I love these classic Conan-age stories from Marvel. The gruesome sword-play mixed with supernatural enemies has always been exciting to me. Red Sonja 14 is no exception.
The story is called An Evening On The Border. Red Sonja is going through a town, slightly lost, when a man approaches and asks for an escort. She is convinced to accompany him on a boat into a dark cavern. It turns out that it was a trick. Her soul was offered to take the place of the man, who was in fact an apparition of his true self. He gives her the diamonds he bribed her with, but by then it is too late.
Red Sonja is carried off and thrown into a giant clam by creatures that appear half human and half fish. Refusing to give up, Sonja uses the diamonds to stab the inside of the clam until it opens. She manages to escape and row herself back to safety. Once returns, she finds the man who tricked her into appearing on the boat. Naturally, she stabs him to death.
While escaping, something happens that is almost comical. Sonja throws the bag of diamonds at a creature’s face while escaping. The creatures cries in pain. Was it the weight of the diamonds, or the their sharpness, perhaps that made them an effective weapon? It is a confusing scene to interpret.
What is interesting about Red Sonja 14 is that it had Sal Buscema as a guest penciler. For those who do not know, he is the younger brother of legendary Marvel Comics artist John Buscema. Although apparently not as good as his older brother, Sal Buscema holds his own nonetheless. The only thing that bothers me about his artwork his Red Sonja’s face in this issue. The spacing between the different areas of her face look off, as if they are out of proportion.
If you are a fan of Red Sonja, Dynamite Comics has a ton available on everyone’s favorite lethal heroine. Leave your comments and thoughts.