All I've seen spends a great deal of time making a point that the writers are all women. Nancy Collins knows here Vampirella, but I have no idea what experience the others have with their respective characters. Simone, if she's going to bring the same attitude to Sonja and she's had in her series, not to mention Dejah Thoris and Vampirella, it's unlikely this series be in any way enjoyable for me. Making the advertising all about 'The Women Writers!' is probably a Hail Mary play for a female audience that likely wouldn't look at these books. I am happy that it is the end of Simone's work on Red Sonja, at least.
To be honest, thats all Im seeing from the reveiws, while Im happy Sonja is being recognised finally, it seems the only reason shes getting any praise what so ever, is because we finally have a female writer who was brave enough to retcon the characters entire backstroy becasue it was a little uncomfortable. Where was the praise for Eric Trautmans steller run on Soja (before he was booted off to make way for vampire Sonja)? Where is the praise for Peter V Bretts Sonja Blue and Unchained? Now I've said before, I liked Simones work on Batgirl, and heard good things about Birds of Prey, I just dont think shes a good match for Sonja.
I have noticed that many of those singing the praises of the current run often acknowledge in their reviews that this is their first time reading Sonja. They presume Simone has fixed the character with such things as removing the rape back story, though Brian Reed had done that long before in his run, or letting Sonja have a sex life, though writers such as Palmioti and Gray in their 'One More Day' had Sonja returning to save a king who as a young prince had been a lover of hers. They wrote with more subtlety than Simone's 'Sonja wants Snu-Snu!' version so I guess it skipped their attention. Simone has done little unique with the character, and removed everything that made her unique. Now, she is simply a swaggering, staggering drunkard with anger issues who needs to be bailed out by guest characters at every turn since she's being perpetually beaten and bamboozled by the villains.
She's not Red Sonja any more, she's Horny Sandra, different character altogether.
Bleeding Cool has an early review which doesn't really express much more than we could have already guessed. http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/03/20/an-early-review-of-swords-of-sorrow-1/The first issue is set up for some magical swords to be distributed to women across the worlds to fight in a cosmic war. So far so good, but Simone can't resist bringing up 'The Women!' From the article:*The first issue starts off with a bit of an ‘on-the-nose’ poke at the industry as two little kids are playing in the jungle. The little girl is telling the story of what’s going on with their toys when the little boy says “A girl can’t tell the tribe what to do.” He then boasts that no girl commands him… only to be rescue by Jungle Girl a few seconds later.*Simone has a habit of beating a drum of' Women can be badass' It's a refrain that makes me feel the speaker needs me to believe it because they don't really believe it themselves. That they need the validation of others to make them comfortable in their belief.The article hasn't swayed me one way or the other, but being skeptical that Simone will produce something that will entertain me this article doesn't give me hope of having that skepticism severely tested.
Oh, here's another. The villain is a misogynistic asshole out against all women. Gee, that doesn't tickle the skepticism meter. http://www.previewsworld.com/Home/1/1/71/977?articleID=161434PREVIEWSworld: Do you have any insights you can share into what is bringing these characters together?Gail Simone: There’s a very, very famous character, a character of legend (you will know his name) of massive power who is embittered about humanity, but specifically all females. His heart was broken and he blames women. ALL women.And his anger becomes everyone’s nightmare. It’s a huge scale: it spans eras, planets, dimensions, the whole thing.
I would add that this work depends on Simone coordinating these other writers and artists around her central narrative. I read her 'Legends of Red Sonja' and that wasn't terribly impressive. The artists were a jarring mismatch with one another at times and the takes varied widely in tone so they didn't really jibe with one another or with the main thread of the bounty hunters following Sonja. It was a very mixed bag of a read. It doesn't give me a great deal of confidence in this having so many disparate characters and so many writers under Simone's direction. She can often be very sketchy on her plots with the reader needing to accept something happening simply because its the next panel or page without any good reason, Red Sonja 0, for instance, there's no reason for anyone to believe the lug really married Sonja, and when she does show up no one seems to believe her when she denies it even though they all know her reputation. In Legends, Sonja has no problem running around huge forbidding temples, but in the second arc of the main book (#11) she's intimidated by the big scary temple. I don't have faith in this series under her guidance.