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Savage Red Sonja #1

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 7 critic ratings.

Prepare yourself for the savagery that can only Red Sonja can deliver in this brand-new series that harkens back to the classic era of Robert E. Howard’s original pulp tales of swords and sorcery!

Tasked with retrieving a long-hidden gem from a crumbled, ancient kingdom, the She-Devil With a Sword is traveling alone through a dangerous wasteland when fate intervenes, and her solo adventure is sidetracked by a wayward prince and his bride as they try desperately to escape from fearsome desert bandits — only to be attacked by a monstrous beast from beneath the sands!

Don’t miss out on this fast-paced tale of mystery, suspense, and the supernatural — written by comics superstar DAN PANOSIAN and illustrated by ALESSIO PETILLO, with colors by FRANCESCO SEGALA!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
28 pages
Amazon ASIN

7 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 80

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    Fending off the claws of loneliness and despair, the She-Devil With A Sword battles inhuman beasts and aids a prince and his consort while seeking a legendary gemstone in Savage Red Sonja #1.

  • 72

    Geek'd Out

    If you’re new to the world of Red Sonja, this book is perfectly accessible, however you may not learn much about the character herself outside the very basics. Very little of Sonja’s personality is present, which would be fine if she wasn’t the focal character. Lucian and Celia don’t fare much better, with the former’s role limited mainly to delivering exposition. There also isn’t much to justify the “Savage” in the title – of the two fight scenes, only one is particularly brutal but Sonja’s no more savage than she is depicted anywhere else. The story itself is fine but ends abruptly thanks to an all-too short 22-page count (standard for most comics but somehow seems even shorter). Panosian’s style is almost pulpy enough to be engaging but his storytelling prowess is much stronger as an artist than as a writer.

    Unfortunately, Petillo’s art is another weak spot. The action is depicted well and there are some panels that are just plain beautiful. The character designs, however, are very much the opposite. Not that everyone in comics should have model-good looks but the stylized designs are sharp and pointy in ways that border on unpleasant. Thankfully the colors by Francesco Segala are on-point, particularly in his use of reds and earth-tones that really give the illustrations a pulp paperback look, further accentuated by a grainy texture that makes the pages look old and tarnished. It’s an effective technique, just a shame that the pencils don’t quite match.

  • 70

    It takes a gimmick of some kind for a new Red Sonja book to stand out, and Savage Red Sonja has just enough cleverness to do so. As Sonja sets out on a seemingly-ordinary quest, her own personal calling gets examined, with the help of a compotent script from Dan Panosian. Alessio Petillo’s angular art is decidedly outside of Sonja’s current “house style”, but that ends up being part of the fun, especially where fight scenes are concerned. While this might take another issue or two to really solidify into something compelling, this debut issue shows great promise.

  • 70

    Graphic Policy

    Savage Red Sonja #1 isn’t a bad comic but it doesn’t really stand out from the other Red Sonja comic out there and there’s nothing so far that feels very “savage.” It’s perfectly fine sword and sorcery it just doesn’t go beyond much than that.

  • 65

    Comical Opinions

    SAVAGE RED SONJA #1 kicks off a standard red Sonja adventure to find a rare jewel. Dan Panosian surprises as a solid comic writer (instead of a notable comic artist), but the art is just passable at best.

  • 65

    Lotusland Comics

    ‘Savage Red Sonja’ is off to a good start. A familiar storyline with some supernatural surprises thrown in. It’s hard to gauge after the first issue if the stakes are high enough or if seeing a smaller Sonja can be overlooked going forward. There’s also this theme of loneliness hovering around her and it’ll be curious where that leads to. If you’re a fan of Red Sonja, ‘Savage’ is worth a look but it may take two or three issues to fairly assess the overall quality of the series.

  • 60


    Set in the mold of the classic Robert E. Howard pulp stories, Savage Red Sonja #1 is a fine opening story to a larger arc with likely plenty more obstacles for Sonja to overcome. I’m not the biggest fan of Alessio Petillo’s art where Sonja herself is concerned, although the the look of the desert and monster works well enough. It’s not likely a comic I’d stay with beyond a single issue.

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