Sexiest Red Sonja Comic Book Covers

Comics added Dec 19, 2022 | Sexiest Covers

Buy Conan the Barbarian #23 (1st Appearance of Red Sonja) on
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Chain Mail Never Looked So Good!

Red Sonja, who first appeared in Marvel Comics’ Conan the Barbarian #23 in February 1973, was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith. Red Sonja is inspired in large part by Robert E. Howard’s Red Sonya of Rogatino, a female swashbuckler who appeared in Howard’s 1934 short story “The Shadow of the Vulture,” which Thomas retells in issues #23 (“The Shadow of the Vulture”) & #24 (“The Song of Red Sonja”). Thomas developed a new origin for his character and placed her into Robert E. Howard’s Hyborian Age so that his new creation could interact with Howard’s most famous character, Conan the Barbarian, for these issues. In addition to moving the character between fictional time periods, Thomas also tweaked the spelling of her name – although Conan exuberantly chants “Son-ya! Son-ya! Son-ya!” in the very first panel of issue #24 – and replaced Red Sonya’s weapons of choice – guns and a sword – with only a sword for the new Red Sonja. Thomas’ and Windsor-Smith’s “The Song of Red Sonja” won the 1973 Academy of Comic Book Arts Awards for Best Individual Story (Dramatic).

Marvel Treasury Edition (Vol 1) #15 (1st Uncensored Reprint of the 2nd Appearance of Red Sonja) - 1977

Marvel Treasury Edition (Vol 1 1977) #15 – first uncensored reprint of the 2nd appearance of Red Sonja
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It is clear from her very first appearance in Conan the Barbarian #23 that Red Sonja was intended to be a female version of Conan with relevant sex appeal. Both are superb physical specimens of their gender. Both are combat hardened and expert warriors with swords and knives. Neither use firearms. Both fight fiercely, heroically; and celebrate their victories boisterously. Both are (mostly) scantily clad, regardless of weather, covering their bodies respective of sex: both Conan and Red Sonja cover their loins while Red Sonja also covers her breasts. Conan rarely if ever dons armor in the comics, but in Robert E. Howard’s books and stories, Conan wisely chooses to wear armor if it is available. In these early appearances, Red Sonja wears little more than a light-colored long-sleeved scale mail tunic (which often looks like a white t-shirt) and go-go shorts. In fact, in Conan the Barbarian #23, two panels were censored by John Romita Sr at the time of publication. The uncensored story was later reprinted in Marvel Treasury Edition (Vol 1) #15  in 1977 but recolored by Glynis Wein and slightly cropped to fit the new page dimensions. Like Power Girl at rival DC, Red Sonja’s breasts in her early appearances are rendered much more conservatively than modern interpretations.

Though popular, these first appearances did not provide Red Sonja’s origin. This would be first told by Roy Thomas, Doug Moench and Howard Chaykin in “The Day of the Sword” in Kull and the Barbarians #3 more than two years later in September 1975. This origin story would later be redrawn by Dick Giordano and Terry Austin for The Savage Sword of Conan #78 (July 1982).

Red Sonja’s now-iconic scale mail bikini would be introduced a year later in August 1974. Spanish artist Esteban Maroto submitted an uncommissioned illustration to him when he was editing the magazine Savage Sword of Conan where he redesigned the character and for the first time showed her wearing what would become her famous costume, the silver metal bikini, which resembled other fantasy costumes that other Maroto heroines sported in the 1970s. This illustration was printed for the first time in black and white in Savage Sword of Conan #1 and later reprinted in color in Marvel Treasury Edition #15, but poorly. The image was finally restored and colored by José Villarrubia as an alternate cover for the Dynamite Entertainment edition of Red Sonja #2 in July 2005. John Buscema continued to draw Red Sonja in that same metal bikini in Savage Sword of Conan and drew her again in the same bikini in issues 43, 44 and 48 of Conan the Barbarian (1974). In 1975, Dick Giordano used the eye-catching costume for the first issue of Marvel Feature (1975). The metal bikini proved so popular it became a defining visual element for the character.

