Monday, December 13, 2010

Red Sonja: Game Stats

** Note: I cross-posted this to my own blog at The Other Side, which is more RPG related. **

I was thinking after yesterday's post on Red Sonja and what system to run her in. While certainly nearly any flavor of D&D would be fine, I also think there is another very good choice. Army of Darkness. The comics have a vibe about them that has always reminded me of the Evil Dead movies. Not so much the humor, but the darkness.

Red Sonja, the comic, is now published by Dynamite, which also gives us the Army of Darkness Comic and the Army of Darkness/Xena crossovers. Given I have down all of that for Army already, then it make even more sense.

Of course given the source material it also makes sense to stat Sonja up using OD&D.  My favorite OD&D like product is Spellcraft and Swordplay by Jason Vey and using his Hyborian Age Supplement.

Red Sonja of Hyrkania (Army of Darkness)
Very Experienced Hero

Life Points 76
Drama Points 20

Strength 6
Dexterity 5
Constitution 6
Intelligence 4
Perception 4
Willpower 5

Promised One (Choosen of Scáthach)
Acute Senses Vision 1
Attractiveness +3
Hard to Kill 6
Fast Reaction Time
Natural Toughness (+4 to Armor)
Nerves of Steel
Resistance (cold) (she grew up on the Steppes)
Situational Awareness

Adversary (lots)
Honorable (Minimal)
Love, Tragic (various significant others and offspring)
Mental Problems (Mild Cruelty)

Acrobatics 7
Art 0
Crime 3
Doctor 2
Driving/Riding 4
Getting Medieval 9
Influence 2
Knowledge 4
Kung Fu 5
Languages 4 (varies on which comic)
Notice 5
Occultism 2
Science 0
Sports 1
Wild Card

Maneuver Bonus Base Damage Notes
Sword 14 35 Slash/stab
Punch 14 12 Bash
Dodge 14 Defense action
Parry 14 Defense action

Red Sonja of Hyrkania (Spellcraft & Swordplay)

Warrior (Fighting Woman): 8th Level
"Every great fantasy swordsman, from Robert E. Howard's barbarian hero to Tolkien's great returned King are warriors." - Spellcraft & Swordplay, p. 11

Strength: 18
Dexterity: 16
Constitution: 17
Intelligence: 12
Wisdom: 11
Charisma: 18

Attacks: 7+5 (7 attacks per round, +5 to any one attack)
Hit Points: 56
Alignment: Neutral (Unaligned)
AC: 5
Sword: 1d6+3

According to Jason's rules the Hyrkanians are a horse culture. They also take a -2 to save vs any sort of mind-affecting magic, including illusions. (Save vs. Wisdom)

+2 to Con-based Saves

Red Sonja vs Red Sonja vs Red Sonya
The Red Sonja in the comics now is not the same as the Red Sonja of a few years ago.  In the current comics the woman calling herself Red Sonja is actually the reincarnation of the first Red Sonja.  The Wikipedia article gives a rough overview, but it also mentions another "Sonja". Red Sonya of Rogatino was not "the she devil with a sword" we all know and love, but rather a "gun-slinging warrior woman of Polish-Ukrainian origin" from the 16th Century.

What they had in common was coming from the same general area (Hyrkania/Ukraine), of course red hair and the temper to match.

Given the change in the comics one is tempted (and I often am) to say this is another reincarnation of the first Red Sonja (which of course is backwards since Sonya came before Sonja).  Works for me.

Given that, who is to say when the next time Red Sonja is reincarnated, and what system.

Sonja by StephaneRoux

This is one I found at Pixel Fantasies and then again on his Deviant Art Page.
I figure it must be telling me something to run into it twice.

Friday, December 10, 2010

J. Scott Campbell Sonja

J. Scott Campbell has been mentioned in this blog before, and with good reason. He does a heck of a job on Sonja.

You can also visit his Deviant Art page here,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cosplayer Wendy Potter.

Here is a nice photo of Cosplayer Wendy Potter in her Sonja gear.
She sets a fine example of what a RED SONJA cosplayer should look like.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lets take a look @ Arthur Adams !!!

