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The Pull List – Red Sonja #15

Posted on May 19, 2020 by

Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Writer: Mark Russell
Art: Bob Q
Colorist: Dearbhla Kelly
Letter: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Desperate to save her people from starvation, Sonja sought aid from Khitai. a kingdom she had once served. Sonja was a loyal soldier until the prince Jo’Qhan usurped the throne, murdering Sonja’s mentor, Master Domo, in the process. Now the king of Khitai, Jo’Qhan had waited for Sonja to beg before him. By the help of Sonja’s counsel, Jo’Qhan was charmed by the idea of Sonja as the master of war. With Zamoran dealt a major defeat, Khitai is now the most powerful kingdom. But the Khitai army lacks warfare experience. Sonja was the star pupil of Master Domo, her tactical expertise is exactly what the Khitai army needs to become stronger. Forced to choose the lives of many and servitude to the man responsible for her master’s death, Sonja sees no end to her troubles.

Issue #15 finds Sonja in a difficult position. Jo’Qhan has great leverage over She-Devil, extortion her weakness for her people. In the past, Sonja could retreat and patiently wait for an opportune advantage, Hyrkania is starving and cannot afford the wait. Sonja would be in service to Jo’Qhan and he has plans for conquest, giving rise to a new mad king. The decision weighs heavily on Sonja’s conscience; helping her people would mean causing suffering for others.

Mark Russell presents an excellent dilemma for Sonja to face this story arc. Jo’Qhan is shown to be more native than Dragan but has the capacity to be a bloodthirsty conquer. Jo’Qhan righthand man, the head eunuch Tortoise, gets some backstory about his life and how merciless running an empire is. Tortoise hinted to be more than just servant in Khitai than it appears. Bob Q and Dearbhla Kelly’s artwork are great, telling some amazing action scenes and great full-size page panels.

The consequences of Sonja’s decision will definitely have repercussions. Sonja had slain and outwitted many foes for the sake of people, but this would be her greatest challenge yet.

Red Sonja #15 is set to be released on April 20th, 2020.
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