The brave hero. The wicked villain. These archetypes, and the tales of their struggles, lie at the heart of the comic book medium, providing the basis for many of our favorite stories. While some may scoff at these aspirational stories, we know that they can be empowering, uplifting, and even inspiring. That's often especially true when the hero at the heart of the story is a woman.
When women slay monsters, the stories are never just about protecting the kingdom and preserving the status quo. When women slay monsters, they challenge their own oppression, they overturn expectations, and they seize control of the future. When women slay monsters, they change the world. These are some of our favorite comic book stories that celebrate that idea.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan franchise doesn’t look to be going anywhere just yet, and TV could always use more female leads, so is Red Sonja about to raise her sword? A new report suggests none other than X-Men maestro Bryan Singer himself is working on an “R-rated” TV take on the famed character, likely engineered for cable.
Robert E. Howard may not have created Red Sonja directly, but his inspiration for the she-devil with a sword Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith would craft for the Marvel Comics incarnation of Conan the Barbarian is undeniable. Since appearing in that comic back in the 1970s, Sonja's gone on to be a rather large part of the Hyborian mythos, expanding beyond mere guest-star in Conan tales into her own full-fledged adventuress. As one of the preeminent fantasy bad-asses, Red Sonja's always been able to find and inspire audiences no matter which publisher has been telling her tales.
While she's been a staple of Dynamite's catalog as of late, there are surprisingly few Red Sonja collectibles on the market. There have been statues from time to time, but Sideshow Collectibles has been the leader of the pack when it comes to Sonja goods as of late. Already with one impressive Red Sonja statue under its belt, the collectible company has another in the works that shows a different, more detailed side of the crimson-haired warrior.
Have you longed for the day when Frank Frazetta's artwork would do more than live on the page? Does your sixth-scale collection lack the imposing threat of the Death Dealer? Friends, I have news for you that you may find welcome. Not only is Frank Frazetta's iconic executioner being remade as figures and statues, but so are a few other Frazetta classics from companies like Go Hero and ARH. What's more, they won't be alone. Plenty of comic characters that haven't gotten quite the same attention as Marvel's and DC's big guns will soon be able to stand side-by-side with Hot Toys' and Sideshow Collectibles' interpretations.
You might recall Go Hero's name from a few months back. It's the company that helped Das Toyz bring the first Stan Lee sixth-scale figure to market (a new one is in development at Hot Toys now too because... reasons?). Though I'd never heard of Go Hero before, the company's showing at NYCC made me wish I had. The big name characters at larger publishers (particularly those with movies) tend to get the sixth-scale treatment from companies, but Go Hero's focus is on those that normally don't get a moment in the sun. Death Dealer probably hasn't seen a ray of light beyond a handful of collectibles over the years, but he'll have a figure from Go Hero soon enough.
The last few years have seen some really great costume redesigns for supeheroines, and it looks like Dynamite is planning to add to that with a trio of heroines set to launch new titles next year.
In advance of New York Comic-Con, Dynamite released new designs from artist Nicola Scott for Vampirella, Dejah Thoris and Red Sonja, to be featured in a new line spinning out of this year's Swords of Sorrow crossover.
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions.
In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
Over the past year or so, comics publishers have jumped onto the online bundle bandwagon with both feet, offering up deals via HumbleBundle and StoryBundle, among other outlets.
Now, Dynamite is trying a deal through yet another medium: BitTorrent. The publisher's "Mega Bundle" from BitTorrent Bundle includes 200-some issues of comics from 30 different series including Vampirella, Red Sonja, Bob's Burgers, Django/Zorro, The Green Hornet and Shaft, all for just $6.
Dynamite has announced a new big event series from Gail Simone and Sergio Davila, Swords of Sorrow. Crossing over between many of their female characters, the series will lead into a series of tie-in stories written by some of the most talented women in the business, including Marguerite Bennett, Leah Moore, Mairghread Scott, Emma Beeby, Mikki Kendal, Nancy Collins, and G. Willow Wilson.
Conan and Red Sonja are the chocolate and peanut butter of the sword-and-sorcery genre. Wait, no. Now that I write that down, it seems like swords and sorcery would probably be the chocolate and peanut butter of the sword-and-sorcery genre, but you get the idea: They're two characters who tend to go really well together, which makes sense given that they're both characters that have more or less defined the genre since they were created -- particularly in comics.
That's why it shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone that Conan Red Sonja #1, despite a somewhat annoyingly un-punctuated title, reads like it came together effortlessly. Written by Jim Zub and Gail Simone, with art by Dan Panosian and Dave Stewart, the first issue breezes through the mandatory fight before the inevitable team-up in a way that's actually pretty engaging, setting up an adventure that seems every bit as exciting as the two characters deserve. And also just full of belts.
Evil sorcery is a problem for the people of a certain age undreamt of, and apparently it's gotten so bad that one Hyborian hero is no longer enough to stop them. That's why in January, we're getting a team-up in the form of Conan/Red Sonja, in which a pretty fantastic creative team of Gail Simone, Jim Zub and Dan Panosian are teaming up the two heroes to stop -- you guessed it -- evil sorcery.
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