Arthur Adams became a fan favorite when he penciled the critically-acclaimed Longshot limited series, written by Ann Nocenti and published in 1985 by Marvel Comics. Adams' highly distinctive and detailed artwork gained him considerable popularity and he found it easy to find further work in the field. However, due to the labor-intensive nature of his detailed art (Adams has mentioned in interviews that, especially for cover art, he sometimes would take days to get a piece just right), Adams found it difficult to meet the short deadlines often found in the comics industry. This has led to him to pursue work for shorter projects such as miniseries, specials, and annuals rather than pursuing work for ongoing comic book series. Exceptions to this include a 1989 two-issue run on X-Factor, and a 1990 three-issue run on Fantastic Four. He also had a ten-issue run on Tom Strong's Terrific Tales (2002–2004), which being an anthology, required only eight pages from him for each issue.
Adams' distinctive style has often been named as a considerable influence among a newer generation of comic book artists, such as J. Scott Campbell.[1] His meticulous attention to detail and unique (for the time period) style made him a highly sought after artist. Adams was also one of the founders of the short-lived Legend imprint for Dark Horse Comics. Adams has worked on many notable series, including various X-Men titles, Fantastic Four, The Authority, Tom Strong, Gen¹³, as well as numerous annuals. He is also known for Art Adams' Creature Features, a collection of previously published stories that paid tribute to various B-movie monsters, published by Dark Horse Comics. Some of the stories had been originally published in black and white, but they were colored for the collection. Along with writer Steve Moore, Adams is the co-creator of Jonni Future, a character in Tom Strong's Terrific Tales.
Most of Adams' work has been on properties owned by others, but he is also the author of the creator-owned series Monkeyman and O'Brien, also published by Dark Horse.
Adams is also a highly-regarded cover artist, and he has provided cover images for issues of Superman, Batman, Justice League of America and Vampirella, among other titles. In addition to his work on comics themselves, he has also produced commercial art, such as numerous illustrations for trading cards, posters, shirts, and various other comics-related merchandise. Outside the field of comics, he has also provided illustrations for various magazines, movies, games, worked in toy design, and even a series of X-Men-themed Campbell Soup cans.
Adams illustrated the covers for Marvel's Incredible Hercules #113 - 115 (January - May 2008), as well for three of its collected editions. He drew half of Hulk #7 - 9, sharing art duties on those anthology issues with artist Frank Cho. Adams currently illustrates Ultimate X, a mini-series written by Jeph Loeb that premiered in February 2010.[2] In 2011 Wildcard Ink / Gumby Comics will be releasing Art Adams Eisner winning Gumby Summer Special and Winter Special after 24 years of not seeing print. ~ ( I got this write up from WIKI ) in the mix there is an early inked and less polished SONJA rendering but as you can judge for's loaded with detail. Arthur has a work ethic and it shows.

I can't wait to see more from him...PERIOD! I believe it'll be worth the wait.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rose drops RED for CONAN - Latest Red Sonja film news.

After a long delay in the production for "Red Sonja", Rose McGowan has apparently left the project. The news was confirmed by the actress herself as she replied a tweet from her fan who seemed disappointed after finding out her departure.

"It's fine. It was Conan or that," she wrote on Monday, April 5 after her devotee claimed it is unfair that McGowan who has been attached to the movie since 2008 has to be replaced by Megan Fox. Moreoever, the "Charmed" star's statement hints that she had to choose between "Red Sonja" and "Conan", but she somehow landed her option to the latter.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sergio Cariello " Red Sonja "

Fellow Kubert school alumnist and respected pro in the biz Serge renders Red Sonja here with excellent skill. While his line quality resembles that of his mentor Joe Kubert his own definate style stands out. His figure work is his own.

The posture his figures take on is not like Kuberts. The line of action comes from right out of the center of the page almost 3 dimensionally. Here Sonja stalks some hapless bad guys just before she lowers her skilled blade upon them. I have seen hundreds of Sonja drawings and paintings and judge them all based on originality and this one of the best I've ever seen. I'm liking it ...liking it a lot!

The Shadow of the Vulture

"It was Red Sonya who had come to his aid, and her onslaught was no less terrible than that of a she-panther. Her strokes followed each other too quickly for the eye to follow; her blade was a blur of white fire, and men went down like ripe grain before the reaper."

If you have not read The Shadow of the Vulture by Robert E. Howard you should give it a try. It is available on Project Gutenberg Australia's site here. This is the story that brought Red Sonja to the world as Sonya of Rogantino. Rather than a fantasy setting, this takes place during the seige of Vienna by the Turks (1529). Despite the realistic setting, Sonya is very much the Sonja we know. I did two reviews, a while back, at Adventures in Nerdliness (part 1, part 2).

