“All quests must come to a close,” including the tale Jim Zub and Gail Simone have been spinning. Conan Red Sonja #4 comes to a fittingly large-scale close. At the end of the last issue, Conan and Red Sonja were forced to fight one another in order to save the winner’s land from bloodroot. Now, whatever happens, the root still remains.
Simone and Zub pull out all the stops here, tying together the threads of the ongoing tale and bringing in a touch of Lovecraft for the grand finale. The wizard has laid his plans well and the she-devil and the barbarian warrior have to use both their wits and their fighting prowess if they are to defeat him. The tale has been notable for its grand moments, but the quieter elements are also much appreciated. The Sonja and Conan who fight and who tease one another in this issue are not the same rash twosome they were at the beginning. Both have grown over the years, and so has their respect for one another. It is a well-crafted tale of friendship as well as one of swordplay and wisdom.
Randy Green draws two people at the end of their strength, exhausted fighters going on because they must, giving the book an increased sense of urgency and heroism. Close-ups and full-page images are used to good effect, showing just how threatened the two are. He also gives Thoth-Amon the wild grin and spare frame of the traditional madman, a wizard drunk on power. He and Ketcham work together to turn the blood root into a horrifying, eldritch menace, something dwarfing the two heroes, and befitting their past adventures, making the final, multi-page battle one of epic proportions.
Must the tale really end? It has been a joy watching these craftspeople build their tale. Hopefully the writing team and the barbarians will meet again at some point in the future.
Conan Red Sonja #4 is available now from Dark Horse Comics.
Writer: Gail Simone, Jim Zub
Penciller: Randy Green
Inker: Rick Ketcham
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Dan Panosian