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  • Three Red Sonjas or Four?

    After extensive (and generally happy) wading through the many Sonja titles available, have come to the conclusion that there are currently three Red Sonjas out there. And four blocks of material.

    The first is the original Red Sonja, given to us back in the old days by Marvel through 5 regular titles and several specials in both color and black and white. She had a career of over 40 years, still adventuring at least into her early 60s. Whenever I speak of Red Sonja in my posts, this is who I mean unless the context of the post clearly indicates otherwise.

    The second is the one brought to us by Dyanmite from issue 0 through 34. While there are some general similarities, the variances are extensive enough in both number and degree to indicate this is a different Sonja than the first.

    The third Sonja is the one starting in issue 35 and ongoing into the current Queen Sonja run. That she is different is self-evident.

    Each of these Sonjas has her own body of source material, making three. The fourth material group consists of the various specials and one shots, mostly from Dynamite, but a few from Marvel. Some fit Sonja number two, some could fit for Sonja 1 (very little of her 40+ year career was recorded in comic form, so there is a lot of room for more stories), while some - such as with spider man or wolverine - don't fit any of them.

    Will we soon get a fourth Red Sonja? The welcome arrival of issue 50 and its successors promises an interesting run of new stories that are 'back to her roots'. Time will tell if this new run fills in some of the unrecored adventures of the existing Sonjas, or gives us a fourth. Personally, I hope it fills in the unrecorded adventures, preferably those of the first Sonja, as 30-odd years is a lot of ground for fascinating tales, and there are so many tantilizing hints in the existing body of material.

  • #2
    What about RED SONJA: A DEATH IN SCARLET? Do you count that one as Red Sonja version one, even though she's not in her bikini armor?

    The original Red Sonja is done and gone. She "died" when Dynamite took over. Then she really died and we got Lady Sonja of Dorn (where is that in Hyboria?). Hopefully, Dynamite will conveniently forget this Sonja in the regular series and just keep her in the Queen Sonja book.

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    • #3
      Have not so much as seen, let alone read, "A Death in Scarlet", but unless the story itself contradicts the established canon I would place it as part of the first Sonja. What little information I have places the story between her rape and her appearance in "Shadow of the Vulture."

      In view of her having a career lasting at least into her 60s, there is an enormous amount of open time for stories to be written to fill in the gaps in the Marvel era accounts. That was what originally led me to the DE series (which was bought in block once I discovered it), as I thought that is what they were doing. It wasn't until I started reading and began to find the variances that I realized their Sonja was a different one.

      Regarding you comment regarding Dorn, am not certain the DE version(s) are even set in Hyboria, their use of some names notwithstanding. It does not have the right "feel" for Hyboria. It is as though they took some names and concepts and then made their own world for her to adventure in. So your wonderig is well founded.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Olde Sonja Fan View Post

        Regarding you comment regarding Dorn, am not certain the DE version(s) are even set in Hyboria, their use of some names notwithstanding. It does not have the right "feel" for Hyboria. It is as though they took some names and concepts and then made their own world for her to adventure in. So your wonderig is well founded.
        I've certainly made an effort to mine the Howard canon for my upcoming arc on the title, if that helps. As far as *I* am concerned, my story is in Hyboria.

        -Eric T.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Olde Sonja Fan View Post
          Have not so much as seen, let alone read, "A Death in Scarlet", but unless the story itself contradicts the established canon I would place it as part of the first Sonja. What little information I have places the story between her rape and her appearance in "Shadow of the Vulture."
          You are correct about the placement for this story. It sort of parallels Conan's career in that she's a thief in her younger days. Conan even makes an uncredited cameo in the story. One strange twist is that her partner-in-crime ends up in the famous chain-mail bikini and Sonja acquires a gold-colored variation of the outfit.

          This guy has a copy for sale, if you want to complete your collection:

          http://www.atomicavenue.com/atomic/I...aspx?ID=159572

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          • #6
            Originally posted by eric_trautmann View Post
            I've certainly made an effort to mine the Howard canon for my upcoming arc on the title, if that helps. As far as *I* am concerned, my story is in Hyboria.

            -Eric T.
            More power to you! Let's get her back on track.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by eric_trautmann View Post
              I've certainly made an effort to mine the Howard canon for my upcoming arc on the title, if that helps. As far as *I* am concerned, my story is in Hyboria.