"And with a scornful flirt of her wide coattails, she swaggered off down the battlements, giving back promptly and profanely the rude sallies of the soldiers. Gottfried scowled after her, and a Lanzknecht slapped him jovially on the shoulder. 'Eh, she's a devil, that one! She drinks the strongest head under the table and outswears a Spaniard. She's no man's light o' love. Cut—slash—death to you, dog-soul! There's her way.'"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gen Con 2010 Cosplay

A Red Sonja from the most recent Gen Con.

No sword, but they may not have allowed that in the hall.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hero Worship: Red Sonja

Virtually every American child grows up reading comic books. Some never outgrow it. Even Hollywood is deeply into comic heroes. So it shouldn't surprise us to find some extremely good illustrators behind our popular art. Here are some of our top illustrators and artists celebrating that statuesque female she devil, Red Sonja.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Red Sonja by Antony Ward

As a follow-up to yesterday's post on Dominic Marco's Red Sonja, here is a 3D rendered version by Antony Ward.

Here is what Antony Ward has said about this version of Dominic Marco's art.
"For a change I decided to work to an existing concept, so I chose one by artist Dominic Marco which was not only cool, but also matched my own style."
Very cool indeed.

You can find the link to this here.  Antony Ward's website is here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Red Sonja by Dominic Marco

Dominic Marco is an artist whom I have had some familiarity with.  Here is his contribution to Red Sonja fans.

You can find this and other really cool works on his Deviant Art page.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Post #100!

So, we are at post #100! Thanks to all the contributors and readers. Remember, if you'd like to contribute to the blog, let me know and I will send you an invite. All you need do is register with Blogger.

To commemorate Post #100, we thought it would be good to get some favorite memories of the She-Devil, so here they are:

Mike DeStasio: Red Sonja: Queen of the Frozen Wastes

This series was probably my favorite out of all the Dynamite comics runs they've done so far....Sonja was down and out and in chains and she still came through conquering all..Only this time her adversary was not a MAN but a woman who was QUEEN to a host of subhuman neanderthal like ape dudes....They debased her and chained her and fed her to monsters that she KILLED and when all was said and done..she was given an offer should could not refuse and spat in the Bitch ape queens face!!!!

Yet she triumphed and lived to see another day. This series is my Red Sonja moment.

Darius Whiteplume: Red Sonja #5, Red Sonja #12

Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword #5 has always been one of my two my favorite covers. It has everything Red Sonja always was to me. It is a Frank Thorne cover. Sonja is in peril, but defiant. It has a cheesecake element to it. It is probably my favorite piece of work by Thorne.

My other favorite was Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword #12 by Frank Brunner. Again, it is full of energy, but with a more mystical feel than the Thorne cover above. It is less cheesecake. Sonja is lean and deadly looking. Her face in red, filling the sky, hints that the coming foes are only aware of her, and her rage. Yet the face on the figure is more serene, leading you to think that the rage drives her, but being kept in check is what makes her so very dangerous. This is where we can match Sonja to Conan. Conan uses his rage to shield him from pain, and to swing his sword with greater strength. Sonja is not necessarily as invulnerable as Conan, but the Cimmerian has never bested her. Her control what makes her as deadly.

From Reader Stephane Sabourin:

I'm from France and a regular reader of your great blog!
Fond of the read-headed She-Devil for years,I'm also an amateur illustrator(strongly inspired by her).and made this parody of Sonja's youth (along with a famous Cimmerian and his Shemite mate!!^^) [Facebook Link]

#99 Cosplay

#98 - Red by Devon Massey

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Things are getting confusing...

I looked at the posts today, and we have either lost some, or I miscounted. Anyway, we want to get post #100 scheduled, so if you want to add a favorite thing about the Flame-Hair, send it my way. I plan to post whatever I have as post #100 this Friday.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Some slight confusion on post #100.

We are coming up on post #100 here at the She-Devil blog. Very close. There are three drafts, well there were four. One was mine, and I deleted it, so this is post #99, but only published post #96.

That in mind, there has been some interest in making #100 special, and I agree. Sherman suggested a post by all contributors. Here is my proposition.

Send me your favorite Red Sonja moment, story... anything you really like about the character. Readers, join in as well. Email me your bit, or if you are a contributor and include images, make a draft post and let me know. I'll combine them. If you are not a contributor, and would like to be one, let me know. The more the merrier!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

RED SONJA (Richard Fleischer, 1985)

Something went seriously wrong with Richard Fleischer’s 1985 RED SONJA. And if one’s to believe the weight of reviews that have accumulated in these last 25 years, almost everything went disastrously wrong. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger (who played Kalidor, with top billing) considers it the worst movie in his career, and in due honesty, even a detractor of the acting abilities of the current Governor of California would feel hard-pressed to point a worst one out. And still, why should it be so? How could they miss so blatantly the characteristics that made Roy Thomas’s she-devil with a sword such a cult phenomenon among comic book readers?

