Dynamite is revving up to release a new ongoing series starring the She-Devil With a Sword—Red Sonja #1. Not only will its release coincide with San Diego Comic-Con, but the series will celebrate the character’s 50th anniversary. Torunn Grønbekk will write with Walter Geovani on art. Colorist Omi Remalante Jr. and letterer Simon Bowland round out the creative team.

The Beat chatted with Grønbekk about the upcoming book and the writer’s take on the legendary character.

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Deanna Destito: What attracted to you this project?

Torunn Grønbekk: My love for Red Sonja! That’s the short (and truthful) answer. I think it’s the fastest I’ve ever said yes to a project!

I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the escapism of the genre. There is a lot of joy in the creation of this book, and I hope that bleeds through. 

Destito: How did you use your style and experiences to create your take on Red Sonja?

Grønbekk: I try to adapt my style to the books I’m writing. In this case, Sonja is doing a lot of the talking. I feel like my main job is to throw her into brutal, impossible situations and then sit back and see what she’ll do. 

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Destito: How is your version of the character the same and/or different from previous incarnations?

Grønbekk: I’ve tried to take all the things I love about Sonja – her shamelessness, her bravery, and all that wry humor – and play them up, rather than create a “new take” on the character. Our goal for this story was to go big and back to basics and draw inspiration from the best parts of her long history to create a new, classic adventure. I hope and believe long-time fans will see their Sonja on the page, while new readers will have the chance to fall in love with her as I once did.

Destito: How has it been working with the creative team?

Grønbekk: Walter is a joy to work with. Not only is he a master of the genre, but at this point, I believe he has drawn more Red Sonja issues than anyone else. Omi Remalante’s colors are spot on, and Simon Bowland is one of the best letterers in the business. I’m having such a wonderful time working with these legends, and I truly couldn’t be happier with the team! 

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Destito: What can fans old and new expect from the series?

Grønbekk: Red Sonja is being hunted through the realm, accused of a murder she did not commit, and followed by a mysterious presence that seems to find her wherever she goes. We follow her as she tries to clear her name, only to find herself thrown deeper and deeper into the dark mystery that is taking over the realm. Expect a classic, brutal, and fast-paced sword and sorcery story, with Sonja at her deadliest and most delightful!

Destito: Can you give any teasers to the readers?

Grønbekk: There are some Easter eggs and one major surprise I hope long-time readers will get a kick out of, but you don’t need to be familiar with the five decades of history to enjoy the book. This is a celebration of the genre and, most of all, Sonja herself!

Red Sonja #1 will be on sale on July 19. 

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