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The Adventures Of Red Sonja Volume 1 Featuring Conan Paperback – Dec 13 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment; Reissue edition (Dec 13 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193330507X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933305073
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 0.8 x 25.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,730,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa1c0f528) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa16f9588) out of 5 stars Decent Stories, Terrible Reproduction Feb. 1 2006
By Edward C. Liu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Nobody buys a comic book expecting thought-provoking high art when the main character is a curvy redheaded woman in a metal bikini. You're not going to find high art here, but you will find some beautifully illustrated, decent pulp fiction stories which treat their subject with far more respect and dignity than many other similarly minded works. Sonja may have that ridiculous outfit and some serious relationship issues, but she certainly knows who she is and what she wants, and she manages to get it through skill and brains and a little luck, rather than solely through her physical charms.

However, this volume is a waste of your money due to incredibly poor digital recoloring. The coloring job is horribly uneven, with some issues looking fairly decent, but others looking harsh and garish. One might believe that the coloring also obscures the fine linework by Esteban Maroto or Frank Thorne, but picking up an original issue shows the same poor reproduction problems so one can't really fault the publisher for that. I believe Dynamite had to work with inferior originals in their reproduction, which would be forgivable if not for the errors sprinkled throughout the volume, many of which were introduced in the digital re-lettering process. One character gets three names in the span of 2 pages. Typos like "daighter" and "misbeggoten" were introduced. Existing typos were faithfully reproduced rather than fixed. One credit mis-identifies creator Robert E. Howard. There's even a typo in Roy Thomas' text introduction.

All of the above suggests a rushed job, which is even more incredible when one considers that this book was several months late with no explanation, now or then, from the publisher. This material isn't great literature, even by pulp standards, but it deserves better than the shoddy, slipshod final product we got. If you are interested in this material at all, don't buy this book. Save your money and seek out the original issues.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa19b72a0) out of 5 stars Good idea but poor execution Jan. 9 2006
By Theresa K. Lotempio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Adventures of Red Sonja volume 1 reprints the first solo adventures of this curious adaptation by Marvel Comics of Robert E. Howard's adventure featuring Red Sonya, a character set in the Middle Ages. Many of these stories have not been seen since their original printing in the 1970s so the collection was welcomed by many fans as a means to rediscover these nifty gems. Unfortunately, the reproduction of the stories fails to capture any of the glory or vitality of these comics. The muddled color and indefinite lines lack any of the immediacy of the boldness in the original work. That said, the first story in the collection appears to have been reproduced by a different professional than than the other stories in the volume. The quality of the reproduction and choice of coloring (the original story was in black and white) demonstrate this artist utilized great skill in serving the story. it is a pity the rest of the volume can't follow through with this early promise.

The stories appearing in this volume vary in quality since the writers were still trying to define this heroine. It quickly becomes clear that Red Sonja is a lusty and crafty opponent, as well as one who isn't afraid to confront her role as swordswoman in a male-dominated barbaric age. It's not deep writing, but it contains more depth than other pastiches of this type. One of the stand out stories is the one in which Sonja is hunted by a tracker who mercilessly slays any who come to her aid. It is an interesting challenge requiring more ingenuity than a sword thrust.

The art in this volume should have been some of the attraction for readers. The first story is lovingly drawn by Estaban Maroto while the rest of the book contains the lushly-detailed work of Frank Thorne. The latter artist stamped an indeliable impression on the image of Red Sonja that has lasted a few generations. Thorne utilizes some interesting panel work accented by his unique style such that his Sonja stories make even an average story excel. But, as mentioned earlier, these stories are only undermined by the poor reproduction. In fact, much of the energy is muted by the inadequate job.

