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“Sonja Is Not One For Considering Consequences” – Gail Simone Talks Red Sonja #17

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  • “Sonja Is Not One For Considering Consequences” – Gail Simone Talks Red Sonja #17

    Doug Murray, co-writer of Jungle Girl Season Three #4, talks with writer Gail Simone about Red Sonja #17, both on sale now. Cover art by Rebecca Isaacs and Jenny Frison.


    RSv217CovBIsaacsDOUG MURRAY: Perhaps I’m a bit behind on the Sonja stories but why would a warrior, in a land ruled by a supposedly evil queen, indulge in a drunken orgy and leave herself helpless? Is Sonja that self-confident or is she actually searching for death or, failing that, a mammoth fight. Later, we see “Thruck the Fierce” turn up—what if he had come earlier?


    GAIL SIMONE: Wait, I want to be sure I understand the question … why would Sonja throw an orgy?


    I feel like that question kind of answers itself.


    As for “leaving herself helpless,” I guess I would say that Sonja is not one for considering consequences. She wants what she wants now, and she lives in the moment. She’s a She-devil, not a hedge fund manager.


    She likes a bit of a drink and a roll in the hay, she’s most uncouth, really.


    And if Thruck had come a bit earlier, she’d likely have woken up long enough to kick his ass. Is she over-confident? Probably. I like her best that way. Worrying about what MIGHT happen is not very Sonja-esque, to me.


    DM: Who told the nuns to look for a ‘Red Woman’? Their God?


    GS: It’s well-established that Sonja is a bit of a legend in Hyboria. The nuns are desperate, the only thing they care about in the world is threatened and they are its only caretakers. Sonja’s reputation is out there, if anything, it’s exaggerated. They are clinging at straws.


    I just realized this arc has the exact same plot as The Three Amigos.


    DM: Why are the books in what is obviously a watchtower? Is there some reason for that?


    RSv217CovAFrisonGS: Well, for my purposes, it makes a dramatic image to defend, and is different from, say, a monastery or castle. It feels isolated and remote, distant from any possible aid. It makes the nuns feel more alone.


    But in story, it relates to images in fantasy that I love, of Gandalf or Dumbledore researching ancient tomes in some secret stone tower somewhere. It’s a nice image, a watchtower that is a storage place for the knowledge of the ages.


    DM: Finally (and you may answer this in the ensuing volumes), but why is the Queen so evil? What made her so and, if she is merely mad/evil, why do her subjects not revolt?


    GS: This is an interesting question. My first response is, you could ask that same question of every despot, and there have been a LOT of them. Why was ______ evil? Why didn’t the people revolt?


    This Empress is based on a real woman who had a tremendous number of legends told about her, the Empress Dowager Cixi, of China. She started as a commoner, a concubine, and bore the emperor a son, and when the emperor died, her son became the new emperor. She seized power, broke the rules of succession, she imprisoned the emperor in the Summer Palace in Beijing and ran government herself, just an amazing story.


    But one of the interesting aspects of her story is that (legend has it, she might have been scapegoated somewhat by political opponents) she could be exceedingly cruel to young women of the lower classes. Even the scene with the peasant girl brushing her hair is based on a genuine legend about her.


    I’ll leave it to the readers to imagine what makes an empress who was once a commoner hate women born of low status. But I think there’s something very interesting there.


    It’s my last two issues of Red Sonja, we wanted to go out with an emotional gut-punch. I’ve been blessed with one of the finest artists in the business in Walter Geovani, and it’s painful to end the story, but it feels right to end with this tale, about the importance of remembering history.


    I’m very proud of it, I hope people pick it up!


    For more on Red Sonja #17, click here.


  • #2
    DOUG MURRAY: Perhaps I’m a bit behind on the Sonja stories but why would a warrior, in a land ruled by a supposedly evil queen, indulge in a drunken orgy and leave herself helpless? Is Sonja that self-confident or is she actually searching for death or, failing that, a mammoth fight. Later, we see “Thruck the Fierce” turn up—what if he had come earlier?


    GAIL SIMONE: Wait, I want to be sure I understand the question … why would Sonja throw an orgy?


    I feel like that question kind of answers itself.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    No, no it really doesn't, unless like I have thought for over a year now, this is not Red Sonja, but an impostor called Horny Sandra.... This Sonja is nothing more than a hyperactive slut whoring herself out across the whole of Hyboria, who for some reason is now superstitious, doesn't know how to read and does not know what nuns are, God each issue makes me want to dig my eyes out. Simone has turned Sonja from one of the more interesting characters in the Hyborian age who didn't fawn over the big muscled barbarian to a carbon copy of Savage Sword's Valeria, and if you don't know who she was, she was a sword wielding barbarian whose sole goal was to get in Conan's fured pants... *reads issue one of Red Sonja / Conan* Oh...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by themightyflip View Post
      DOUG MURRAY: Perhaps I’m a bit behind on the Sonja stories but why would a warrior, in a land ruled by a supposedly evil queen, indulge in a drunken orgy and leave herself helpless? Is Sonja that self-confident or is she actually searching for death or, failing that, a mammoth fight. Later, we see “Thruck the Fierce” turn up—what if he had come earlier?


      GAIL SIMONE: Wait, I want to be sure I understand the question … why would Sonja throw an orgy?


      I feel like that question kind of answers itself.

      ----------------------------------------------------------

      No, no it really doesn't, unless like I have thought for over a year now, this is not Red Sonja, but an impostor called Horny Sandra.... This Sonja is nothing more than a hyperactive slut whoring herself out across the whole of Hyboria, who for some reason is now superstitious, doesn't know how to read and does not know what nuns are, God each issue makes me want to dig my eyes out. Simone has turned Sonja from one of the more interesting characters in the Hyborian age who didn't fawn over the big muscled barbarian to a carbon copy of Savage Sword's Valeria, and if you don't know who she was, she was a sword wielding barbarian whose sole goal was to get in Conan's fured pants... *reads issue one of Red Sonja / Conan* Oh...
      Pretty much. She's had to be bailed out by others in every arc. The only thing Simone's character can accomplish is getting drunk and laid. Red Sonja/Conan isn't just Sonja throwing herself at Conan. He proposes the dual command of the army. He does the scouting of the enemy and finds their cavalry weakness. He handles the assassin beasts at the end pretty much single handed. Sonja is in that book to be little more than another trophy for the muscled lug. It looks like Dynamite wants a Red Sonja who is little more than a jingly sex joke fit for Penthouse.

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