Gail Simone (Secret Six, Wonder Woman) and Jim Zub (Skullkickers, Makeshift Miracles) spin a simple tale that goes where a typical story normally wouldn’t go but exactly where you want it to go when it’s Conan Red Sonja. It’s not an origin story, but a meet-cute (as it were) between these two characters long before they are to become the legends they will be. They’re really kind of jerks with a swaying sense of allegiance. If you’ve ever seen Zatoichi vs. Yojimbo (Japanese film starring the individual films’ titles characters), you hope that these anti-hero antics will continue until they match that level of brilliance.
Simone and Zub instill a playfulness in each character and in their interplay, which is really what makes this book worth reading – the charm. Really, really charming. Even when they’re unexpectedly killing, you can’t help but smile at how much fun they seem to be having, creating a little chaos. Dan Panosian’s (Thor, Wolverine) art captures this dynamic really nicely. Consider me a fan!
This first issue in itself is a contained story with hints of a much bigger story to be developed in the future. Where the book falls a little short is that those few elements didn’t really intrigue me, mostly because I really didn’t understand what was at stake. Knowing Simone, she’ll make it interesting as the story goes along. And, no doubt Red Sonja and Conan will cross paths again, which is the first reason why anyone should want to read this comic.