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Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues

Score: 80%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Shout! Factory
Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 74 Mins.
Genre: Animated/Action/Fantasy
Audio: English Stereo 2.0


  • Interview with Gail Simone and Members of the Cast and Crew

Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues is an animated graphic novel in the same style as the Marvel Knights Animated films that have been released recently. This particular movie adapts Gail Simone's interpretation of the female barbarian as she delves into her past in order to stop a new threat.

Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword (Misty Lee, Ultimate Spider-Man), has earned a reputation over the years as a brutal killer that no one wants to confront. When two young archers approach her and tell her that their kingdom is in danger, Red Sonja only agrees to help because she owes a great debt to the king of that land.

Several years ago, King Dimath invaded the city where Sonja was being held as a slave. Sonja spent an unknown amount of time fighting in pits for the amusement of others, and each day she walked away alive. By the time Dimath conquers the city, only Sonja and one other barbarian are alive, but it is Dimath's good intentions when freeing the two women that earns him Sonja's debt.

Now, she learns that Dimath's kingdom is under siege by the Zamorians and some strange and powerful commander known as Dark Annisia. Dimath asks that Red Sonja train his people so that they can survive the fights ahead. While most are willing to learn from Sonja, it seems that the creatures that make up the Zamorian forces aren't human. When the king himself falls and Sonja faces Dark Annisia head-to-head, the battle doesn't turn out all that well for Dimath's people.

Before Sonja can get her vengeance, she will find herself exiled, and worse yet, coming down with a strange plague. During the fever dreams, we will learn of Red Sonja's childhood and how she learned to hunt, what happened to her family, and how she ended up in the fighting pits where Dimath would eventually find her.

There is only one special feature on this disc, and it is interviews with Simone, Lee, and producer Brian Ward. In this featurette, they talk about Simone's work on the comics, Walter Geovanni's artwork and that his ability to capture motion made this movie's production easier, as well as Lee's involvement in voicing Sonja and even about Shout Factory's desire to seek out other motion comic films after their recent run of Marvel Knights Animation releases.

Overall, Queen of Plagues does a great job of rebooting this iconic character and providing both action and backstory in a way to keep the viewer interested in everything that is happening. As is always the case with motion comics, the movie's quality is based heavily on the original artwork, and in this case, Geovanni's illustrations translate wonderfully to this medium. Of course, if the general look and feel of animated comics doesn't appeal to you, Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues won't change your opinion, but this does feel like one of the better examples of how this film style turn out.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated