Comic Review: Red Sonja: Lord of Fools (Dynamite)

Red Sonja’s adventures never get old, no matter what year they are to have occurred. Lord Of Fools, a one-shot from Dynamite, has a couple of fresh old stories. This […]

Red Sonja’s adventures never get old, no matter what year they are to have occurred. Lord Of Fools, a one-shot from Dynamite, has a couple of fresh old stories.

This issue takes place before, during and after the events of Red Sonja #6, which will likely have significance to regular readers of the title; however, these two short tales are self-standing, no matter their overall place in chronology.

Mark Russell writes a completely irreverent, witty “Lord of Fools”, with Bob Q on art duties and Dearbhla Kelly on colours. It’s a tough gig to a teen be kidnapped by Dragan, and made Empress after your family is killed. And along comes Prince Cyril of the Zamoran Empire… Who is the mysterious blind priest, and what is Cyril’s fate?

This tale has character, drama, mystery and great modern dialogue. The word balloons are not Crom-filled, my the Gods proclaim it; it’s like, sick, dude, how current the people of Shadizar really were. The ‘2019’ cadences ring in the funniest way, and although the dialogue is preposterous, somehow it reverberates around the Palace in a fresh new echo. Fun!

Bob Q’s art holds its own here. Accurate characters, lots of costumes, horses, and buildings. Shrouded in black, full of serpents, the atmosphere is here in spades.

The second story, in contrast, feels incomplete. Here, Mark Russell perhaps needs more space to invade. More room to expand his tale. Illustrated by Katie O’Meara with colours again by Dearbhla Kelly, the story of a freed slave is a fascinating one. Full of fables and uncanny wisdom. All good, but Bread and Circuses falls short of being truly memorable.

Still, a commendable one-shot, with the added value of being a link among connected pieces. O’Meara’ art is story-like, illustrative, flatter in dimension but honest and strongly rendered.

I should note that if you are counting on this being a ‘RED SONJA kicks BUTT’ issue, you may be disappointed. Sonja does appear, but it’s not even a ‘walk-on’ appearance, and no flashes of chain mail.

Nice cover by Christian Ward!

Dynamite Red Sonja: Lord of Fools. $4.99 for 33 pages of content. Rated Teen +

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!