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Red Sonja, Vol. 1: Queen of Plagues

(Red Sonja Vol. 2 #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,141 ratings  ·  271 reviews
Gail Simone (Batgirl, Birds of Prey) gives the iconic fantasy heroine a fresh new attitude! Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, intends to pay back a blood debt owed to the one man who has gained her respect... even if it means leading a doomed army to their certain deaths! Who is Dark Annisia, and how has this fearsome warrior accomplished what no god nor demon has bee ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published February 12th 2014 by Dynamite Entertainment
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  2,141 ratings  ·  271 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I thought this was fantastic! I have loved Red Sonja for years, ever since I watched her movie (and own) with Arnold as Conan! I even have her bloody Funko Pop. Anyhoo, I read this on kindle unlimited but I plan to add the physical copy to my collection when I can afford it.

I loved the story and the art. I will leave some pics in no particular order.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

Jan Philipzig
How to Wear a Chain-Mail Bikini in the Snow

Best known for her chain-mail bikini, Red Sonja has not exactly become a feminist icon ever since Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith first adapted Robert E. Howard's Depression-era pulp character into comics back in 1973. Thankfully, though, the "She-Devil with a Sword" is exactly the kind of exploitation character comic-book writer Gail Simone loves to get her hands on. A few years ago, Simone transformed the Birds of Prey from mere eye candy into full
I'd never even heard of Red Sonja before picking this up. Evidently, she's been around for a while?
Sorry, hardcore fan base!
Anyway, it was easy enough for a newbie like me to follow the story, so that has to count for something.
But since I'm not a big fan of the barbarian stuff, I'm really not sure how this holds up to the other sword-wielding stuff out there.
Or even if there is other stuff like this. I've never seen it, but then again, I've never looked for it.

The story is about
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Being Sonja means being called to darkness and pain . . . knowing that you have the power to alter and take the lives of many. A great many. And praying to the Gods that you always choose the right side." -- Red Sonja, in a rare moment of self-reflection

I've mentioned repeatedly that Gail Simone's work on the Batgirl and Birds of Prey titles has made me a big fan of her storytelling talent. Strong, kick-ass, and intelligent female protagonists (she's also written for Wonder Woman) are her speci
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
A barbarian series I actually liked, a guess there is a first time for everything. Gail Simone actually provides a story, not just twenty pages of sword fighting and blood. Walter Geovanni's art was a pleasant surprise. Usually coming across a new artist from an indie publisher means the art will be suspect, but not is this case. Geovanni's art is a knockout punch to the chin. ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sorry, I’m late to the party, and I guess I missed a lot of fun. I received this volume from a generous logmaðr from the North, and I’ll be forever grateful.

This was my first encounter with Red Sonja, the red-headed heroine from times long gone, who also goes by the designation of She-devil with a sword; often clothed – just barely – in a chain-mail bikini (for her own protection, of course), swinging her bidenhänder and shooting her arrows at her enemies, of which there are many and whose r
Sam Quixote
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
While I’ve never heard of Red Sonja before, one look at the chainmail bikini and the sword tells you everything you need to know – she’s Conan the Barbarian without the Y chromosome! As for the story, there are nuances but it’s basically Red Sonja saves a kingdom from an invading army, ie. the standard fantasy hero storyline.

Hats (or helmets) off to Gail Simone – I’d written her off as a comics creator just not for me but then I’d only been reading her DC stuff. Take her away from that schizoph
Jan 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This is another new series for me. I enjoyed it but there was something missing. Instead of a series this felt like a one-shot and I wanted the story fleshed out more. There was a lot crammed into about 200 pages that I think could've just as easily been expanded to twice as many issues.

That being said, Red Sonja is a great character.

She reminded me of Xena, albeit more drunk and bloodthirsty, but she has some similar qualities. Annisia even reminded me a bit of crazy old Callisto with a das
L. McCoy
Well, I tried this out because I’m trying a second book by some certain authors that I had a 1-star first experience with but keep hearing “No, they do all this other stuff that’s really good, give them another try”.
After reading the garbage that is Clean Room I thought I wasn’t gonna read any Gail Simone again but I decided to try this because Simone is one of those authors I heard I should give another chance to and I was already thinking I should try Red Sonja comics in general, especially si
♛ Garima ♛
I enjoyed this but always felt that Sonja was not normal human. Regardless, it was great story and enjoyed art as well. Go girl, go!
Crystal Starr Light
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bullet Review:

OK, let's just get this off my chest: Red Sonja's costume is absolutely ridiculous and impractical. It's fanservice, and no amount of "But that's the way her character's costume ALWAYS has been" will convince me that wearing a chain mail bikini makes sense.

