Lest you think that a tale about a warrior woman along the lines of Conan has to be constantly hardassed and grim, Gail Simone & Walter Geovani’s Red Sonja #7 will disabuse you of that notion. After a stellar first arc that saw our heroine plagued, betrayed and destroyed, it’s time for Simone to bust out some of that twisted Secret Six sense of humor she has, as Sonja tries to track down a fancy chef living among cannibals. Snooty, foodie cannibals.
It opens, as seen in our preview, with Sonja trudging through a bug-infested swamp feeling hungry, thirsty and horny, when she runs into a pair of Bog-Folk who deride her for cooking and eating meat without going all Gordon Ramsay on it. She’s on the hunt to bring back Gribaldi, master chef, from his captivity with these cannibal bog-men who have been making him cook people to perfection, in order to deliver him and five other of the world’s greatest artisans to Emperor Samala, who is dying and wants to throw a huge party. Naturally, Sonja wouldn’t give a damn about a party, but the emperor has promised to free a thousand slaves if she pulls it off. Sonja hates slavery, as everyone should because it’s really shitty.
Sonja’s adventures among the bog people include propositioning a pair of them for a threesome, reminiscing about getting the runs, and culinary nerds being constantly aghast at her adamant indifference towards fancy eats. There are also lizard monsters who attack, lest you fret about getting squirts over swordplay. Simone’s in her broken-comedy element, gleefully being several kinds of wrong, and Geovani’s artwork is very expressive and Sonja’s inability to be impressed or intimidated is highly amusing – she almost seems appreciative of their reputation as sexual deviants. As she said, she’s looking for someone limber enough to “fill her bedroll.”
Red Sonja is entertainment with a great balance between its title character’s fierce warrior business and the celebration of her unrepentantly unrefined manners.