Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Red Sonja

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Movie  Red Sonja
Red Sonja httpswwwdynamitecomimagesRS1973CovBRareBene
Publisher  Marvel Comics Dynamite Entertainment
Created by  Robert E. Howard (name) Roy Thomas (concept) Barry Windsor-Smith (art)
Abilities  A sword-master in peak human physical condition, martial arts expert, as well as knowledge and experience of fighting the supernatural.
Played by  Rose McGowan, Brigitte Nielsen
First appearance  Conan the Barbarian #23, (February 1973)
Creators  Robert E. Howard, Barry Windsor-Smith, Roy Thomas
Similar  Conan the Barbarian, Vampirella, Dejah Thoris, Emma Frost, Felicia Hardy

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Red Sonja is a fictional character, a sword-and-sorcery comic-book heroine created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor Smith for Marvel Comics in 1973, partially based on Robert E. Howard's own creation 'Red Sonya of Rogatino' , a female swashbuckler from his 1934 short story "The Shadow of the Vulture" and to a certain degree also based on Howard's character Dark Agnes de Chastillon.


Red Sonja Red Sonja 1985 IMDb

Red Sonja debuted in Conan the Barbarian #23 (cover-dated Feb. 1973). Roy Thomas created a new origin story and transposed the timeline from the 16th century of Howard's original Red Sonya, to the Hyborian Age, another Howard creation, in order to have the comic-book Red Sonja interact with Conan the Barbarian. In 1975 Marvel Comics published the first issue of Red Sonja after the character made a short solo appearance in Marvel Feature that same year.

Red Sonja Make way for Red Sonja the She Devil with a Sword Sideshow

At the 2013 Emerald City Comic Con, Dynamite, which began publishing Red Sonja comics in 2005, announced that Gail Simone would be writing a new ongoing Red Sonja series. Simone noted in further interviews that her version is slightly "rebooted," showing the character's beginnings. Issue #1 of Simone's run was released in July 2013, and reviews were positive. The series ran through 18 issues. In 2017, a new Red Sonja comic series began, written by Amy Chu.

Red Sonja Red Sonja Character Comic Vine

She was portrayed by Brigitte Nielsen in the 1985 film Red Sonja. In 2011, Sonja was ranked first in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.

Red Sonja Red Sonja Wikipedia

Red sonja tribute the enemy warrior


Red Sonja's origin story, "The Day of the Sword", first appeared in Kull and the Barbarians #3 (September 1975) by Roy Thomas, Doug Moench, and Howard Chaykin. The same story was later redrawn by Dick Giordano and Terry Austin for The Savage Sword of Conan, issue 78 (July 1982).

Red Sonja Red Sonja Character Comic Vine

In this story, Red Sonja lives with her family in a humble house in the Western Hyrkanian steppes (this seems to be in modern Ukraine/Russia though historical Hyrcania is on the borders of modern Iran/Turkmenistan). When she is just 17, a group of mercenaries kills her family and burns down their house. Sonja attempts to defend herself, but can't lift her brother's sword. She is brutally raped by the leader of the group. Answering her cry for revenge, the red goddess Scáthach appears to her, and gives her incredible fighting skills, on the condition that she never lie with a man unless he defeats her in fair combat.

Red Sonja redsonja DeviantArt

In the Dynamite comic book series by Michael Avon Oeming, Sonja's origins are portrayed in "flashbacks" within each issue beginning with issue #8. The goddess makes her first appearance in this series in issue #12, which also marks the return of the deadly sorcerer Kulan Gath.

Red Sonja Dynamite The Official Site Great Divide Kiss Army of Darkness

In the Dynamite series by Gail Simone, Sonja's origins are again told in flashbacks. Sonja is a young teenager in a Hyrkanian village which is attacked by bandits. After her family is killed, Sonja lures the bandits into the forest and kills them one by one. No goddess appears in this version, and Sonja makes no vow of chastity. While she is threatened by the bandits, she is neither raped nor seriously injured. Another set of flashbacks shows Sonja as an adult, and indicates that she learned many of her fighting skills from a fellow prisoner when she was captured and forced to fight as a gladiator.

Revamped Sonja (2010–2012)

The original Sonja is killed off in issue #34 of the first Dynamite series. Instead, a new character of the same name, described as a reincarnation of Red Sonja, takes her place from issue #35 onward.

In her new life, Sonja is described as a distant relative of the original Red Sonja, taking her name as a good omen, since Sonja had come to be known as the most beautiful and fearless woman in Hyrkania. A noblewoman, this incarnation lives a fairly sheltered existence, along with her sister Verona and her little niece, longing for a child of her own and waiting for the return of her distant husband, Lord Daniel.

Eventually she is reunited with her husband, but then a pirate crew (unbeknownst to them called upon by Verona's husband, Lord Lucan, in a bid for more power) slays him and leaves Sonja on the brink of death. Sonja is then nursed to health by Osin, in Sonja's previous life a bard companion and now a gruff swordsman, who accepted the curse of Claw the Unconquered for himself in exchange for the ability to locate and train the new incarnation of Red Sonja.

