Thursday, March 08, 2018

Reader's Diary #1755- Michael Avon Oeming (writer), Mel Rubi (artist): Spider-Man/ Red Sonja

Webcomics, photocomics, old-timey comics, lesser-known-superhero comics, non-Japanese manga... I'm starting to have a lot of comic obsessions. My latest is crossover comics, particularly crossovers between publishing companies, so expect a lot of those in upcoming months.

Bringing me to Spider-Man/ Red Sonja, a crossover between Marvel and Dynamite back in 2007, with the trade collection in 2008. This is not the first time these two characters have met and fortunately, this trade also includes that first encounter from 1979. I don't really consider that a crossover, however, as at the time Red Sonja was a Marvel property.

Being set in a fictionalized, medieval time, with no superpowers beyond being a skilled fighter, Spider-Man doesn't seem like an obvious choice for a Red Sonja crossover. She's more akin to Conan the Barbarian (who she's already crossed over with). From Marvel's roster, I'd think Ka-Zar or Shanna the She-Devil would be better fits. Then, those are hardly household names and I suppose the Spider-Man pairing was a better financial bet. Besides, as a fan of musical mashups (and essentially crossovers are mashups), it's sometimes the less obvious mixes that are the most interesting.

In Spider-Man/ Red Sonja, Michael Avon Oeming uses a slight resemblance between Spider-Man's girlfriend and Red Sonja to work the story (they both have red hair). Red Sonja's nemesis Kulan Gath recalls his previous attempt to take over modern day New York and how it was thwarted by Red Sonja and Spider-Man. This time he's planned a rematch but schemes to pit his two adversaries against one another as a distraction. To do so, he transposes a medieval version of New York over the modern one, affecting almost everyone inside with the inexplicable exception of Spider-Man. This is when Mary Jane becomes Red Sonja, or becomes trapped inside of her...

Okay, so it's not high art, not the most literary comic I've ever read, but it was fun and as such does what a good crossover should.

The art is decent, though as I've complained before, I'm never wild about the sexist way Red Sonja is typically portrayed.

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