Monday, October 5, 2015

Swords Of Sorrow: Red Sonja & Jungle Girl #3 - A Review

Ice continues to plague the mysterious island that Jungle Girl calls home. Only the mystic Heart of the Mountain can repair the damage done by Mistress Hel and her ice wyrm. And only Jana and Red Sonja can guide the witchworker Bel'lok to its resting place.

Alas, what started out as a promising mini-series falls apart in this final chapter. Curiously, Sonja and Jana have no real function in this chapter other than to protect the male protagonist who knows what is going on and must be the one to use his magic to fix everything. This is a decidedly curious message for a series that was meant to be centered on pulp heroines!

Marguerite Bennett's script also goes a bit too far in hanging the lampshade on the silliness of the whole affair, with Sonja praying to "the gods of this absurd island of incongruous mystery" at one point. What is worse, the Sonja and Jana we see in this issue seem to act differently from the characters we saw in the first issue, with Sonja playing matchmaker to her companions and Jana acting, at times, like a teenage bimbo.

The artwork doesn't aid in this impression, with Mirka Andolfo's style leaving everyone looking like teenagers. Still, the artwork is competently rendered and the action sequences are good. Yet I can't help but wonder how this series might have looked with a more traditional pulp artist handling it. Such speculation is pointless, however, and the artwork is good for what it is, though I may question how well it matches the setting.

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