Red Sonja Loses The Chainmail Bikini As Marguerite Bennett Replaces Gail Simone, With Nicola Scott's Redesigns

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Dynamite are announcing a new creative shake-up for some of their core titles at NYCC.

With Marguerite Bennett and Aneke on Red Sonja, Frank Barbiere on Dejah Thoris and Kate Leth on Vampirella, with new character designs for all by Nicola Scott and a creative roadmap by Gail Simone.

Gail Simone is stepping down from writing Red Sonja but has left a "road map" for the three series "that will serve as the basis for all-new series with radically different settings and situations, fresh yet true to the traditional motivations of these comic book icons."

"We're doing a monster makeover with these characters, and it's a joy to be part of this. Make no mistake, these are characters we love, badasses all; the She-Devil with a Sword, the queen of all vampire hunters, and the warlord princess. Characters do not get any better than that," says Simone. "Our mission here is to spruce up their look and remind people that these were the original female ass-kickers that inspired Xena, Buffy, and Leia Organa. They are the map others followed, and we get to bring them each a hot, new look from brilliant artist/designer Nicola Scott, as well as thrilling new mission statements for each of them."

Red Sonja #1, by the creative team of Marguerite Bennett (Bombshells, A-Force, Angela) and Aneke (Legenderry: Red Sonja, Damsels) and scheduled for release on January 13, 2016, will see its titular heroine return to her homeland of Hyrkania, only to find it changed into an almost unrecognizable landscape. As envisioned by Gail Simone, the new series sends Sonja on a mission of infiltration, sabotage, and assassination when she discovers that her native people have been conscripted into the service of a Nazi-like regime.

Regarding the direction of Red Sonja, the first issue will show that Red Sonja's return home is necessitated when her king hovers at death's door, while a dread new power rises from within Hyrkania's own borders. The new authority is bent on defending its homeland – no matter the cost, no matter what its people become. Billed as a defining chapter in the Red Sonja saga, the opening "Falcon Throne" storyline is dark, clever, vicious, and at times even mirthful, as the She-Devil with a Sword must topple the brutal regime, her own people.

With the new series comes a character redesign by celebrated artist Nicola Scott, who describes her fresh take on Red Sonja: "Sonja was a collaboration between myself, Gail, Dynamite and the licensors. 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."

Dynamite will celebrate the new Red Sonja #1 with a variety of cover options, including Cover A by Marguerite Sauvage (Bombshells); Cover B by Jay Anacleto (Legends of Red Sonja) which will interconnect with the Cover B editions of Dejah Thoris #1 and Vampirella #1; and Cover C by Tula Lotay (Swords of Sorrow). A special Subscription Edition (Cover D) features the "cute" artwork of Tony Fleecs, intended for consumers who place preorders with their local comic shops and interconnecting with the Subscription Edition variants of Dejah Thoris #1 and Vampirella #1. Robert Hack (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) provides cover artwork for the Shared Retailer Exclusive, and a Blank Authentix cover variant is available, perfect for aspiring artists and convention commissions. Finally, Ming Doyle (New Avengers) provides a special incentive cover to encourage strong preorders from comic shop retailers, as does Nicola Scott with an image of her first redesign of the character.

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About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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