NOW, let's talk about how otherwise AWESOME this comic is!

I picked this up solely because Gail Simone is the author. I read her Batgirl, Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection and LOVED IT. So when I saw Red Sonja, I picked it up - even
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, comics
I don't know a thing about Red Sonja, other than that she's connected to Conan the Barbarian in some way (I don't really know anything about him, either) and that she wears that stupid scale armor bikini. Not something that I would normally be clamoring to read. But I really like Gail Simone, so I thought I'd at least try.

I'm glad I did. Yes, the scale bikini is still stupid. But Sonja herself is amazing. Simone writes her as strong, smart, and principled. She is absolutely the hero of her stor
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of non-superhero graphic novels
When I opened this comic and saw the introduction by author Gail Simone, I was wary, as I misread her name and thought this was written by food critic Gail Simmons (which actually wouldn't be that weird when you consider that Anthony Bourdain wrote the graphic novel Get Jiro!, but I digress). So then I realized it was written by respected comics author Gail Simone, who has already adeptly handled iconic female characters such as Batgirl and Wonder Woman, and I felt much more assured of what I wa ...more
I tried to read this for Pink Taco week, I really tried. Did not finish.

For me as a kid, Red Sonja was indelibly associated with Brigitte Nielsen running around in that skimpy chain mail bikini, juggling her way through a masterpiece of cinematic superficiality. I can't even claim to have seen the damned movie (THAT's how boring it must be, because At that age I watched nearly anything with hot women, big action or gushing blood).

So this book coasts in on an easy

There's some fun moments (RS waki
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Feminism rears its ugly head. Sonja was never feminine, but here, on top of being a skilled fighter, she is shown as a drunkard. Way to go! If that isn't equality, I don't know what is. Bring the beer! Let the wine flow! Kill some bad guys and get to drinking again. Pass the flagon! It's like she does nothing else in her down time. I get that she's a fighter first and foremost, but come on! Have a drink of WATER every once in a while.

King Dimath frees Red Sonja after defeating her captor, king B
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel

I am so torn.

This graphic novel has very well done characterization, great use of flash backs in a layer fashion, good plotlines and excellent buildup of tension, great villains of all types – meaty, tragic, and unexpected, it passes the Bechtel test with flying colors, I LOVED Sonya’s “generals”, the twists at the end were awesome, especially the bit with the wine, loved the drawings, character designs, landscapes, coloring, and overall it was just a great story.

But OMG that metal bikini.

I’m no
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was much better than I expected. Gail Simone tells an intriguing story of honor, guilt, and revenge. Red Sonja was really likable as a character, and her motivation in this story is very clear. While the covers are a bit over sexualized, the actual story treats the character with respect.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
I've heard of Red Sonja before, though only as a really sexist comic character that didn't sound at all appealing or interesting. I remember the arguments and debates around the SFWA Bulletin cover that was a tribute to Red Sonja in all her chain mail bikini glory: looking at it now, the cover itself seems less offensive, but the defence of it by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg remains completely offensive. Gah. Need to get that bad taste out of my mouth.

So I'll talk some more about Gail Simo
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Red Sonja movie is a guilty pleasure, yet I have never read the comic, perhaps for fear of what the industry would do with a metal bikini-clad heroine. When I learned that Gail Simone was rebooting the character, I decided it was about time I get on it. I am so glad I did. Sonja is still a metal-bikini clad warrior, but, unlike some equally dressed ladies from pulp scifi/fantasy (lookin’ at you, Dejah Thoris), she is a strong, take charge woman – without having to repeatedly proclaim that sh ...more
Gianfranco Mancini
The good: nice story full of twists and Sonja's two young bodyguard/generals made me laugh a lot ("Oh lady of the excellent cleavage" and "Queen of all fermented beverages"!!! XD)
The bad and the ugly: Sonja's origin story reboot.. without the sexual violence and the magic sword from the Goddess it was like reading an "ultimate" version of the character or about just another one with the same name. And the new origin seems just the same of Conan in the awesome John Milius movie: she becomes a sla
This volume starts out several years ago with Sonja being found in a gladiators fighting pit and being set free by the new ruling King. She was found with another female warrior, Annisia, and both were shown kindness by the King. Sonja returns to fulfil a blood debt she feels is owed and to help the city prepare for battle.

