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Red Sonja by Frank Thorne
Red Sonja
Gath's men slaughtered my family before my eyes and stole my innocence! But on that day, I was blessed by a goddess to exact revenge... against such evil as yourself, demon, and all that serve Gath!
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Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 1.6 Textless
Spider-Man
All I have to do is show you you're not this insane warrior and then I'll wake up. Yeah, I'll wake up and be back in your arms... and maybe you'll still have this fun bikini on!
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Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

In the bathroom of his apartment, Eddie Brock scowls down at a copy of the Daily Bugle newspaper calling Venom a villain, complaining about his bad reputation when he's willing to do what Spider-Man isn't. The Venom symbiote addresses Eddie through his reflection, telling him that they need to make the people of Manhattan see what they're capable of. Eddie protests due to the symbiote's viciousness causing him to sometimes do "bad things", but the symbiote hisses that in feeding on the wicked they're doing the right thing. A surge of blinding light emanates from Eddie's mirror and he finds himself in a medieval stone and wood building, the symbiote telling him that Kulan Gath is summoning them to play a role in the world he's remaking. Giving in, Eddie transforms into Venom and says it's time to take revenge on Spider-Man and make the world pure for their lord and master.

As Spider-Man reels from being slashed, Red Sonja snaps that no man can lay a hand on her without paying for it in blood. Breaking his fall and confused as to why Mary Jane is wearing nothing but a chainmail bikini and waving around a sword, Spider-Man tries to talk some sense into her and is attacked for his trouble, Red Sonja calling him a demon and redoubling her efforts to kill him. Growing frustrated after getting kicked in the crotch, Spider-Man stops holding back and disarms Red Sonja, though she punches him in the face and snarls that she swore an oath to kill Kulan Gath and all who serve him. Spider-Man says he doesn't have a clue who or what she's talking about, but she doesn't believe him and shouts that his strange skin smells of evil, that Gath's men murdered her family and raped her, and that she was given power by a goddess to exact revenge. As she tackles him off the roof of the fortress they're fighting on, Spider-Man tells himself that this all has to be a nightmare, and that any minute he'll wake up and they'll be in bed together. Crashing through the roof of a tavern, Sonja spots her blade and grabs it; walking over to where Spider-Man lies seemingly unconscious and preparing to kill him. She diverts her stab at the last second as Mary Jane fights Sonja for control, muttering that Spider-Man is a great warrior as she peels back his mask and whispering his name as she prepares to kiss him. Red Sonja reasserts herself, recoiling in disgust, and Spider-Man realizes that Sonja's control over Mary Jane's body is dependant on her staying in contact with her sword. Before he can press the issue his Spider-Sense goes off; and Venom rips through the wall of the tavern, speaking in butchered Early Modern English - which Spider-Man immediately calls him out on - and saying that Kulan Gath demands their blood. Transforming his head into a massive set of jaws, Venom attempts to devour them both in a single bite, but Spider-Man and Red Sonja manage to dodge. Raising her sword, Sonja faces down Venom and declares that as a servant of Kulan Gath he must die.

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kulan Gath gloats that he managed to bend Venom to his will, telling his scribe - J. Jonah Jameson - that his next decree will be to have all women with red hair decapitated so as to prevent Sonja's soul from indwelling a new body. Gleefully watching Venom battle with Sonja, Kulan Gath orders his scribe to tell him all about the symbiote supervillain.

In Times Square, Vermin - astride a giant fire-breathing rat - and a horde of monsters drive a crowd of civilians towards the sacrificial pits, Joe Robertson snatching up a terrified child as she falls and telling her that he'll protect her. Gloating, Vermin sneers that they will be sacrificed to mark the ascension of his lord and master, Kulan Gath.

Venom's brawl with Red Sonja and Spider-Man spills out into the streets, the symbiote supervillain enraging Sonja by calling her a harlot. As Venom lunges and snarls that he'll eat their brains, Spider-Man dodges and Red Sonja kicks Venom in the head, shouting that she'll send him back to the pit that spawned him. Sonja slashes Venom, drawing blood, and Spider-Man warns her that underneath the living darkness is a human who - while deeply flawed - doesn't deserve to die. Sonja dismisses this and scolds him for talking too much; Spider-Man snaring Venom with webbing and retorting that while she distracts enemies with a skimpy outfit, he distracts them with bad jokes. Snarling that Sonja is right, Venom snares Spider-Man with a tendril and says he'll silence him by eating his tongue. Venom slams Spider-Man into the roof of the castle, Sonja cursing Spider-Man's recklessness as she clambers up to save him. Venom snarls that the lord wants Spider-Man dead and slashes him with his claws, ripping Spider-Man's costume and sending him flying into the swamp that used to be Central Park. Horrified that Spider-Man might have been killed, Sonja slashes Venom across the chest and leaps after Spider-Man, vowing to return after she's saved him. As Sonja dives into the swamp, Venom snarls that he'll devour her for making him bleed; but is interrupted by the arrival of Vermin, who says he can feast all he wants if he does Kulan Gath's bidding.

At Sheep's Meadow, Kulan Gath's executioners begin dragging red-haired women out of the crowd, beheading them, and mounting their severed heads on pikes. Kulan Gath gloats that he has successfully conquered the city even with Red Sonja hunting him; but that he managed to set her against Spider-Man and now both of them are dead. Jameson dourly writes as Kulan Gath states that he will soon be powerful enough to transform the entire world in his image, leaving it a rotting effigy for the gods to gaze upon in horror.

Sonja grabs Spider-Man and hauls him to the surface of the swamp, still confused by the nagging sensation at the back of her mind that he is someone close and dear to her, someone she can trust and rely upon for backup. Muttering that she'll figure that out later, she tells the unconscious Spider-Man that Kulan Gath intends to sacrifice every person in the city and enact a ritual to obtain godlike power - as he's done countless times in the past. Sonja deposits Spider-Man on the shore and leaves to find more allies, but the moment she's out of eyesight Kulan Gath's soldiers come across Spider-Man and grab him, carrying him away to be sacrificed. Spotting this, Red Sonja curses her bad luck and hurries off to find more allies so she can rescue him.

Having learned about the Venom symbiote from Jameson, Kulan Gath gleefully declares his intent to strip it from its host and claim its dark power for himself.

Solicit Synopsis

  • Look out, Spidey, the She-Devil with a Sword is out for your blood! Two legendary heroes come together at the command of the sinister sorcerer Kulan Gath–so you know it won't be for tea and crumpets!
  • Oh, and did we mention that Venom has entered the fray? No man can defeat Red Sonja in battle–but what about a symbiote?
  • It's more web-slinging and sword-swinging, courtesy of Michael Avon Oeming (OMEGA FLIGHT) and Mel Rubi (Red Sonja)–plus another killer cover by Michael Turner!

Notes

  • The art in this story is uninked -- Reproduced directly from Mel Rubi's pencils.

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