Monday, January 21, 2008

1970's Flashback: Red Sonja

Red Sonja the She-Devil with a Sword, although loosely based on Robert E. Howard's character Red Sonya of Rogatino, was created for Marvel Comics by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith. Sonja first appeared in Conan the Barbarian #23 (Feb. 1973).

Red Sonja has become the female barbarian archetype; both fierce and stunningly beautiful, and who typically wears armor resembling a bikini. Her origin story, "The Day of the Sword", first appeared in Kull and the Barbarians #3 also written by Thomas, with Doug Moench and Howard Chaykin illustrating.

Red Sonja lived with her family in the Hyrkanian steppes (equivalent to modern Ukraine/Russia). When she had just turned 17 years old, a group of mercenaries murdered her family, burned down their home and she was brutally raped by the leader, who left her in shame. Answering her cry for revenge, the red goddess Scathach appeared to her, and granted Sonja incredible skill with swords and other weapons on the condition that she would never have sex with any man unless he first defeated her in fair combat.

Trivia: Elfquest creator Wendy Pini often appeared as Red Sonja at conventions during the 1970's in full chainmail bikini, as part of artist Frank Thorne's traveling wizard show. Wendy was one seriously hot chick as the sword-weilding Sonja.


Eddie said...

I have mixed feelings about the Confederate Battle flag. I am of white southern heritage who had several ancestors fight for CSA - I feel the flag has historical significance.

However, when the KKK and other racists group got their hands on it, they turned it into a symbol of hate and racism.

I feel it would be something like Germany wanting to continue to fly the Swastika.

Chuck Wells said...

Weird that this comment ended up in Sonja's Flashback and not on the Battle Flag post, but while I agree with you, et [being of Southern stock myself], I think that removing the flag totally from sight - as certain groups demand - is equally demeaning to the historical record and its significance.

Eddie said...

I think I blundered, as I often do, and put the comment under the wrong post.

We agree. The Confederate Flag should not be hidden - it was part of history and I'm sure some of my male ancestors were proud to fight under it.