Her former fighting mate is at the helm of the invading army, she kills the king and declares that the plague has settled on the city including Sonja. She exiles Sonja to
I've never read anything about Red Sonja before. The whole barbarian thing was just never my thing. BUT, I was incredibly excited for this story by Gail Simone.

The story didn't disappoint.

There are plenty of flashbacks to satisfy the casual reader that doesn't know Red Sonja's history, and this is both a good thing - and a bad. It tended to slow the overall story down. And I kept wondering if her history was being re-written for this story, or just told in a new way.

Either way, it was somewhat d
Dave Schaafsma
I read this because I am trying to read as many new kick ass women superhero books (and especially written and/or drawn by women, whenever possible) and because Jan's review highlights Red Sonja's chain mail bikini. She's hot, she knows how to party, and she kills a lot of bad guys. She's a medieval-sounding superhero girl! We can like her strength and, what one of her FEMALE bodyguard says, "Oh she of the excellent cleavage." Sexist men CAN have it all, it seems, even with a female writer.

So S
Benji Glaab
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
3.5 🌟

Red Sonja, AKA the she devil with a sword is a fairly awesome character. Sonja must save lot's of $$$'s on her laundry bill being so scantily clad, though I'm sure she would prefer to bathe in the blood of her enemies most days.

This is a re-hash of the old stories. An origin story making it a fine place to begin exploring this primal fantasy world.

Volume one is great visually. I like the writing well enough, and the action is gory as can be. Sonja is one lady I wouldn't cross. She'll gut yo
Sumit Singla
Didn't expect too much from this one, but it was surprisingly good.

However, I think it does focus more on making women in armour look good, rather than on giving them depth of character.
Chelsea 🏳️‍🌈
3.5 stars.

This is a really awesome book about a badass heroine. Not gonna lie, I was a little put off by that cover but I follow Gail Simone on Twitter and she's done talks about the difference between the typical sexualization of female characters and a female character with agency choosing sexy clothing. That being said, I appreciate that when it was time to get down to business, Sonja wore actual protective armor. Simone made sure to keep that aspect realistic.

I know nothing about Sonja. No
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my book blog, Rinn Reads.

I have to admit, I know nothing about the original Red Sonja series – apart from that it’s a ‘swords and sorcery’ fantasy, complete with busty women wearing chainmail bikinis.

This reboot series continues the traditional – but it works. It doesn’t feel over the top cheesy, it doesn’t feel silly. Although Sonja is not really in the habit of wearing much, the reader knows that the
Athena Shardbearer
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Drunken Heroes

"Mistress, how can we repay you? Anything you wish, it's yours, anthing."
"Re-open the taverns, dear one, because I'm going to get drunk in legendary fashion."

Red Sonja is such a badass. She fights, she's beautiful and she loves to drink. Not just drink, but get drunk, and she doesn't care who knows it.
I have been waiting for this one to come out and I received a ARC on netgalley and I love it! There are monsters that look like the swamp thing, ghost that haunt her "slave sister
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Gail Simone is a comic book writer well-known for her work on Birds of Prey (DC), Wonder Woman (DC), and Deadpool (Marvel), among others, and has also written humorous and critical commentary on comics and the comics industry such as the original "Women in Refrigerators" website and a regular column called "You'll All Be Sorry". ...more

Other books in the series

Red Sonja Vol. 2 (3 books)
  • Red Sonja, Vol. 2: The Art of Blood and Fire
  • Red Sonja, Vol. 3: The Forgiving of Monsters

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12 likes · 2 comments
“You look at me with eyes that see only honor and gallantry. The truth is darker yet. Being Sonja means being called to darkness and pain. And knowing that you have the power to alter and take the lives of many. A great many. And praying to the gods that you always choose the right side.” 2 likes
“For a moment...for a moment. We are eternal. We are every warrior forced to kill and die for a cause no one will remember in years to come. Every adversary who ever felt blade cleave into bone. Every crimson-stained fighter who died for nothing. I imagine the first beings left here by the gods died thus. And when the sun sets on our race, the last two men will have their brothers' blood on their blades.” 1 likes
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