Fleischer helmed RED SONJA only one year after directing CONAN THE DESTROYER (1984), in and by itself a very satisfactory pulp yarn. Although it was not an equal to Millius’s vastly superior CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1981), it was a clever movie, exploring and expanding the Conan mythos, and clearly demonstrating Fleischer’s ability to work in the Sword & Sorcery genre. Moreover, in Olivia D’Abo’s princess and Grace Jone’s warrior, Fleischer had two opposite and strong female characters that justified some expectations as to his own Red Sonja. So, what went wrong?

Many blamed the casting of Brigitte Nielsen as the titular character. However, and despite her considerable acting limitations, she was not a bad choice to play the hyrkanian red-head. If fault is to be placed, it should be with the characterization. Even dropping the chain-mail bikini, Nielsen should have been alllowed to wear her hair in the style she had in COBRA (1986) and to keep the steely countenance of her Ludmilla character in ROCKY IV (1985). Besides what, the cuirasse she dons in RED SONJA isn’t in the least flattering to her ample physical charms, and one can only but think that it was the producers’ intention to de-emphasize her cleavage. The Red Sonja we see on-screen is a totally de-sexualized (or, more correctly, de-eroticized) character, and I believe that is the main trouble with the film.

CONAN THE DESTROYER was such an enjoyable movie because in it Fleischer didn’t have to worry with the (always problematic) origin story. Milius had done (brilliantly) away with it, and so the story could advance along a more leisurely and self-contained pace. Not so with RED SONJA. Burdened with the origin myth of the red-haired warrior – and such a problematic one, at that – the story on-screen had to go along with the studio’s felt need of closure. It is a common problem with origin stories in film that the main plot of the feature must deal with the problems of said origin and resolve them with a satisfactory sense of roundness. But how to do it when the origin story involves such an un-PC element as rape and you do not want to treat it as a rape-revenge flick since it is aimed at a PG-13 rating?

It’s the tough balancing act between the seriousness of Sonja’s predicament and the light tone one expects from a pulpy adventure for kids that dooms the film to an inglorious fate. But is it that not the same problem that limits a more adult-oriented scope in any mainstream comic book? Not that the origin story of Sonja in the comics is devoid of problematic issues. Consider this: raped as a teenager, and empowered by a goddess with fighting abilities and swordsmanship, and undefeatable for as long as she abstains from sex (unless she is beaten in a fair fight), Sonja is a walking add for further rapes. (In the movie, Kalidor tiptoes around this question by saying “So, the only man that can have you, is one who's trying to kill you. That's logic.”, but there’s no denying what that amounts to.) In the comic books, the origin story was only told in 1975 by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin (“The Day of the Sword” in Kull and the Barbarians #3), when Sonja was already an established character (having appeared for the first time in “The Shadow of the Vulture” in Conan the Barbarian #23 in 1972), and even then she is deprived of her vengeance over her rapist.

By placing the origin story in the core of the plot, Sonja’s rape becomes not her background, but her defining trait. It is therefore imperative that she resolves this issue in order to carry on with her life. Sonja is a woman bent on revenge. When she accidentally discovers that it was Queen Gedren (a magnificent Sandahl Bergman), the sadist lesbian tyrant that ordered Sonja’s gang-rape, who’ve laid waste to the kingdom of Hablock, her face lightens up with a newfound-meaning for life. In “The Day of the Sword”, Sonja unwillingly saves the life of his rapist five years after the event. Insane from torture, her former assailant cannot recognize her and so her vengeance upon him is senseless. Sonja laughs. Because she has matured and she has overcome her plight – Sonja is already Red Sonja, she has a life-history of prevailing against unfavourable odds. Not so with Fleischer’s Sonja. The movie’s woman-warrior is an obsessed man-hating simpleton, whose “sexuality is displaced in exhausting bouts of swordplay”, as Nigel Floyd once accurately put it in the Monthly Film Bulletin.

