from the official press release . . . . . . . .
Red Sonja #1, by the creative team of Marguerite Bennett (Bombshells, A-Force, Angela) and Aneke (Legenderry: Red Sonja, Damsels) and scheduled for release on January 13, 2016, will see its titular heroine return to her homeland of Hyrkania, only to find it changed into an almost unrecognizable landscape. As envisioned by Gail Simone, the new series sends Sonja on a mission of infiltration, sabotage, and assassination when she discovers that her native people have been conscripted into the service of a Nazi-like regime.
"It's an honor and a pleasure to be the new writer on a book as crazy and colorful as Red Sonja," says Bennett. "While I've never yet had the pleasure of working with Aneke, our phenomenal new artist, I cannot wait for us to make the big, bloody, sexy, sweeping splash in a universe this rich with story, history, and the contributions of the creators and creatives who came before us. I am particularly indebted to Gail Simone, who has always been one of my idols in comics, who first suggested that I follow her run on the title and was endlessly guiding and encouraging as I broke into this new level of the medium."
Regarding the direction of Red Sonja, the first issue will show that Red Sonja's return home is necessitated when her king hovers at death's door, while a dread new power rises from within Hyrkania's own borders. The new authority is bent on defending its homeland - no matter the cost, no matter what its people become. Billed as a defining chapter in the Red Sonja saga, the opening "Falcon Throne" storyline is dark, clever, vicious, and at times even mirthful, as the She-Devil with a Sword must topple the brutal regime, her own people.
Bennett says, "This current arc allows me to explore elements of my favorite stories, which have always been those that are enormously morally gray. In this case, we're nearly to 'Red Sonja vs. The Iron Age Nazis', as she watches her own people united and then profaned by a charismatic leader with intimate connections to Sonja's own long-buried past. She is placed in an impossible crisis, on the run from the very people she has saved, torn between saving her homeland... or destroying it. I hope readers will enjoy something dark but fun, vicious but witty, balanced between battle, romance, intrigue, and good old-fashioned monster-slaying. I'm so grateful to have a chance to lead Sonja into this brave new world."
"I was thrilled to draw Red Sonja from the beginning. She is one of my favorite characters ever, so when I was told that I would be drawing this magnificent warrior, I just couldn't stand the excitement," says Aneke, the illustrator of the new series and a self-proclaimed devotee of Frank Thorne, artist of Red Sonja's first-ever series. "I was expecting some powerful stuff from Marguerite Bennett, and I haven't been disappointed! The strength and the misanthropic touch of the red-headed heroine have always spoken to me, so I feel really lucky to draw her."
With the new series comes a character redesign by celebrated artist Nicola Scott, who describes her fresh take on Red Sonja: "Sonja was a collaboration between myself, Gail, Dynamite and the licensors. Her big red hair and chainmail are iconic, and I felt strongly they needed to carry the look but be modernized. Keeping her hair big but out of her face seemed practical, and the idea of the chainmail tank rather than bikini was a suitable update."
Dynamite will celebrate the new Red Sonja #1 with a variety of cover options, including Cover A by Marguerite Sauvage (Bombshells); Cover B by Jay Anacleto (Legends of Red Sonja) which will interconnect with the Cover B editions of Dejah Thoris #1 and Vampirella #1; and Cover C by Tula Lotay (Swords of Sorrow). A special Subscription Edition (Cover D) features the "cute" artwork of Tony Fleecs, intended for consumers who place preorders with their local comic shops and interconnecting with the Subscription Edition variants of Dejah Thoris #1 and Vampirella #1. Robert Hack (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) provides cover artwork for the Shared Retailer Exclusive, and a Blank Authentix cover variant is available, perfect for aspiring artists and convention commissions . Finally, Ming Doyle (New Avengers) provides a special incentive cover to encourage strong preorders from comic shop retailers, as does Nicola Scott with an image of her first redesign of the character.
Red Sonja, known also as "The She-Devil with a Sword," is renowned as fantasy fiction's most prominent female character, formerly a swashbuckling ally of the Robert E. Howard character, Conan. Her early adventures in the Marvel Feature comic book series led to a successful ongoing Red Sonja solo series, a celebrated run of comics from 1976 through 1979. Dynamite Entertainment acquired the Red Sonja license in 2005 as their second-ever published title, arriving on newsstands to critical acclaim and a very receptive audience. Dynamite has since published over one hundred Red Sonja comic books, including crossovers with popular characters including Conan, Dejah Thoris (of Warlord of Mars), Vampirella, Spider-Man, and more.