what the tower is, or who is inside it, but I will say that this is a Red Sonja story that I've never seen before, and that's a good thing, considering the character's long, storied history. There's nothing groundbreaking here, but Tieri and Razek have delivered a solid, entertaining sword-and-sorcery tale, with appropriate amounts of gore, and Sonja is as surly and deadly as ever, just the way I like her. Plus, the collection features four covers by the amazing Amanda Conner, who would be illustrating every comic published today, if I had my way.

 Dynamite provided a review copy.