Dynamite Entertainment has had many delays in getting both this book and a contemporary Red Sonja comic out to market. They have announced a companion volume reprinting the early issues of Red Sonja but it has not come out, despite an anticipated release date of Nov. 2005. Instead, Volume 1 was released in November. Based upon the poor quality of this reprint and the frequent broken announcements of new product, it seems Dynamite can not publish comics of much entertainment value. These original stories, their fans, and future readers deserve better. I recommend saving your money and using it instead to track down these original stories. You'll enjoy them much more than this poor reproduction.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa323f8c4) out of 5 stars Muddy job! Feb. 13 2006
By comicsatemybrain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Greatly disappointing reproduction values, and it just spoils the entire book! In contrast to one of the other reviewers, I don't think that the problem here is the coloring, but rather the muddy reproduction of the line art. The linework looks like it was scanned or digitally processed in a way that leaves the lines to be jagged around the edges (like a finely pixelated fax), and causing some tiny detail work to drop out entirely. Clean copies of the original comics show more detail than this book, so for now I recommend investing the time, effort, and money to purchasing the original issues in a reasonable grade.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1cc060c) out of 5 stars What a mess Nov. 23 2006
By Babytoxie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hopefully I'm reviewing the correct book, as there has been quite a bit of confusion regarding the trade of Marvel reprints and the trade collecting the first few issues of the new Dynamite series. THE ADVENTURES OF RED SONJA sounded like a good idea when it was first announced. As Dark Horse Comics' reprints of the classic Marvel Conan comics have proven very successful, it only seemed natural to bring the classic adventures of Conan's redheaded peer back to print. In fact, I was surprised Dark Horse didn't just swipe up the rights to all the Robert E. Howard characters. Anyway, if this first volume of Red Sonja reprints is any indication of how this series will continue, then DE can just stop now, as they won't be getting any more of my money. On one hand, the stories just aren't very good; on the other, this is the absolute worst reproduction of artwork I have ever seen.

THE ADVENTURES OF RED SONJA VOLUME 1 reprints her appearances from Marvel Feature #1-7, written by Roy Thomas and Bruce Jones, with art by Esteban Maroto, Dick Giordano, and Frank Thorne. The first story, by Thomas, Maroto, and inks by Neal Adams, is a decent story supported by some crisp art. The next brief story has some decent art by Giordano, and the remaining stories are by Jones and Thorne. From here on, the story quality drops dramatically; in fact, I'm surprised that Thomas, as editor, even approved these stories - by all rights, they could have been comparable to the Conan comics but end up as pale substitutes. It's odd in that, by this point in his career, Jones had producing some good work, but it doesn't show here. The stories are pretty routine, and it seems as if Jones wasn't interested in developing a consistent personality for Red Sonja. One minute, she's a strong heroine; the next, she's a tease. Supporting characters are quite forgettable, to the point that Jones even uses the same name for two different characters in different stories.

The real reason I was interested in this collection, however, is the Frank Thorne artwork. I will admit that Red Sonja was not Thorne's greatest work, but his is certainly the name most associated with the character. Anyway, one thing that HAS to be considered about Thorne's artistic style is that his lines are not very distinct, so his work needs to be reproduced as accurately as possible in order to keep its form. Dynamite fails miserably at this - the reproduced art is too light and is overwhelmed by the garish recoloring. The colors either bleed past the lines or obliterate the lines completely, leaving us with blobs of color instead of defined figures. This was a major problem with Dark Horse's earliest printings of the Conan comics, so I would have thought that other publishers would have learned from that. In closing, if you want some sword-and-sorcery goodness, don't bother with this book - just stick to Dark Horse's Conan reprints.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1cc05b8) out of 5 stars Great Stories Outweigh Art Problems April 19 2009
By Mark Salamon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read this book and loved it. I didn't know about the artwork problems until I came to check the reviews. If you are interested in Red Sonja, don't avoid these books because of some bad reviews. Until another collection is released (which may never happen), this is what is available. The stories are good enough to outweigh any art problems. If you have the time to search out 30-year-old individual issues, that is great. I do not have the time for that, so I purchased and enjoyed this collection.