'Red Sonja' Co-Creator Returns to Character for Graphic Novel

Red Sonja Goddess - Publicity - H 2018
Esteban Moroto/Dynamite Entertainment
November's 'The Ballad of the Red Goddess' reteams Roy Thomas with classic Sonja artist Esteban Moroto.

Roy Thomas, the writer who originally brought Red Sonja to life in the early 1970s, is returning to the fantasy character for a new graphic novel later this year.

Red Sonja: The Ballad of the Red Goddess, which teases the origins of the iconic sword and sorcery heroine, reteams Thomas with artist Esteban Moroto, who illustrated Sonja’s early solo adventures. Artist Santi Casas will also contribute to the hardcover release, which will be released in an oversized edition using three colors: black, white and red. (Fittingly, considering the adventure’s title.)

In a statement, Nick Barrucci — CEO and publisher of Dynamite Entertainment, which will release the title — said that the graphic novel "is easily one of the most beautiful and prestigious books we’ve ever had the ability to publish and we’ve been publishing Red Sonja since the very dawn of Dynamite."

He added, "Roy Thomas’ story is incredible and Moroto and Casas' artwork is unreal. This is the Red Sonja book everyone should have on their shelves."

Dynamite is co-publishing the title with Spanish publisher Planeta. In addition to the regular hardcover, the book will be available digitally as well as in a signed edition featuring Thomas’ signature and limited to 500 copies.

Thomas co-created Sonja with artist Barry Windsor Smith for Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian comic book series in 1973, although her iconic look was designed by Moroto. She was partially adapted from Red Sonya of Rogatino, a separate character from the annals of Conan creator Robert E. Howard, along with another Howard creation, Dark Agnes de Chastillon; however, both of those characters existed in the 16th century, as opposed to the prehistoric “Hyborian Age” of Howard’s Conan stories.

Red Sonja: The Ballad of the Red Goddess will be released in November.