Moreover, one can not but think that the filmmakers didn’t had much sympathy for the character, for they kept playing the movie against her as if anxious to pigeon-hole Sonja in a more acceptable feminine role. Sonja seeks revenge against Gedren, but since Gedren purports to destroy the whole world, her personal quest plays second fiddle to the main focus of the film. Feminist readings over the years have demonized the movie for its supposed treatment of homosexuality – not only is Gedren a lesbian, but it is because Sonja resists her advances that she orders the red-headed gang-raped by her troops (so that Sonja is effectively raped by a woman, not by men – who were only following orders). More subtle and perhaps perfidious, is the way the film keeps trying to fit Sonja in a world of domesticity defined by sex-roles. In at least two instances in the film Sonja must walk under huge phalluses (even if only implied): the entrance to the training ground where she learns how to fight with an incongruous and anachronistic Chinese master (Tad Horino) is located under the legs of a huge stone statue holding two clearly phallic swords, so that Sonja has to step (or ride) under its penis to enter or leave the precinct, as she does when Kalidor comes looking for her with news of her sister’s imminent dead. And her sister, who sets Sonja on her quest, is laying under the legs of a huge stone auroch, so that Sonja must crawl under its (inferred) penis to receive her mission in life. The message is clear: it is under the tutelage of the phallus that she is trained and that she gets her purpose (as it was under the phalluses that raped her that Red Sonja was born – significantly, Gedren is also seen holding a phallic symbol when she destroys the order of the priestesses and takes hold of the Talisman).

The phallus, however, is not only a symbol of power, but of fertility as well, and Sonja is made to play the role of mother to young Prince Tarn (Ernie Reyes, Jr.), on one occasion even suggesting to put him over one “knee and beat some manners into him”. That Red Sonja, Kalidor and Tarn are treated as a nuclear family is obvious from the scenes where Tarn imitates the fighting movements of both his surrogate parents. But even the mother role is awkward for Sonja, for when she tries to teach Tarn to use a sword, Fleischer chooses to make it look as if the warrior is teaching him how to masturbate, once more underscoring how unacceptable a woman-warrior is for maternity and how sexual Red Sonja’s role is, despite her manly look. And it’s no coincidence that she’s made to look the most sexy and sensual when lying down after the rape or when temporarily unconscious and semi-naked:

Brigitte Nielsen has a great physical presence on-screen, and carries well her fighting scenes. In another movie, with another script and a more mature bend, she would have made a great Sonja, capable of both fierceness and femininity, tough and sensual, intimidating and alluring. As it is, she’s lost in the quagmire of a would-be third Conan picture. Just a promise to be fulfilled, not much more than a operatic caricature of a great comic-book character and the illustration of the troubles of the comics medium: a world aimed at kids, populated by females aimed at grown men. Not a fair fight at all.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I've been visiting comic art fans a lot and picking out drawings of Sonja and so on for a few months now.  I came across this one I would like to share with you...Don't know who the artist is but it's beautifully crafted.  Looks to be colored with pastels...not an easy medium to work with.  This artist kicked ass.  Plus I love the Peter Griffin side boob shot and there is nothing I like more than some cheesie cake to brighten up my day.
    The hair is masterfully done and I love the sillhouettes of the warriors in the background...just an outline and more pastels.  Clever , beautiful...deadly.

Red Sonja by Andy Smith....

Andy was one of my Kubert school alumns - he was not in my class but he went there when I did.  I saw him everyday and I admired his work.  I liked the way he inked back then.  Very clean deft line delineation.
He's a pretty big name in comics these days.  He's done RED SONJA / CLAW and currently you can see his work in the WWE comic books.  He's an all around everyman artist who can do it all...draw,ink.letter,color,write..he's a real pro and I am proud to have studied art with him.
He has a few books out that he wrote...instructional how to...make comics and such.
He is also a radio personality in the Florida area.  Recently because of his radio connections he filmed a tv pilot for a sitcom on a cable network...he played a director.  Fitting. :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

As real as Red gets....

Unless one were posting an actual photo of a woman dressed like this would be the only way for somebody to have a visual of what RED SONJA would look like in reality if she were walking right by you out in the real REAL world.  Looking at this painting I notice the hard athletic ( BUT SEXY ) body and can feel the strength and power a woman like this would actually have.  Trying to imagine who would best play the role of RED in a movie were it made 30 or so years ago.  This particular painting I see a little Raquel Welch and a little Adrienne Barbeau.  But even the  vivacious Raquel and the voluptuous Adrienne never had physique's like this.   But I am highly impressed by the photo realistic qualities of this artists skills.  Not too realistic so as not to forget it's a painting.

Another Sonja , Manga style

A couple of months ago I posted a sweet manga style Red Sonja that was just too cute not to admire and fall in love with....Recently I found this OTHER manga style Sonja drawing on Comicartfans and had to share.
    The shape of the hips the big anime style eyes the curvilicious nature of the busom....yeah, I had to share.