Featuring a seeming wish list of the most contrived, co-incidental story-telling contraptions a comic book writer could conjure, Amy Chu’s script for Issue Six of “Red Sonja” must surely have baffled and bewildered the title’s loyal 11,215 readers in June 2017. Indeed, it is difficult to deduce a more randomly haphazard sequence of events than the one which befalls this publication’s titular character as the red-haired warrioress confronts a tower block-tall fiend from “the formerly mighty kingdom of Meru” on modern day Coney Island, Brooklyn, and ultimately defeats the massive, tendril-covered brute by using the amusement park’s big wheel to whizz around so fast that it somehow creates a time portal back to the monster’s home…
Regrettably however, even so utterly ludicrous a plot as having a time-travelling dinosaur being defeated by a funfair ride is disconcertingly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Boston-born author’s narrative for this twenty-page periodical, and is soon sadly overshadowed by a local beat cop fortuitously mastering the magical abilities of his forefathers just in time to withstand the supernatural onslaught of Kulan Gath, the illogical decision of the ordinarily-loyal “demon beast of Khauran” to turn against his master of several thousand years at precisely the point the sorcerer was about to defeat the ‘She-devil with a Sword’, and Max’s ridiculous realisation that after all this time all he needed to do to rid Mister Gault of his invulnerability was to shoot the glowing purple amulet the megalomaniac always wears about his neck; “This negotiation is over.”
Undeniably, such artificial and nonsensical story-telling certainly provides plenty of pulse-pounding action sequences as the waterfront’s main attraction is torn asunder by the giant Hyborian Age lizard, New York City’s finest blaze away with their ineffective pea-shooters, and a furious Red Sonja hacks away at her arch-nemesis with an all-too impotent blade. But a comic audience are rarely going to become totally engrossed in such engineered tomfooleries, no matter how “easy for me” a hubristic Chu believed penning this series was at the time.
Almost as disappointing as the book’s script, is unhappily the story-boarding of Carlos Gomez, which whilst dynamically drawn and full of energy, seemingly appears to have been somewhat rushed. Indeed, there’s a definite atmosphere of ‘hurried harassment’ to the Spaniard’s pencilling that makes his panels appear a little inconsistent, angular and scratchily-sketched, especially during the magazine’s early interiors when Gath’s demonic pet is tearing up the pier’s Wonder Wheel in a scene somewhat similar to a sharp-toothed carcharodon carcharias ripping through the metal bars of a shark cage so as to eat its hapless occupants.