Your enjoyment of “Queen of Plagues” will depend on your love for motion comic books. Shout Factory has shown a love for the format of motion comics in the past, and they continue that trend with adapting Gail Simone’s miniseries from Dynamite! Despite the draw back of animating certain panels that just look awkward in motion, “Queen of Plagues” is an engrossing adventure where we meet Sonja once again in battle. After the noble King Dimath raids and conquers a kingdom in a bloody battle, he enters a dungeon and decides to free the two remaining prisoners and let them go without trial. One of them is Sonja.
Years later, she’s a nomadic warrior who survives in the wilderness. When called upon by King Dimath to help in an ensuing war with an evil force on their way, Sonja heeds his call and is anxious to repay her debt to Dimath. With two brilliant young woman with bows and arrows at her side, Sonja meets a familiar foe on the battle field, one who has an army of the undead and monsters behind her. “Queen of Plagues” thankfully embraces the genuinely human side of Sonja, making her battle with Dark Annisia a bitter war between two ex-lovers.
While I love the original live action film, here we’re given a Red Sonja whose sexuality isn’t “fixed” merely because she meets a buff man with a sword. Sonja is true to herself in every definition of the word and her war with Annissia becomes personal. When Sonja contracts the plague, she seeks to spend her final days in dignity and regains a new lust for life by avenging the lost, and bringing down Annissia once and for all. Misty Lee’s performance is enthusiastic and memorable, as she makes the blustery and outspoken Sonja a fierce and courageous warrior we root for until the bitter end.
For a motion comic this is a fun and brisk adaptation that will attract fantasy buffs of all kinds.
Featured in the Blu-Ray and DVD combo, there’s “The Making of Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues,” which clocks in at nineteen minutes. It’s a fun featurette about the passionate team behind the animated comic book that the team behind the original comic brought to life. There’s a look at the voice actors, and the writer of the comic, Gail Simone, all of whom reveal their great determination in bringing the material to life.