Halloween in July? Not quite, but Dynamite has announced a pair of Halloween special one-shots featuring two of their most buxom gals, Red Sonja and Bettie Page.
Writer Mark Russell and artist Jacob Edgar (James Bond: Moneypenny) will be leading Savage Tales: A Red Sonja Halloween Special, an extra-length spooky story featuring the She-Devil with a Sword. Dearbhla Kelly on colors and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou on letters complete the team along with Erica D’Urso drawing a cover inspired by the original Savage Tales #1.
The holiday-themed one-shot complements issue #9 of the ongoing series, which is also out the same month. In that issue, Sonja returns to the Sorcerers of Wigur-Nomadene. In Savage Tales, fans get a flashback of their first encounter where Sonja is not yet a legend, but she’s definitely full of anger and ambition. Her mission: to convince the sorcerers to bring her family and friends back to life.
“I saved the darkest chapter of the Red Sonja story for this Halloween Special,” says Russell. “The main series refers to an earlier visit by Sonja to the Sorcerers of Wigur-Nomadene, and this tells the story of that visit and the price she paid to try to bring her dead family back to life. Jacob’s style lends itself really well to this story of dark magic and loss and I think it will make a great entry into the canon as well as a self-contained story.”
“This new Sonja series has built a world that feels lived in, covered in dirt and sand and… probably some pretty bad smells. Approaching this issue, especially given that it’s a dark Halloween tale, I really want to capture that feeling but also turn up the boldness,” says Edgar. “Really push the energy, while maintaining the integrity of the world that’s been established. Mark is a heck of a writer and I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to draw one of his books!”
The second Halloween special on the schedule is the Bettie Page Halloween Special. A mysterious force, possibly of the werewolf variety, is hunting students at an exclusive Upstate New York college, making the perfect case for the supermodel/superspy to investigate. Writer David Avallone (Elvira, Drawing Blood) offers a full length story with artist Roy Allan Martinez (Zorro: Swords of Hell), while writer Erica Schultz (Xena, Daredevil) and artist Fernando Ruiz (Archie, Die Kitty Die!) dish out a bonus short story filled with aliens, classic cars, and a sci-fi double feature at the drive-in theater.
The issue features a cover by fan-favorite artist John Royle (Elvira, GI Joe) and another from Reilly Brown (Deadpool, Lobo).
“Throughout the Bettie series, I’ve tried my best to have some fun with classic mid-century pop cultural tropes and pitting her against a Wolfman is a natural extension of that,” says Avallone. “Roy Allan Martinez’s style is reminiscent of some of my favorite 1970s horror artists (and his fellow countrymen) Alfredo Alcala and Nestor Redondo, but with a modern twist… so he was perfect for this story. And his rendering of Bettie Page is gorgeous and perfect. I can’t wait for people to see it.”
Schultz adds, “I’m very excited to contribute to the Bettie Page Halloween Special with Fernando Ruiz. I always knew who Bettie Page was, but it wasn’t until I started writing for Dynamite that I learned she had a secret life! It’s great to have the opportunity to add to that mythology!”
Savage Tales: A Red Sonja Halloween Special and the Bettie Page Halloween Special will be available for preorder at your favorite comic shop in August and are slated for an October release. They will also be available through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, ComicsPlus, and more. Head to Dynamite’s website for info.