In the Swords of Sorrow series, Gail Simone is teaming up a lot of the ladies from classic pulp literature. She’s joked that it’s the ‘women who don’t wear much’ series, which she hadn’t realized until she started seeing concept art. In addition to the main series, there are several spin off series, with a closer look at the various team-ups going on. Red Sonja and Jungle Girl make an entertaining pairing, and certainly illustrate Gail’s point about their wardrobe, or lack thereof.
Another of the portals that are throwing our heroines all over creation opens, taking Red Sonja from Dejah Thoris’ Mars to a new jungle locale. There’s the obligatory misunderstanding as Jungle Girl attacks Red, believing her to be behind some of the recent problems in her home jungle. The two eventually make their peace, and bond. Red even gives Jungle Girl some pointers on banter, which is entertaining.
Jana (Jungle Girl) shows Red some of the strange phenomenon, like things freezing solid in her tropical jungle as they explore. After some fighting and more banter, they end up finding the villain- Hel herself. That should be an interesting fight for two women with no powers.
Plot: It’s a fairly simple story, with the scenes you’d expect in a classic hero team up. They meet, they fight, they decide they’re on the same side, they admire some good points from each other, and they find the real bad guy. Not to say that it’s a bad story, it’s not. I’ll give this a 3.5 out of 5 for plot.
Art: The art is gorgeous. If you’re a fan of barely dressed barbarian woman, this is the book for you. Aside from the ladies, the jungle and its various inhabitants are also well rendered. I’ll give the art a 4 out of 5.
Positives: As all the Swords of Sorrow books are doing, this is two classic heroines meeting for the first time. It’s entertaining seeing them interact, especially Red’s cynicism and Jana’s innocence. The art, especially the cover, is stunning.
Negatives: It’s formulaic, and almost required, but I could happily never read another “mistaken heroes fight each other” scene. This one isn’t bad, but still, enough already.
This was a fun story. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next, and how the women overcome their vastly more powerful foe.
Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja & Jungle Girl 1
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Mirka Andolfo
Colorist: Mirka Andolfo
Letterer: Erica Schultz
Cover: Jay Anacleto and Ivan Nunes