Red Sonja / Tarzan #4 – Review

Written by: Gail Simone
Illustrated by: Walter Geovani
Colored by: Adriano Augusto
Lettered by: Simon Bowland

In issue 4 of this crossover series we get to see the roles between Red Sonja and Tarzan reversed, as Sonja is in her element in her own realm and Tarzan unsure of his surroundings. Whilst Sonja makes sure Tarzan dresses a bit more appropriate (read: loin cloth centric), the newly established duo remains looking for the villain Eson Duul.

And Eson Duul truly is a villain. Every panel he inhabits he does something unforgivable; he beats up women, hunts down animals, tries to murder children, shoplifts historic powerful artifacts and steals a woman’s vitality. Eson Duul is portrayed as the ultimate baddie. It is mildly surprising then, to see Sonja and Tarzan pick a seemingly needles fight with locals, just for ‘a bit of fun’. And sure, the locals in Cimmeria are a fighty bunch and seem ready for a brawl just as much as Sonja, but it does kind of blur the lines between good and evil in this comic which seems to rely heavily on those tropes.

The story in this crossover seems to move pretty fast. In the previous issue an emotional moment saw Tarzan initiate Sonja as part of his family. In this issue, it seems entirely established fact that Sonja and Tarzan are family now. I was expecting this to be established over slightly more issues, but I guess there isn’t much time to linger on these things when there’s a villain that needs conquering.

My main enjoyment in this issue of the comic comes from the ink and colouring team. There is some wonderful old school pop art work going on and the scene in which Tarzan changes his clothes strikes a great balance between fun and sultry.

I am waiting for the penny to drop with this crossover. I am enjoying Sonja, but I am not sure if her character and Tarzan ‘click’ necessarily, the chemistry seems overly reliant on external narrators telling the reader that there is a deep connection, rather than showing us this connection. I hope following issues find some time to slow down and explore this further.

5/10

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