              -Eric T.
              Bravo Zulu! (Navy signal hoist language for great job) That alone gives me hope for a decent series, and am eagerly awaiting for issue 51 to actually arrive up here in the northlands. I personally hope that your stories will blend in with the original Red Sonja, rather than the variant DE came up with. They covered her fairly extensively with their series and one shots, so am hoping these stories will be compatible with filling in the missing 30 or so years in the first set of tales from Marvel, even if not officially so.

              The fact that you took the time and trouble to research the Howard material says a great deal, which is very much appreciated. So is that you have spent at least some time in the forums to see what is going on and what we think. Not everyone would do that.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mjacobson View Post
                You are correct about the placement for this story. It sort of parallels Conan's career in that she's a thief in her younger days. Conan even makes an uncredited cameo in the story. One strange twist is that her partner-in-crime ends up in the famous chain-mail bikini and Sonja acquires a gold-colored variation of the outfit.

                This guy has a copy for sale, if you want to complete your collection:

                http://www.atomicavenue.com/atomic/I...aspx?ID=159572
                Thanks for the tip! That issue has been all but impossible to find, but thanks to you my order is placed, along with some of the other holes in my collection. Am but 6 stories away from having the entire Marvel era set, and with DE having taken 'Ikribu' in hand, that will be down to 4 in a couple of months or so.

                It may be just me, but that first set seems to have a lighter tone. Even when Red is up to her ears in alligators (sometimes literally), she comes across as human, a woman that lives by her wits, not just her sword; a woman that is not afraid to be compassionate when it is called for and who kills only when necessary.

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                • #9
                  You're welcome! I'm glad to have been some help. Keep checking that site, the issues you need will pop up there sooner or later.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Olde Sonja Fan View Post
                    Bravo Zulu! (Navy signal hoist language for great job) That alone gives me hope for a decent series, and am eagerly awaiting for issue 51 to actually arrive up here in the northlands. I personally hope that your stories will blend in with the original Red Sonja, rather than the variant DE came up with. They covered her fairly extensively with their series and one shots, so am hoping these stories will be compatible with filling in the missing 30 or so years in the first set of tales from Marvel, even if not officially so.

                    The fact that you took the time and trouble to research the Howard material says a great deal, which is very much appreciated. So is that you have spent at least some time in the forums to see what is going on and what we think. Not everyone would do that.
                    Well, it's not so much research -- though I did brush up rather a lot before scripting -- as I'm a lifelong fan of the REH material.

                    Can't wait for you guys to see it. I think Walter's doing a fantastic job; looks great.

                    Thanks for the kind welcome.

                    Best,

                    -E

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It seems that the Sonja in Queen Sonja isn't the woman from Reed's run as that Sonja doesn't have the oath of celibacy the first 2 had.


                      & now the Red Sonja Sonja is the first one as seen in Marvel's Conan. I wish Dynamite would stick with just one.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Artimoff View Post
                        It seems that the Sonja in Queen Sonja isn't the woman from Reed's run as that Sonja doesn't have the oath of celibacy the first 2 had.


                        & now the Red Sonja Sonja is the first one as seen in Marvel's Conan. I wish Dynamite would stick with just one.

                        Sonja is again the first one?! I really need to find that issue! (am assuming you mean # 51) I fully agree DE should stick with one, and I don't mean the QS version. The original mine has 30-40 years of Sonja stories in it, enough to keep any comic company busy for ages!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Olde Sonja Fan View Post
                          Sonja is again the first one?! I really need to find that issue! (am assuming you mean # 51) I fully agree DE should stick with one, and I don't mean the QS version. The original mine has 30-40 years of Sonja stories in it, enough to keep any comic company busy for ages!
                          When Artimoff says "the first one", he's talking about the Barry Windsor-Smith incarnation. You know, the chainmail shirted one. She is still rocking the bikini on the cover.

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                          • #14
                            I think Dynamite is pretending that the 'Sonja of Dorn' version never happened - which is fine by me, anyway.

                            As to the rest of it ... the current Red Sonja is happening in her very early career, Queen Sonja is set quite a few years in her future, and the first few issues of Red Sonja (with Kulan Gath) are set somewhere in between ... if you can ignore the fact that she died ... ah, to hell with trying to piece together the life of a fictional character

                            As long as the stories are well written, with decent characterization, set in the Hyborian Age and feature decent artists, I'll be happy.

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                            • #15
                              Finally got # 51! Very well written, beautiful art, and a story line that looks very promising indeed. DE seems to think the KG thing has happend already, if I understand their blurb inside the front cover, which is confusing.

                              If we are indeed dealing with the very first Sonja here, she whooped his sorry butt before coming to Makallet in CB 23-24 (no story, but Roy Thomas refers to it in her chronology). Time will tell.

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