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Sources: Wikipedia (Red Sonja); Conan Wiki (Red Sonja)

Popular Red Sonja Artists

Lucio Parrillo, Comic Book Artist

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Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #2 (Kael Ngu Virgin Variant) – February 2020

Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #2 (Kael Ngu Virgin Variant) – February 2020

Vampirella Versus Red Sonja #1 (Joseph Michael Linsner Virgin Variant) – November 2022

Vampirella Versus Red Sonja #1 (Joseph Michael Linsner Virgin Variant) – November 2022

Vampirella Versus Red Sonja #1 (Joseph Michael Linsner Trade Dress Variant) – November 2022

Vampirella Versus Red Sonja #1 (Joseph Michael Linsner Trade Dress Variant) – November 2022

Unbreakable Red Sonja #1 (Tiago Da Silva Virgin Variant) – October 2022

Unbreakable Red Sonja #1 (Tiago Da Silva Virgin Variant) – October 2022

Invincible Red Sonja #12 (Josh Burns & Celina Virgin Variant) – October 2022

Invincible Red Sonja #12 (Josh Burns & Celina Virgin Variant) – October 2022

Immortal Red Sonja #6 (Tiago Da Silva Waterfall Virgin Variant) – September 2022

Immortal Red Sonja #6 (Tiago Da Silva Waterfall Virgin Variant) – September 2022

Red Sonja (Vol 9) #10 (Tiago Da Silva Virgin Waterfall Variant) – June 2022

Red Sonja (Vol 9) #10 (Tiago Da Silva Virgin Waterfall Variant) – June 2022

Red Sonja: Valentine’s Day Special 2022 (Sozomaika Virgin Variant) – February 2022

Red Sonja: Valentine’s Day Special 2022 (Sozomaika Virgin Variant) – February 2022

Red Sonja: Valentine’s Day Special 2022 (Sozomaika Black-and-White Virgin Variant) – February 2022

Red Sonja: Valentine’s Day Special 2022 (Sozomaika Black-and-White Virgin Variant) – February 2022

Red Sonja: Valentine’s Day Special 2022 (Sozomaika Trade Dress Variant) – February 2022

Red Sonja: Valentine’s Day Special 2022 (Sozomaika Trade Dress Variant) – February 2022

Invincible Red Sonja #9 (Carla Cohen Virgin Variant) – February 2022

Invincible Red Sonja #9 (Carla Cohen Virgin Variant) – February 2022

Invincible Red Sonja #9 (Carla Cohen Trade Dress Variant) – February 2022

Invincible Red Sonja #9 (Carla Cohen Trade Dress Variant) – February 2022

Red Sonja (Vol 9) #5 (Ken Haeser TMNT Homage Variant) – January 2022

Red Sonja (Vol 9) #5 (Ken Haeser TMNT Homage Variant) – January 2022

Invincible Red Sonja #4 (Lobos Virgin Variant) – September 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #4 (Lobos Virgin Variant) – September 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #4 (Josh Burns Virgin Variant) – August 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #4 (Josh Burns Virgin Variant) – August 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #4 (Nathan Szerdy NYCC Anime Virgin Variant) – August 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #4 (Nathan Szerdy NYCC Anime Virgin Variant) – August 2021

Red Sonja: Black White Red #1 (Jamie Tyndall Virgin Wraparound Variant) –  July 2021

Red Sonja: Black White Red #1 (Jamie Tyndall Virgin Wraparound Variant) – July 2021

Red Sonja: Black White Red #1 (Jamie Tyndall Trade Dress Wraparound Variant) –  July 2021

Red Sonja: Black White Red #1 (Jamie Tyndall Trade Dress Wraparound Variant) – July 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #2 (Carla Cohen Virgin Variant) – June 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #2 (Carla Cohen Virgin Variant) – June 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #2 (Carla Cohen Variant) – June 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #2 (Carla Cohen Variant) – June 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #1 (Nathan Szerdy Virgin Variant) – May 2021

Invincible Red Sonja #1 (Nathan Szerdy Virgin Variant) – May 2021

Red Sonja: The Price of Blood #2 (Arthur Suydam Virgin Variant) – January 2021

Red Sonja: The Price of Blood #2 (Arthur Suydam Virgin Variant) – January 2021

Red Sonja: The Price of Blood #2 (Arthur Suydam Trade Dress Variant) – January 2021

