Friday, June 18, 2010

Marvel Spotlight: Red Sonja

Marvel's "She-Devil with a sword" made her first appearance in Conan the Barbarian #23, February 1973, as the only warrior woman worthy to cross swords with Robert E. Howard's most famous character. A beautiful fire-haired damsel, she ended up in the royal palace after her family was needlessly slain by soldiers who brought her to the king as a trophy of war. Sonja eventually killed the sovereign after she spurned his many advances. Now having to flee the majestic Kingdom of Hyrkania, she took up pillaging as her trade in her many adventures chronicled in Conan and Marvel Features before getting her own title in 1975. Much of the success of the comic was due to Frank Thorne's striking image of the lovely heroine, scanty clad in her delightful chain-mail bikini. The artist's extensive research and attention to detail managed to capture the very essence of Howard's novels with its exotic landscapes, weird people, mystery and magic. Once Thorne left Red Sonja, the title floundered under less talented creators for a few years before its cancellation and a failed movie adaptation. Recently however, revived under the Dynamite Entertainment label, the character lives on in new adventures with a big budget major motion picture soon to be in production, for a new generation of fans.

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