It has been brought to my attention that Dynamite Comics is going to have a different costume for Red Sonja in upcoming issues. And since I am currently running the fan group devoted to Sonja, I really should make some kind of official statement on it.
So let me do the disclaimer first, this is by no means the opinion of DA,
, or really anybody else.
First, I like it. www.heavymetal.com/v2/wp-conte…
This is not the first time that Red Sonja has worn more practical armor or weather appropriate clothes. She lives in a dangerous world and even with her skill at arms, some defense for those blows that manage to slip through is just common sense.
Now let's talk about the other factor, she looks just like any other red headed female barbarian. **Hohumm** Like it or not, Red Sonja has a few elements that define her as a character. She lives in the same era as Conan. She has long red hair. She is an exceptional swordsman and hand to hand combatant. And when it comes to armor, she is the trope character for the chainmail bikini.
While a good writer, could have her wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans; the story set in the modern era, and it may even be a GREAT story, but without the visual cues that this is RED SONJA who is this character? You are just taking a cheap short cut for creating your own character by using a familiar name and its prior history. In fact, this is a common criticism of fan fiction, using an existing canon character but in a new setting. It is one thing to evolve a character to a new view, for example having Sonja discover a need for more armor. It is another to just rewrite the character as you would have wanted her to be. If you want a "different" character, just create one. Other writers, artists and fans, have been able to create their own (and no disrespect intended) clones of Red Sonja within a story or illustration. If she is being "reimaged" strictly due the forces of Political correctness, take a good look at John Carter of Mars, Conan, Tarzan, and several other male heroes. A loin cloth or at best male speedo is hardly the best armor or most practical of garments for the adventurer whether exploring ancient ruins or on the battle field, be it on Barsoom, Hyboria, or the jungles of Africa.
So while it is great to have the ongoing interest in Sonja. And it really isn't a bad design. But stripped of her trademark elements, it is not Red Sonja. She is just another barbarian.