Killing Red Sonja #1
It seems the Battle of the Bridge was not the end of Dragan the Magnificent's line. He leaves behind a son, the Boy Emporer Cyril, and an oath. "If I do not return in sixty days it means I have been betrayed. I want you to hang those who betrayed me and avenge my death." Now Cyril strikes out to get his revenge against Minnas and Red Sonja to see his father avenged.
Oh boy, I’ve read a lot of stuff in my time here but this was a hard read.
The story of Cyril is like reading a story about Carl from The Walking Dead except he’s a bigger psychopath and people listen to him. I get that he’s supposed to be an unlikable character, he’s the son of Dragan after all, but this kid has absolutely no relatability. Being unrelatable isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker of course, we have Jo’Khan to contend with in the Red Sonja comic who is both moronic and spoiled, but this kid has also surrounded himself with blissfully useless characters. With the exception of Nicodemo, the people in the court of Cyril have set him up to fail. We have a collection of musclebound guards, we have his quirky friends who have unexplained backstories, and we have Cyril who is just…the worst. Maybe his character is written that way on purpose but if it is then its a huge oversight on someone’s part. Villains don’t have to be likable, they can be evil for the sake of being evil, but they do have to be interesting and Cyril is about as interesting as milk toast. He’s a vengeful, spoiled child, who rules because he can and if there’s any justice Red Sonja will spank him and throw him down a ravine next issue.
But wait, there’s more. Let’s not forget the story. The story just…isn’t very well-written and is riddled with plot holes. We see this kid get thrown on his butt in the first four pages and then he just… advances a week and has a sidekick and vassals that are never explained. Where did they come from? Then he sets out on a certain death quest with way too few retainers and just… I don’t know. This story would be more at home in an 80’s Saturday-morning cartoon then on the pages of a Dynamite comic. I had to start reading this comic four times because I had to force myself to care. Having read through the Red Sonja offering recently I had expected to be wowed and it just wasn’t there.
The art was okay. It was an interesting style but it was a little bland. Inoffensive would be a good word for it. It seemed a little unfinished but, to be honest, it was the best thing about this whole comic.
Killing Red Sonja #1 is a poor start to the series; maybe give it a pass.
Killing Red Sonja #: Noose for Two
- Writing - 5/105/10
- Storyline - 4.5/104.5/10
- Art - 5/105/10
- Color - 6.5/106.5/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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