About

The Nemedian Chronicles is a blog about Red Sonja, She-Devil With a Sword.

Contact: bardofnemedia@yahoo.com

HISTORY
Red Sonja, “warrior woman out of majestic Hyrkania,” is a fantasy sword and sorcery heroine. She was based on the character Red Sonya of Rogatino in Robert E. Howard’s short story “The Shadow of the Vulture” (The Magic Carpet Magazine, January 1934), which was rewritten as a Conan story for the Marvel comic.

The character now appears monthly in her own series, as well as a series of mini-series and one-shots, all published by Dynamite Entertainment. The main Red Sonja series features a wide array of cover artists as well as the regular creative team of writer Michael Avon Oeming and artist Mel Rubi.

The She-Devil with a Sword has become the archetypical example of the fantasy figure of a fierce and stunningly beautiful female barbarian who typically wears sexy, but impractically skimpy armor.

ORIGIN
The origin of Red Sonja, “The Day of the Sword”, first appeared in Kull and the Barbarians issue 3 by Roy Thomas, Doug Moench and Howard Chaykin, and was later redrawn by Dick Giordano and Terry Austin for The Savage Sword of Conan, issue 78.

Red Sonja lived with her family in a humble home in the Western Hyrkanian steppes. When she had just turned 17 years old, a group of cruel mercenaries killed her father Ivor, her mother and two younger brothers and burned their house and all their possessions. She survived but at the cost of her own virginity after she was brutally raped by the leader of the group, leaving her in shame. Answering her cry for revenge, the red goddess Scathach appeared to her, and instilled in her incredible skill in the handling of swords and other weapons on the condition that she would never lay with a man unless he defeated her in fair combat.

In the current Dynamite comic book series, Sonja’s origins are portrayed in “flashbacks” within each issue beginning with issue #8. The goddess makes her first appearance in the new series in issue #12, which also marks the return of the deadly sorcerer Kulan Gath.

BIKINI
Most artists depict Red Sonja wearing a very brief bikini-like costume of scale mail. As originally drawn by Barry Smith for “The Shadow of the Vulture” and “The Song of Red Sonja” in Conan the Barbarian issues 23 and 24 (1973), she did not have as full a figure and dressed a little more conservatively, in a chainmail long-sleeved shirt and red cloth (maybe leather) shorts.

As told by Roy Thomas in the introduction of Red Sonja Adventures Volume 1 (Dynamite Entertainment) Spanish artist Esteban Maroto submitted an uncommissioned illustration to him when he was editing the magazine Savage Sword of Conan where he redesigned the character and for the first time showed her wearing what would become her famous costume, the silver “metal bikini”, which resembled other fantasy costumes that other Maroto heroines sported in the 1970’s. This illustration was printed for the first time in black and white in Savage Sword of Conan #1, was later reprinted in Marvel Treasury Edition #15 colored but poorly reproduced, and finally restored and colored by José Villarrubia as an alternate cover for the Dynamite Entertainment edition of Red Sonja #2. Maroto drew her in this costume for her first solo adventure in Savage Sword of Conan #1, and John Buscema drew her in this costume in the same magazine. Buscema drew her again in this costume in issues 43, 44 and 48 of Conan the Barbarian (1974) and Dick Giordano in the first issue of Marvel Feature (1975) before Frank Thorne took over from issue 2 (1976). The “bikini” proved popular, becoming well known through the paintings of Boris Vallejo and others.

Source: Wikipedia.com

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