Savage Tales Halloween Special ’19: Sonja’s past returns

Following the loss of an ally, the latest one-shot from Dynamite, features Red Sonja as we look into her past before the current arc. Author Mark Russel (Flintstones, Lone Ranger) takes us into Sonja’s past where her village was raided. As an orphan, Sonja meets Jovan, a thief with a family. Shortly after working the streets together as pickpockets, the two end up romantically involved, only to have Jovan get captured.

Using the sorcerer’s house to spin the tale of her past was an interesting choice by the author, beacue it allowed for a new area to be created by artist, Jacob Edgar. Though most colors were shades of grey and green, we did get to see a creature who fed on suffering. The creature depicted in the story was lackluster for something that allowed creativity, instead it looked like a giant blob of earwax with fly eyes. It was less imagined then I would expect when given free reign.

Inside the sorcerer’s building we see corridors, long winding stairs and dimly lit hallways, treating the sorcerers as both hermits and people of the night. This decision added more mystery into the sorcerer’s design, but also gave a minimal design in the end. There was some detail given in what the sorcerer’s wore, but beyond that, the decision to keep minimal details on a secretive group was understandable but disappointing.

After dialogue with the sorcerers, we are given a flashback sequence that tells how Sonja met Jovan. This tale is normal as love stories are told and nothing bold is done. Sonja is an orphan who falls for a thief and in the end, thief gets captured and she loses her love.

Depicting the city in which they operate though was nice. It must’ve been inspired by Egypt or the Middle East with the clothing and street choices they made. We see lots of bright clothes by some of the main cast as well as clay building and houses.

As a one-shot, Savage Tales Halloween Special was an average comic for a flashback sequence. with the cover art and being a Halloween special, I expected more horror elements or action and bloodshed. Instead it delivered a flashback storyline, with art that felt out of place for a Red Sonja series. The overall art looked more like it would work for a Scooby Doo or Archie series then Red Sonja. This issue was great if you wanted more storyline into Sonja’s past, but if you want fitting art or a unique take on the character, this ain’t it.

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