Red Sonja: The Price of Blood #2 (Arthur Suydam Trade Dress Variant) – January 2021

Red Sonja: The Price of Blood #2 (Arthur Suydam Black & White Virgin Variant) – January 2021

Red Sonja: The Price of Blood #2 (Arthur Suydam Black & White Virgin Variant) – January 2021

Red Sonja: The Price of Blood #2 (Arthur Suydam Black & White Trade Dress Variant) – January 2021

Red Sonja: The Price of Blood #2 (Arthur Suydam Black & White Trade Dress Variant) – January 2021

Red Sonja (Vol 8) #22 (Jamie Tyndall Variant) – December 2020

Red Sonja (Vol 8) #22 (Jamie Tyndall Variant) – December 2020

Red Sonja (Vol 8) #22 (Jamie Tyndall Metal Variant) – December 2020

Red Sonja (Vol 8) #22 (Jamie Tyndall Metal Variant) – December 2020

Red Sonja (Vol 8) #20 (Collette Turner Virgin Variant) – October 2020

Red Sonja (Vol 8) #20 (Collette Turner Virgin Variant) – October 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Tinted Virgin Variant) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Tinted Virgin Variant) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Tinted Variant) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Tinted Variant) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Black & White Virgin Variant) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Black & White Virgin Variant) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Black & White Variant) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Black & White Variant) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Virgin Variant) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Virgin Variant) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Standard Cover) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #2 (Lucio Parrillo Standard Cover) – September 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Alan Quah Black & White 1:15 Sketch Virgin Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Alan Quah Black & White 1:15 Sketch Virgin Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Alan Quah 1:35 Virgin Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Alan Quah 1:35 Virgin Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Alan Quah 1:10 Trade Dress Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Alan Quah 1:10 Trade Dress Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Alan Quah Black & White 1:11 Sketch Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Alan Quah Black & White 1:11 Sketch Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Ryan Kincaid Virgin Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Ryan Kincaid Virgin Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Lucio Parrillo Virgin Variant) – August 2020

Mars Attacks Red Sonja #1 (Lucio Parrillo Virgin Variant) – August 2020

Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #6 (Kunkka Incentive Virgin Variant) – August 2020

Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #6 (Kunkka Incentive Virgin Variant) – August 2020

Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #6 (Kunkka Incentive Trade Dress Variant) – August 2020

Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #6 (Kunkka Incentive Trade Dress Variant) – August 2020

Legenderry Red Sonja (Vol 2) #1 (Tyler Kirkham Virgin Variant) – December 2017

Legenderry Red Sonja (Vol 2) #1 (Tyler Kirkham Virgin Variant) – December 2017

Legenderry Red Sonja (Vol 2) #1 (Tyler Kirkham Trade Dress Variant) – December 2017

Legenderry Red Sonja (Vol 2) #1 (Tyler Kirkham Trade Dress Variant) – December 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #3 (J Scott Campbell Virgin Variant) – March 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #3 (J Scott Campbell Virgin Variant) – March 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #3 (J Scott Campbell Trade Dress Variant) – March 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #3 (J Scott Campbell Trade Dress Variant) – March 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #2 (J. Scott Campbell Virgin Variant) – February 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #2 (J. Scott Campbell Virgin Variant) – February 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #2 (J. Scott Campbell Trade Dress Variant) – February 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #2 (J. Scott Campbell Trade Dress Variant) – February 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #1 (J. Scott Campbell Virgin Variant) – January 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #1 (J. Scott Campbell Virgin Variant) – January 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #1 (J. Scott Campbell Trade Dress Variant) – January 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #1 (J. Scott Campbell Trade Dress Variant) – January 2017

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #0 (J. Scott Campbell 1:100 Variant) – December 2016

Red Sonja (Vol 7) #0 (J. Scott Campbell 1:100 Variant) – December 2016

Swords of Sorrow: The Complete Saga (Vol 1) Trade Paperback (J Scott Campbell Cover) – January 2016

