As Red Sonja and Vampirella recently destroyed a Russian base that was hellbent on creating their own vampires, by testing on Vampirella’s people, author Jordie Bellaire takes us back this issue to what led Red Sonja here.
While everyone is cheering and praising Sonja, we see an elderly woman in shackles who has been captured because she’s seen as a witch. When Sonja goes to investigate, the woman explains her situation and how Sonja should free her. Come the next morning, the woman turns into a fox and runs away to her cottage, resulting in a chase and the reveal of a gem o Sonja. this gem is what Sonja had on her when Vampirella met her in Russia, and it’s the gem that will take the two to different worlds and timelines.
As a flashback issue, this felt important by disclosing more on what led Sonja here, as she is not from Earth, and the only magical aspects of her world are the mages and sorcerers themselves. Unfortunately, te issue gives very little on how the gem works and if at the end of the issue, Sonja ends in Russia immediately or if she if sent to another world before her encounter with Vampirella.
While light on writing and plot developments, Drew Moss did an outstanding job in drawing the entire issue. In the beginning, Moss opens with a fire pit and everyone sitting around, eating and having fun. This band of soldiers and sequence was well drawn, having the detail of all the people involved.
Moss then goes into showcasing the campground as the witch transforms and escapes, giving to a chase sequence with close-up shots and pov shots. this gave more action to the sequence and movement that made the issue stand out more with how Moss showcases the characters. from the fox getting hit with an arrow, to it dodging behind bushes as Sonja gets close to caching it; each sequence was well crafted.
Another instance in this issue that Moss did well was showcasing the witch’s house. When we see Sonja come upon it and we get a large, wide angle shot that’s almost a full page spread, we see every detail put into the building and environment. From trees to boards, Moss does wonderfully at constructing the scene in this issue.
Towards the end, when Sonja goes into the house, we get strong imagery of modern items in the house, like soda cans and toys, but we also get the witch lying in wait, tired and dying as Sonja approaches. From stacked boxes to positioning characters, this issue was excellent in terms of the art and placement on each page.
While it lacked in story elements, comics are still a visual medium and the visuals in this issue were above average and some of the best I’ve seen in comics this year.