Comic Cosplay: Queen Riot takes on Red Sonja Cosplay

red-sonja-cosplay-1Photography by Jay Tablante

Conan and Robert E Howard fans will recognize the Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith warrioress based loosely on Howard’s Sonya of the 1934 short story “The Shadow of the Vulture”. First appearing in Marvel Comics in February 1973 gracing the pages of Conan the Barbarian #23, she is as iconic as they come. Sonja is one of the archetypal fantasy figures of a fierce and beautiful warrior woman; rebooted in 2013 written by Gail Simone.

red-sonja-cosplay-2Photography by AnimazeGuy

Originally, Red Sonja lived in a humble home with her family – and as things often go in such character’s lives: tragedy struck. At the age of 17, mercenaries murdered her family and burned her home to the ground. Attempting to defend herself, she finds she is not strong enough to lift her brother’s sword. The mercenaries brutalize her – and answering her call of revenge, the red goddess Scáthach appears before her and grants her incredible strength and battle prowess – on the condition that she not have relations with a man unless he defeats her in fair combat.


In the reboot by Gail Simone – her past is told with flashbacks, and she lures the bandits into the forest one by one to kill them, with no appearance by the red goddess and no vow of combat chastity. She, in this case, learns her fighting skills from another prisoner when she is captured and forced into gladitorial fighting pits. This Sonja is described as a distant relative or reincarnation of the classic heroine.

red-sonja-cosplay-4Photography by DF Imagery

New Sonja or Old Sonja, Queen Riot is immediately identifiable as our favorite warrioress. The classic mail bikini, smeared with the blood of her enemies – and the fur accents go the distance in bringing her from page to life. I’m assuming that is Queen Riot’s natural hair died an undeniable shade of red – which totally works! Straight, free, and blowing in the wind! There are no weak postures in her images and she wields her prop sword with confidence. Costumes that are simple in design are often the most difficult to create because of so much attention to subtle work – but Queen Riot steps perfectly into those bloody boots and completely slays me with this cosplay!



Written by Guest Contributor: ShatteredStitch