As if her life weren’t chaotic enough, Red Sonja will soon be facing the Hordes of Hell in the new limited series from Dynamite, Red Sonja: Age of Chaos. Writer Erik Burnham (Vampirella/Dejah Thoris, Ghostbusters) and artist Jonathan Lau (Red Sonja, Green Hornet, Pathfinder: Worldscape) lead the epic crossover that leaves the She-Devil with a Sword face-to-face with Mistress Hel, Lady Demon, Chastity, Evil Ernie, and many more familiar characters from the Chaos! Comics lineup.
Burnham chatted with The Beat about the upcoming saga and how these two very different worlds came together.
Deanna Destito: Why is Red Sonja and the Chaos! crew a good match-up in your opinion?
Erik Burnham: Red Sonja is pure high fantasy. Sword and sorcery. Monsters and mayhem. That being the case, demons, vampires, and ghouls make for a great addition to her world. They’re also a little bit more modern in attitude, giving a good contrast to Sonja’s personality.
Destito: How did you come up with the story for this crossover?
Burnham: The short answer? By way of an extensive back and forth with editor Matt Idelson! I was presented with a few musts – one of which was to move the action to Hyboria – and after that it was just pitching ideas until a framework started to come together. That framework shifted some as curveballs were thrown my way (there are always curveballs!) but it was a fun process.
It started with some questions, though. What might the Chaos! characters find in the Hyborian Age that they wouldn’t see in their familiar environments? More importantly, how could I level the playing field? Figuring out things like that were how we built the story.
Destito: Were you into Chaos! when it initially started in the ’90s?
Burnham: I can’t say that I was – mostly because I mostly lived nowhere near a comic shop (and I still don’t, but now the marvel of digital editions exists!) In any case, I was aware of Chaos! by way of Wizard magazine, but didn’t really discover the characters until yeeeeeears later.
Destito: Can you tease any Easter Eggs from your previous Red Sonja run that may pop up here?
Burnham: I honestly wondered if I should include any while I was working on a script… and then a panel just flowed out showing a flashback to a specific moment in Volume Four. So yes, there’s a panel, and I think everyone will pick it out when they see it!
Destito: Red Sonja seems to find herself in a fish-out-of-water scenario a lot. Being among the Chaos! lineup is also a strange place for her. What is it about her that lends itself to this concept?
Burnham: In this case, I don’t know that it’s fish-out-of-water. Sonja is in her home court, as it were, and these dangerous monsters have shown up. Sonja has no patience for that sort of thing, and she’ll be even more irritated because it’s her fault that they’re there.
She does something that alters destiny and has to make a difficult choice to fix it.…But that wasn’t your question, exactly, was it? I just got carried away with train of thought!
Sonja lends herself to different scenarios because she has a clarity to her character. She will adapt or she will overcome, depending on the circumstances presented. She barrels in with a confidence, and that means she’s fun to find in unfamiliar circumstances.
Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #1 will be released in January 2020. Check out Dynamite’s website for info or to order online. For digital, head to Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, ComicsPlus, and more.