Osin begins her training. He and Sonja find that, even though she has occasional flashes of her former reflexes, she no longer has access to the full might of the skills bestowed by Scathach (now an almost forgotten goddess with waning powers) in her previous life. Despite this, Sonja is able to learn faster than Osin expects. She decides to seek revenge covertly, joining Lucan's pirate crew to be closer to Daniel's assassins.

Red Sonja vs. Red Sonya

Red Sonja was based on Red Sonya of Rogatino, a character from Robert E. Howard's short story "The Shadow of the Vulture" (The Magic Carpet, January 1934). Red Sonya was a sword-and-pistol-wielding supporting character of the late Renaissance. Roy Thomas rewrote "The Shadow of the Vulture" as a Conan story for Marvel Comics' Conan the Barbarian #23 (1973). Thomas admits that the character he used was a mash-up of two of Howard's characters: Red Sonja and Dark Agnes de Chastillon, a sword woman in 16th-century France.

Bikini armor

Most artists depict Red Sonja wearing a very brief bikini-like costume of scale armor, usually with boots and gauntlets. 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 long-sleeved mail shirt and short pants of red silk, a style that did not last long.

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 "bikini armor", which resembled other fantasy costumes that other Maroto heroines sported in the 1970s. This illustration had been printed for the first time in Jim Steranko's magazine Comixscene #5 in black and white. It was reprinted in Savage Sword of Conan #1, and in Marvel Treasury Edition #15 colored but poorly reproduced, and finally restored and colored by José Villarrubia as an alternative cover for the Dynamite Entertainment edition of Red Sonja #2. Maroto drew her in this costume for a double page spread illustration in Savage Tales #3 and then 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.


Sonja has been featured in several novels by David C. Smith and Richard L. Tierney with covers by Boris Vallejo:

  • #1 The Ring of Ikribu (Ace 1981) (Adapted to comics by Roy Thomas and Esteban Maroto in The Savage Sword of Conan issues 230–3). Smith has written an unproduced screenplay based on this novel.
  • #2 Demon Night (Ace 1982)
  • #3 When Hell Laughs (Ace 1982)
  • #4 Endithor's Daughter (Ace 1982)
  • #5 Against the Prince of Hell (Ace 1983)
  • #6 Star of Doom (Ace 1983)
  • Television

    Angelica Bridges portrayed the character in the "Red Sonja" episode of the 1997–1998 TV series Conan. In 1999, there was a planned TV series with Sable starring as Red Sonja.

    In 2016, Bryan Singer is developing a Red Sonja TV series.


    The character was played by Brigitte Nielsen in the 1985 film Red Sonja, which also starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as High Lord Kalidor (originally intended to be Conan). The film was directed by Richard Fleischer.

    Actress Rose McGowan was originally intended to portray Sonja in 2010's Red Sonja film, but these plans were squelched by injuries that permanently damaged the mobility and strength of her right arm. In a February 2011 interview, film producer Avi Lerner stated that Simon West was hired to direct the film and also mentioned Amber Heard as the frontrunner to star in the lead role. On February 26, 2015, Christopher Cosmos was hired to write the film's script. Filmmaker Mike Le Han has made a video for is pitch of him directing Red Sonja.

    Misty Lee provided the character's voice in the 2016 animated film Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues.


  • 1973 Academy of Comic Book Arts Awards: Best Individual Story (Dramatic). The Song of Red Sonja. Written by Roy Thomas and pencilled, inked and colored by Barry Smith. The story first appeared in Conan the Barbarian issue 24 (March 1972), where two panels were censored by John Romita, Sr. The uncensored story was reprinted in Marvel Treasury Edition, Volume 1, No. 15, 1977, where it was recolored by Glynis Wein and the artwork was slightly cropped to fit the page format.
  • Red Sonja publisher Dynamite Entertainment was awarded the title of "Best New Publisher" by Diamond Comics Distributors in 2005.
  • On June 6, 2006, comic news site Newsarama reported that Red Sonja, LLC (which holds rights to the Roy Thomas version of the character) filed a lawsuit on four counts against Paradox Entertainment (which claims rights to Red Sonya as part of the Howard library, though no renewal record for The Shadow of the Vulture exists) in US Federal Court in April 2006. The four counts are claims of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition. The lawsuit was settled in January 2008, on the second day of the hearing, for a sum of $1 each. Red Sonja LLC paid $1 to Paradox for the rights to Howard's Red Sonya and permission for the Red Sonja stories to continue being set in Conan's Hyborian Age. Paradox simultaneously paid $1 to Red Sonja LLC for the exclusive print-publication rights for The Shadow of the Vulture now that one of the characters belongs to Red Sonja LLC.


    Red Sonja Wikipedia