Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Red Sonja, Volume 3: The Forgiving of Monsters Review (Gail Simone, Walter Geovani)

The Forgiving of Monsters is the third and final volume in Gail Simone and Walter Geovani’s wonderful Red Sonja run. Unfortunately, they close out with an uninspired last gasp. 

Sonja kills an evil sorcerer who curses her with the inability to forgive. To me, something that vague doesn’t mean that if someone asks you to forgive them, you stomp them half to death, but then I suppose there’s no story if Sonja just shrugged and ignored whoever was asking her forgiveness; it’s necessary but still a contrivance. She’s also tested when she happens across the last survivor of the group who murdered her family when she was a lass. In the second and final story she defends a library run by nuns from a trio of assassins and a generically evil queen. Ho hum. 

Unlike the last two books, I can’t say I was ever interested in the least by the stories in this volume. I mean, will Sonja ever learn to forgive again – really? She also fights Death, which is very metal, but even so, she’s been unstoppable thus far, it’s hardly tense to see her go up against a force of nature. Of course she’s going to win! Of course she’s going to overcome the curse, save everyone, and learn a lesson, etc. etc. 

I liked the small touch of Sonja curling up on the lap of the surprised nun as she begins to read her a story – it says so much about her character in that one panel. Besides Sonja though, every other character is one-dimensional and boring. The villains are pantomime-level bad, while everyone else is utterly forgettable. 

Though Simone’s script is poor, Walter Geovani’s art is as high quality as it’s been throughout the three books. The sorcerer brothers’ designs were over the top and amazing and I loved his Death. Sonja’s self-inflicted injury on her hands though was ridiculous; if you burned your flesh off so you had nothing but bone, there’s no way you could live without the infection killing you, let alone still being able to use your hands! Jenny Frison’s covers continue to be a highlight and I love Sonja’s awesome new haircut. 

Gail Simone and Walter Geovani’s Red Sonja has been a brilliant title but ends on a bit of an unimpressive note. The third volume may be lacking but the first two books are really something – I recommend fantasy comics fans check those out instead.

Red Sonja, Volume 3: The Forgiving of Monsters

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