Thursday, June 16, 2016

Frank Thorne's Red Sonja

Though artist Frank Thorne wasn't the creator of Red Sonja (she was created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith in the pages of Marvel's Conan, and based off of a character of Robert E. Howard's), he was an artist that helped to make the warrior queen popular for his depictions of the character in her metal bikini....and even attending comic conventions dressed as a wizard, encouraging woman to emulate their hero by dressing up as Red Sonja!

Below, we celebrate the approach of summer (a.k.a. bikini season) as well as the birth of Frank Thorne (June, 16th), by covering Frank's covers of Marvel Feature and Red Sonja featuring Red Sonja!

Marvel Feature #2 and #3

 January and March, 1976

Marvel Feature #4 and #5

 May and July, 1976

Marvel Feature #6 and #7

 September and November, 1976

Red Sonja #1 and #2 

 January and March, 1977

Red Sonja #3 and #4

 May and July, 1977

Red Sonja #5 and #6

 September and November, 1977

Red Sonja #7 and #8

 January and March, 1978

Red Sonja #9 and #10

May and July, 1978

Red Sonja #11 and later

September, 1978
#12 to #15 are by Frank Brunner and Dave Cockrum from November, 1978 to May, 1979

Red Sonja continued after Frank left the title, and Frank Thorne created his own sword wielding woman, Ghita Of Alizzar, which appeared in Warren Publishing's 1984/1994 magazine from 1979 to 1983, the tales of which have since been collected a few times over the decades (fair warning, these are NOT tales for kids!).  Red Sonja even teamed up with Spider-Man in Marvel Team-Up!

Red Sonja has even found herself in comics in the 21st Century, with Dynamite publishing her current adventures.  The company has even reprinted all of Marvel's tales of Red Sonja, including Frank's issues, in their 4 "Adventures of Red Sonja" tradepaperbacks (with the last, though not including any interior art by Frank Thorne, boasts a cover drawn by him!).

Volume 1 features the 7 Marvel Feature issues, Volume 2 features Red Sonja #1 through #7, Volume 3 features Red Sonja #8 to #14, and Volume 4 features the Red Sonja tales from Savage Sword of Conan and Red Sonja #15...all in color!

Better still, Dynamite has produced three larger than life collections of Frank Thorne's Red Sonja...featuring reproductions of the original art from the Marvel series in a larger size, and in black and white...

...with Volume 1 featuring her Marvel Feature issues, Volume 2 featuring Red Sonja's #1 to #6,

...and Volume 3 featuring Red Sonja's #7 to #11, giving readers a chance to see Red Sonja as Frank Throne did as he drew her!

Frank Thorne even provided variant covers for the 2013/2014 five issue Legends of Red Sonja mini-series with new tales of fantasy's favorite heroine!  It's hard to keep an old wizard down!

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