So Much For The Redesign

Back last year, Dynamite Entertainment had Nicola Scott redesign three of their biggest female characters: Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris. Here’s Nicola Scott from the original press release:

Her big red hair and chainmail are iconic, and I felt strongly they needed to carry the look but be modernized. Keeping her hair big but out of her face seemed practical, and the idea of the chainmail tank rather than bikini was a suitable update.

The redesign Scott came up with works a treat – here it is on the left with the cover of the first issue by Jay Ancelato on the right:

Red Sonja 2015

I didn’t pick up the series though I did get the Dejah Thoris series – and regretted that due to Frank Barbiere’s dreadful dialogue and plotting.

Yesterday, though, I was flicking through my feed reader and came across this article about a new writer, Amy Chu, launching a new Red Sonja series in December. The thing that struck me most was the image they used from new series artist Carlos Gomez:

Red Sonja 2016

So we’re back to the chain mail bikini that offers no protection but shows off Sonja’s tits and arse again? What happened to Nicola Scott’s “idea of the chainmail tank rather than bikini“?

I’ve no objection to the female form but if you’re a warrior – male or female – and you’re heading in to battle against someone clutching a big sword and/or an axe, would you not want to have as much protection as possible?

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5 thoughts on “So Much For The Redesign

    1. Like I said, “if you’re a warrior – MALE or FEMALE…” (emphasis added)

      Sure, we’re used to seeing muscular barbarians wearing little more than a loincloth but the question still stands – why wouldn’t you have as much protection as possible? If Sonja’s got access to chain mail, why only have a tiny bikini?

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  1. Not how the genre works. Besides, comics are about imagery, not realism. Sword and sorcery has long been bad ass under armored heroes kicking ass. Bottom line, folks didn’t buy the redesign.

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    1. “Not how the genre works.”

      Because god forbid the genre change, grow, or mature, eh?

      “Besides, comics are about imagery, not realism.”

      And you can’t have both? What’s wrong with Sonja wielding a huge axe and sword, decapitating barbarians with a single blow whilst wearing more than an outfit designed to be worn at a beach?

      “Sword and sorcery has long been bad ass under armored heroes kicking ass.”

      Emphasis on “long” – isn’t it time it moved past the old tropes and did something new?

      “Bottom line, folks didn’t buy the redesign.”

      Maybe it was the redesign; maybe it was the stories – I didn’t read “Red Sonja” so can’t comment. I did, however, read the “Dejah Thoris” series which was redone at the same time. The art was good; the new costume worked (Dejah’s original being even skimpier than Sonja’s); but both the plot and dialogue were so terrible that if it hadn’t been a six issue miniseries, I’d have dropped it.

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  2. Because god forbid the genre change, grow, or mature, eh?
    Poor you, if only you could argue without strawmen.

    You do a lot of question begging. Even more humorous, though:

    ‘I didn’t read “Red Sonja”’

    And there it is. You didn’t read it. Neither did enough to keep it going.

    Dejah, didn’t sell, either, your opinion not withstanding, folks didn’t want to read it. Money talks. The redesigns didn’t get enough of the right talk- money.

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