An early tale of the She-Devil! Explore the early years of the wild and untamed Sonja the Red, before she because the scourge of Hyboria – Red Sonja! Retaining her trademark armor and flame-filled hair – and temper, writer Luke Liberman (Red Sonja: Doom of the Gods) and artist Sergio Davila (Conan) deliver high adventure and horror as they introduce the demon conqueror Raka and his devil’s brew, which turns men against their fellow men (and everyone in their way!). Also featuring the return of Sonja’s early mentor, Ozzyus!
RED SONJA SHEPHERDS LUKE LIEBERMAN AND SHANNON KINGSTON TALK RED SONJA: BIRTH OF THE SHE-DEVIL #1
Luke, this is your return to writing Sonja after 2015’s Vulture’s Circle. Though in total you have written almost 50 issues and contribute editing to the entire franchise. For fans new and old, where does this story fit into the Red Sonja mythos?
Luke: It is early days, right after her bloody origin when she is young and raw and reckless, still reeling from the butchering of her family. She is not yet the legend she will become, but she has already gained a reputation and she has a big chip onher shoulder. This story is about her figuring out what kind of woman she wants to be, what she wants to do with her gift of violence. She is grappling with what happened to her parents, and how she feels about the man who found her face down and near death directly afterwards – Ozzyus.
Red Sonja is approaching her 50th anniversary. 2019 is Dynamite’s 15th anniversary and Sonja has been one of the flagship titles through that time. What is it about the Hyrkanian that makes her such a timeless fan favorite?
Luke: Sonja is a total badass,but what makes her so compelling and iconic is her humanity. She sees the world for what it is and she is who she is unapologeticlaly. She has already taken the worst Hyboria can dish out, so there is nothing left to fear. Despite this hardness, or perhaps because of it, she recognizes innocence as rare and precious and she will protect it.
There is a depth toher that allows one to endlessly peelback layers, but she is alsoirreverent and sarcastic and doesn’t take anything too seriously – she literally laughs in the face of death. There is nothing more fun than that.
The sword and sorcery genre is experiencing a renaissance right now with Marvel reacquiring the Conan license and launching series with great success as well as the Eisner-nominated writer Mark Russell and artist Mirko Colak starting a run on Red Sonja. Now Birth of the She-Devil joins the party! Do you think there is something special about right now that is calling for these kinds of stories to be told?
Luke: Legends and fantasy are always part of the culture, and have been around in some form forever. But whenever a genre gets particularly popularit is because good stories are being told by good storytellers. I think creative talent attracts an audience and there is a lot of good talent telling fantasy stories these days.
Shannon, cosplay continues to be a more and more popular way to have fun and be creative in fandom. Red Sonja cosplay has a storied history going back to her earliest years. Why do you think Sonja has remained such a fan favorite for cosplayers?
I have been running @redsonjaofficial on lnstagram now for 4 years and Red Sonja fans have stuck on this page through the years. I love to post all the ladies who cosplay her today and even ladies like Wendy Pini who were the pioneers of cosplay. It’s so moving to see how this character has inspired women of all backgrounds. Every woman wants to be strong, kick ass, and feel beautiful through her strength.
The two of you are the modern shepherds of everyone’s favorite She-Devil with a Sword. What does it mean for you both to be involved more closely on this series, with Luke writing and Shannon doing cosplay covers?
Luke: This is a story I really wanted to tell. I don’t write comics all the time, so when I do it is because I have a story that I really want to get out. I have been tinkering with this one for a while, and when Sergio became available to render it with his beautiful artwork, I knew it was time to do this.
Shannon: For me, I had just given birth to my second child and I wanted a motivation to get back into shape and feel strong, sexy and beautiful again. Red Sonja gave that to me and Dynamite. Every day I got on the elliptical or got down on the floor to do an exercise video, Red Sonja was on my mind. To keep persevering, to keep overcoming, whatever obstacles may be in my way. I felt in my heartand soul like I was battling to stay focused on a goal. I was so pleased with the reaction from Dynamite and the fans and no one could believe my progress. Red Sonja represents using the adversity we have in our lives and using it as the fire that burns in our bellies to fuel us to victory, whatever that means to us. It’s not just dress up, it’s channeling the soul of the character.
You can pre-order the first five issues using the order form below. (This order will ship to mail order customers when all five issues are available in October 2019. In-store customers can pick up each issue as they are released.)By Crom! Not reading RED SONJA is barbaric!Click To Tweet