Swords of Sorrow: The Complete Saga (Vol 1) Trade Paperback (J Scott Campbell Cover) – January 2016

Legenderry Red Sonja TPB Vol 1 – September 2015

Legenderry Red Sonja TPB Vol 1 – September 2015

Swords of Sorrow: The Complete Saga #1 (J Scott Virgin Variant) – May 2015

Swords of Sorrow: The Complete Saga #1 (J Scott Virgin Variant) – May 2015

Swords of Sorrow #1 (J Scott Campbell Red Variant) – May 2015

Swords of Sorrow #1 (J Scott Campbell Red Variant) – May 2015

Swords of Sorrow #1 (J Scott Campbell Black & White Variant) – May 2015

Swords of Sorrow #1 (J Scott Campbell Black & White Variant) – May 2015

Swords of Sorrow #1 (J Scott Campbell Artboard Variant) – May 2015

Swords of Sorrow #1 (J Scott Campbell Artboard Variant) – May 2015

Swords of Sorrow #1 (J Scott Campbell Trade Dress Variant) – May 2015

Swords of Sorrow #1 (J Scott Campbell Trade Dress Variant) – May 2015

Legenderry Red Sonja #1 (Joe Benitez Virgin Variant – February 2015

Legenderry Red Sonja #1 (Joe Benitez Virgin Variant – February 2015

Legenderry Red Sonja #1 (Joe Benitez Trade Dress) – February 2015

Legenderry Red Sonja #1 (Joe Benitez Trade Dress) – February 2015

Legenderry Red Sonja #1 (Joe Benitez Red Sketch Variant) – February 2015

Legenderry Red Sonja #1 (Joe Benitez Red Sketch Variant) – February 2015

Legenderry Red Sonja #1 (Joe Benitez Black-and-White Incentive Variant) – February 2015

Legenderry Red Sonja #1 (Joe Benitez Black-and-White Incentive Variant) – February 2015

Red Sonja (Vol 5) #100 (Andrew Pepoy Variant) – February 2015

Red Sonja (Vol 5) #100 (Andrew Pepoy Variant) – February 2015

Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #2 (Lucio Parrillo Subscription Variant) – February 2015

Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle #2 (Lucio Parrillo Subscription Variant) – February 2015

Red Sonja (Vol 4) #66 (John Watson Standard Variant) – May 2012

Red Sonja (Vol 4) #66 (John Watson Standard Variant) – May 2012

Queen Sonja #25 (Chasen Grieshop Standard Cover) – January 2012

Queen Sonja #25 (Chasen Grieshop Standard Cover) – January 2012

Queen Sonja #23 (Lucio Parrillo Variant) – November 2011

Queen Sonja #23 (Lucio Parrillo Variant) – November 2011

Queen Sonja #12 (Fabiano Neves Variant) – December 2010

Queen Sonja #12 (Fabiano Neves Variant) – December 2010

Queen Sonja #10 (Lucio Parrillo Variant) – October 2010

Queen Sonja #10 (Lucio Parrillo Variant) – October 2010

Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword Omnibus (Vol 1) – January 2010

Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword Omnibus (Vol 1) – January 2010

Red Sonja (Vol 4) #30 (Luke Ross Variant) – February 2008

Red Sonja (Vol 4) #30 (Luke Ross Variant) – February 2008

Red Sonja (Vol 4) #20 (Joe Prado Variant) – March 2007

Red Sonja (Vol 4) #20 (Joe Prado Variant) – March 2007

Red Sonja vs Thulsa Doom #2 (Will Conrad Virgin Variant) – April 2006

Red Sonja vs Thulsa Doom #2 (Will Conrad Virgin Variant) – April 2006

Red Sonja vs Thulsa Doom #2 (Will Conrad Trade Dress Variant) – April 2006

Red Sonja vs Thulsa Doom #2 (Will Conrad Trade Dress Variant) – April 2006

Marvel Treasury Edition (Vol 1) #15 (1st Uncensored Reprint of the 2nd Appearance of Red Sonja) – 1977

Marvel Treasury Edition (Vol 1) #15 (1st Uncensored Reprint of the 2nd Appearance of Red Sonja) – 1977