Review - Red Sonja: Lord of Fools One-Shot (@DynamiteComics)

"The gods never tell us what we want."

Red Sonja has made a name for herself by fighting, drinking and swearing her way across the lands. In Red Sonja: Lord of Fools One-Shot from Dynamite Comics, she makes a brief appearance as part of a larger story. The issue is written by Mark Russell, illustrated by Bob Q and Katie O'Meara, colored by Dearbhla Kelly and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

As the battle wages in Hyrkania...CYRIL is the Crown Prince of the Zamoran Empire, and he is young but not stupid. The mysterious blind priest will unlock the secrets of The Lord Of Fools...Cyril will learn his fate, and what it will mean for the known world...

Most of the issue deals with the fallout of events in Red Sonja #6 giving it a very focused plot. Russell's script is very well thought-out and informative, but there's a lot of in-depth information that fills out the current Red Sonja universe. The funny thing is that Red Sonja barely makes an appearance in the issue, making it even more of a supplement to the bigger universe. Russell does a great job of weaving a solid tapestry, but it's somewhat inaccessible to fans who haven't read any of the current series to this point. That's not a knock on the issue by itself though, as Russell's dialogue is appropriate for the setting, albeit a little relaxed at some points.

Both Bob Q and O'Meara collaborate on art duties and the styles work well together. The characters wear garb that's very appropriate for the setting and further draws the reader into the overarching setting. The linework is concise and provides ample descriptions of the characters involved, although Red Sonja looks a little beefier than normal. There are a couple of pages that delve into the interaction with the Lord of Fools that feels very psychedelic and fit the character well. There's also really no formal organization to the panel arrangements and it affords the book a sense of freedom.

Red Sonja: Lord of Fools One-Shot is sort of required reading if you're reading the current Red Sonja series as it provides important backstory. Red Sonja doesn't really make much of an appearance at all, although there are other characters on display who have played and will play a larger role going forward. Russell's narrative is comprehensive and serves as a good story development component. The artwork by Bob Q and O'Meara work well for the story itself, offering varied characters who help support the book's setting. Red Sonja: Lord of Fools One-Shot won't really garner new readers for the series, but for those already committed it's worth checking out.

Red Sonja: Lord of Fools One-Shot is available now.