Red Sonja: the greatest fantasy barbarian, like, ever? (comic-book retrospective)

Ed and Jim sit down to examine Red Sonja, that fair sword-wielding warrior from the Hyrkanian Age, a time predating recorded history. She was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith, and first appeared in Marvel Comics’ Conan the Barbarian #23 (1973).

Frank Thorne took over as the artist on Red Sonja’s solo series in 1977 and, along with writer Doug Moench, developed the character into the version that is best known today. Thorne’s art is characterized by highly detailed, realistic depictions of the human form, particularly the female form, and he brought this skill to bear in his work on Red Sonja.

Red Sonja is known for her distinctive appearance, with long red hair and a metal bikini-like outfit. She is a skilled warrior and mercenary who travels the land seeking adventure and justice. Despite her prowess with a sword, she is not invincible and has been known to suffer defeats and injuries.

Red Sonja’s history is shrouded in legend and mystery, but it is known that she was born in the Hyrkanian steppes and was the child of a blacksmith. When she was a teenager, her family was attacked by a band of mercenaries, and she was the only survivor. She was rescued by a group of wandering monks who trained her in the art of combat.

After completing her training, Red Sonja set out into the world as a mercenary and quickly gained a reputation as a fierce and skilled warrior. She has faced many challenges and enemies over the years, including wizards, demons, and other powerful foes. Despite the dangers she faces, Red Sonja remains a force for good, always striving to protect the innocent and defend the weak.

Frank Thorne’s work on Red Sonja helped to define the character and establish her as a fan-favorite. His detailed and realistic artwork brought a new level of depth and dimension to the character, and his work continues to be highly regarded by fans and collectors.

Red Sonja: the greatest fantasy barbarian, like, ever? (comic-book retrospective)
Red Sonja: the greatest fantasy barbarian, like, ever? (comic-book retrospective)

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