Red Sonja #4 | Dawn of Comics
Arguably, there comes a time every now and then during any ongoing comic book series when a particular edition will cause its audience to pause and strongly consider whether or not they’re going to push on and finish reading the publication. Disappointingly, Amy Chu’s script for Issue Four of “Red Sonja” potentially provides just such a watershed moment, arriving approximately half-way through the twenty-page periodical, at a point when New York City police officer Max Mendoza, “from Bushwick”, is disconcertingly revealed to be “the last surviving Meruvian”, and the gigantic “demon beast of Khauran” nonsensically smashes its way through an upper storey window of the Metropolitan Museum of Art simply to show it is still playing the role of Kulan Gath’s guard dog; “You’re late, you disgraceful beast. Finish them off. And hurry up. I’m tired of this place.” Admittedly, up until this juncture the Boston-born writer’s narrative for this title had always trodden something of a fine line between an innovative re-imagining of Robert E. Howard’s heroine and clichéd, preposterous bunkum. But to suddenly suggest that “Sir Max” is the sole surviving orphan of a “tiny miserable kingdom of Mages”, and is therefore miraculously capable of magically raising all of a banquet’s cutlery off its tables as if he were some sort of culinary-controlling variant of “Marvel Comics” Magneto, is debatably going a step too far. To make matters worse, the Harvard Business School graduate also tests even the most fervent of fan’s willing suspension of disbelief by subsequently suggesting that the script’s evil sorcerer has somehow kept his truly monstrously-sized, tendril-draped bright red dragon safely under wraps from the civilised world since he first arrived in America over a hundred years ago… Of course, such contrived revelations do at least inject a rather word-heavy, dialogue-driven plot with some much-needed pulse-pounding action. The main protagonists’ race down to the Museum’s “Arms and Armoury Hall”, and fortuitous finding of Hyborian Age forged weaponry is arguably one of this comic’s few highlights, as is their subsequent close combat battle against the green-blooded demon, which sees the pair lopping off the creature’s writhing tentacles as if there is no tomorrow. However, even these short-lived scenes, enthusiastically pencilled by artist Carlos Gomez, pale into insignificance when compared to the Spaniard’s truly sense-shattering depiction of the Big Apple’s emergency services evacuating “the Met Museum” in the mistaken belief it has been the target of a suspected terrorist attack.