Review: Li’L Sonja One-Shot
Li’l Sonja is a warrior girl who travels the lands testing her mettle against monsters big and small, a younger pluckier version of the famous She-Devil With a Sword. When Li’l Sonja encounters a town plagued by eccentric bandits, she needs to figure out the pattern behind the thefts and bring the baddies to justice. No task is too tough for our crimson-haired hero. And if that isn’t enough, each Li’l book comes with a two-page activity sheet!
Dynamite’s latest Li’L adventure hits this week, and this time it’s Red Sonja’s turn to get the kiddie treatment. The one-shot is written by Jim Zub with art by Joel Carroll. Andrew Elder handles colors with Simon Bowland providing letters. The activity sheet for this issue is handled by Roger Langridge and Andrew Elder. The Li’L stories have been a hit so far, but how does Sonja adapt to a kid-friendly environment?
Li’L Sonja is a warrior girl who goes around looking to test her might against the bullies and beasties of the world. No problem is too big or too small for the tiny heroine to handle. One day when she wanders into a new town, Li’L Sonja finds that the townspeople are sad that their children, crops, and possessions are being stolen. Our plucky heroine takes on the case and starts trying to figure out what’s going on. When she discovers that everything that has been stolen is red, she sees her way in. When the thief turns out to be a big ol’ beastie, Li’L Sonja may find out she’s bitten off more than she can chew. Sonja may be Li’L, but does she still have the same amount of fight in her?
Zub writes a cute and fast-paced story. It’s a witty yarn that gives us a very different version of the character we know and love. Sonja loses her edge in a kid-friendly version, becoming a pun-spouting butt-kicker, but there’s still some recognizable traits there. Carroll’s art is a great fit for the series. He makes a wide-eyed and rambunctious little tyke who looks like she’s actually enjoying what she’s doing. With wide faces and heavy line work, this looks like a beautifully drawn children’s book I’d like to see more of. Things are elevated thanks to Elder’s bright and stunning color choices.
Bottom Line: Red Sonja is a hard character to adapt to a kid-friendly medium, but Zub pulls it off rather well. Sonja’s hard edges are smoothed down and given a comedic edge, but you can easily see this character growing up to become the red she-devil with a sword. 3.5/5
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