Review: Red Sonja Volume 2: The Art of Blood and Fire

by GregFahlgren

Reviewing the second arc of Gail Simone's awesome run on Red Sonja!!

Welcome everyone to another graphic novel review!! My last one, which you can check out using the link at the bottom of this page, featured the first collected edition of Gail Simone’s awesome Red Sonja run, Queen of the Plagues. Today, we are following up on that post with a review for the second volume of this awesome series, The Art of Blood and Fire!

This story is one my favourite comic book story arcs ever (events excluded), and the reason why is that this book was just plain fun. Gail and Walter were in absolute top form once again as they gave us a new story for the She-Devil with a Sword, one filled with love, laughter, courage, and no short amount of vulgarity (Gail Simone twitter joke). But why do these things make this book so awesome? COME WITH ME MY FRIENDS! I WILL TELL YOU!

The Creators

Artists of Blood and Fire

As always, let’s make sure to list our wonderful creators who gifted us with such a wonderful book!

Writer: Gail Simone

Illustrator: Walter Geovani

Colourist: Adriano Lucas

Cover Artist: Jenny Frison

Letterer: Simon Bowland

Illustrator for Issue #0: Noah Salogna

Colourist for Issue #0: Elmer Santos

Everyone got it? GREAT!!

The Story

That is One Horny, Stinky She-Devil

When we last saw Sonja, she was recovering from the plague from her encounter with Dark Anissia, and was planning on getting drunk in legendary fashion. Assuming she already did so, we find her on the road a few weeks later, under the employ of a despicable Emperor. Now, why would Sonja work for someone despicable? Well, this Emperor happens to by dying, and as such, is having his thousand or so slaves build him a mausoleum to spend eternity in (like all despicable Emperors do). However, he wants to have one final party before he dies, and hires Sonja to find him the six greatest artisans in the land to entertain him. Sonja agrees to find them for him, but only after he agrees to let his slaves go once he has passed on.

One by one, Sonja finds each of these artisans, each one requiring her to overcome no short amount of obstacles (not the least of which her smell and unsatisfied libido). She indeed finds each of them, but during her journey discovers a lot more about herself than she had expected, overcoming more than a few personal demons in the process.

There was a lot of subtext in these stories, much more so once you read them a second time. Gail is amazing here, using this adventure to examine Sonja’s insecurities about her beauty, her ability in battle, and even her place in the world. Furthermore, if you read deep enough, the subtext grows even larger, the stories forcing us to look at more than a few social issues in new light. I won’t go into huge details, I want you all to read the book for yourself, but through Sonja, Gail examines issues such as beauty, gender, self-confidence, sexuality, faith, and love. What this does is create a heartfelt, personal, and wonderful story about a flawed warrior woman as she discovers more about herself than she could have thought possible.

What I’ve just spoken of is why I loved this book so much. Too many stories out there, in any medium, seem to be about the action, the conflict between good and evil (which is fine to a degree), and how many explosions you can fit into one camera shot (not criticizing you Michael Bay, but some character development would be nice every once in a while). This story made me feel, made me laugh, made me cry, and more than a few times make me think about the world and the troubles of the people in it. This was a story about people, which is what all stories should be about in my opinion. I loved it, and cannot state in words how wonderful it truly is.

The Art

Blood and Fire Never Looked So Good

There’s not much more I can say about the art of this collection that I didn’t say in my review for the first Red Sonja release. Walter Geovani outdid himself again on this outing, the art so gorgeous it almost defies logic. The thing I liked the most about his work is how expressive the characters are, something that some artists don’t know how to do. Looking at the panels, I felt every character, what they were feeling and why they were felt what they did. It is amazing how well the art linked up with the script, so I asked Gail what she had to say about working with Walter, and she replied,

“That guy is amazing, he’s ridiculously talented. I have worked with a LOT of brilliant artists but there are a handful that just click, they just GET it and it makes working with them an absolute joy. Nicola Scott is one. Walter is another. 

I was honored to work with him!”

Can’t say much more than that.


PS, Jenny Frison did the covers again, and they were out of this world incredible!!

Issue #0


Included in this collection is a fun little story from the 0 issue of Gail’s run. The book, featuring incredible art by Noah Salogna and Elmer Santos, is a humouress tale of Sonja encountering a man claiming to be her husband! Weird right?

Well, Red Malak, seems to believe that he married Sonja a while ago, but when she finds out he’s telling everyone their a couple, Sonja is understandably upset. This leads to series of hilarious conversations, Sonja fighting bad guys, and a heartwarming ending (not the kind you’re thinking of mind you). This story is a nice little addition to this collection, Gail telling us a quick and fun story that leaves us wanting more.


The Easiest Recommend Ever

Gail and Walter’s Red Sonja run has been incredible since their first issue. Queen of the Plagues was awesome, but The Art of Blood and Fire topped in almost every way. It provided more laughs, more thrills, and more badassary from our favourite She-Devil with a Sword. The subtext was thought provoking, the artisans loveable and entertaining, Sonja badass and awesome like never before (even if she couldn’t get laid and smelled like the sewer underneath Taco Bell). Sonja went deep into the rabbit hole this time, going on a personal journey that redefines her character in ways she, and everyone else, could have never predicted. Yes, she’s a warrior, uncouth, uncultured, and a little crazy, but she has a heart, a soul, and most importantly, a drive to do the right thing no matter the consequences to herself.

The first collection in this series made me love Sonja, this one made me adore her. The third collection isn’t due out for a few more months, but as soon as I’m able, I’m preordering it. You should too, because if these first two collections are any indication, the third one will be amazing as well.

Until then everyone, HAPPY READING!!

Updated: 12/13/2015, GregFahlgren
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?



You might also like

Creator Spotlight: Gail Simone

The Life and Career of the Wonder Woman of Comic Book Writers

Review: Legends of Red Sonja

Reviewing the start of Gail Simone’s amazing run on Red Sonja as she teams wi...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...