Samurai Sonja #1 Review

Writer: Jordan Clark
Art: Pasquale Qualano, Miriana Puglia and Kike J. Diaz
Letters: Jeff Eckleberry
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 22nd, 2022

Dynamite continues exploring alternate universe versions of their characters, and with Samurai Sonja #1, they hit a home run.  Set on a world resembling Feudal-era Japan, this version of Sonja is every bit as savage as the original.  But the threats she faces are steeped deeply in Japanese myth.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Samurai Sonja #1 Review.

The Story

I loved the Japanese setting and myth in Samurai Sonja #1, it’s 180 degrees different from Red Sonja’s land of Hyboria.  Where Red Sonja journeys across snow-capped mountains, the Sonja of this book travels across massive seas and battles through forests that seem to eternally be locked in Autumn.

This version of Sonja is introduced in the first few pages of the book, then immediately we’re tossed into action (via an encounter with a giant sea serpent).  Sonja’s fate is sealed here, as she makes a deal with a spirit who bequeaths her enchanted armor for a price.

And what awesome armor!  I really love this armor design, which borrows from traditional samurai design with a little Mortal Kombat style mixed in.  It’s a far more realistic suit of armor than Red Sonja wears (which is really just a glorified bikini).  Sonja’s armor in this book is functional and makes her look super intimidating and formidable.

Sonja herself is less muscular than the original Red Sonja.  She’s of Asian descent and more lithe and acrobatic with her fighting style.

This Sonja is a woman of heavy discipline and few words, so after her introduction and getting the armor, we don’t learn anything more about her.  But we do get a couple of great fight scenes with Sonja wielding her bow and sword with equal destructive force.
The main villain of the book (or at least the first story arc) is revealed at the end of the book, and looks to be a great adversary for Sonja, as she continues her quest to avenge her father.

The Art

Pasquale Qualano and Miriana Puglia’s art on Samurai Sonja #1 is crisp and detailed.  The characters (including their armor and weaponry) are given more detail than the backgrounds, and the creatures (including the sea serpent) are drawn with a kind of imposing majesty.

Final Thoughts

Samurai Sonja #1 is a great beginning for this alternate version of Sonja and I hope the book has a long run.  It’s nice to see Dynamite exploring alternate versions of their characters, rather than using them once and casting them aside.




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