K: You better be nice to me today, Dan, ‘cause it is “National-Be-Nice-To-A-Redhead-Because-I-Said-So-Day”.

D: That’s not a thing.

K: Yes it is. Just look at the calendar.

::Dan looks at the calendar. Sees sloppy mess that had to have been scrawled with a Sharpie clenched in someone’s teeth::

D: Just because you say it’s true doesn’t mean it is, Kate. Try again.

K: Well, there should be one. The most rare hair color is red, you know. Only 1-2% of the world’s population has red hair. We need to be recognized! This is our time!

D: We can totally recognize you: you’re the ones with the red hair. No need to call for a revolution just because banks and the post office are open on your fictitious national holiday.

K: Are you calling me a liar? You know people think that redheads are going to go extinct, but we aren’t going anywhere. We’re going to be here a long time. We shall rise up and rule the world! REDHEADS OF THE WORLD UNITE! ::throws fist into the air::

D: ::under his breath:: There’s that fiery temper everyone talks about.

K: ::shoots daggers from eyes::

D: OK, you want to talk about empowered redheads? What about your favorite Bat-gal, Batgirl? Barbara Gordon is a ginger like you. She would totally join in your revolution.

K: Yeah!! Babs has my back! She understands my pain! She too needs to wear extra suntan lotion…

D: You know Batgirl isn’t the only redhead heroine on the shelf, right?

K: Wha??? Tell me more! I need more generals to lead my revolution. Is this woman just as kick-ass as Batgirl?

D: Oh yes. Take a look for yourself. ::gently slides RED SONJA: QUEEN OF PLAGUES across the table:: I think you’ll find Sonja to be the perfect general.

::Kate reads comic, alternates between whoops of joy and tearful sorrow::

K: I love this book. How come I’ve never seen it before? Did Gail Simone make her up?

D: I know it seems like Sonja is the perfect character for Simone to write: strong, fierce, and independent, but Sonja has been around since 1973. Roy Thomas and Barry Smith came up with the She-Devil with a Sword for Marvel comics. Based on “Red Sonya” from a Robert E. Howard short story.

K: Robert E. Howard? The Conan guy? Nice.

D: Red Sonja has been kicking ass as the prototypical she-barbarian in fantasy fiction. Simone’s arrival on the Dynamite book was greeted by a roar of approval by her legion of rabid fans.

K: ::holds up her “I Stand With Simone” banner::

I can totes see why.

D: “Totes?”

K: Shut up. I don’t know the old Marvel stuff, and to be honest? I don’t really care. I know that when I pick up a Simone book, I’m going to get stories about characters I want to read about: a hero that won’t back down, that sticks to her convictions, and does whatever is needed to get the job done.

D: And they always know exactly what to say in every situation.

K: So with QUEEN OF PLAGUES, we find our warrior woman sleeping in the forest…

D: … sleeping it off, you mean?

K: Well, yes, but the tone of the story is set right from the start when Sonja fends off a group of bandits. Sleeping off a drunk or not, Sonja proves she’s more than a match for any roving marauders.

D: It doesn’t end well for those guys. So, Sonja is picked up in the forest by Nias and Ayla, two young messenger/bodyguard-types sent by King Dimath to help repel the invading forces of Zamora.

K: I love Nias and Ayla. They’re my favorite. It’s with characters like this that Simone really shines. She takes a pair of what could have been throwaway messengers, and with skill and heart, she goes and makes them my favorite part of the book! And with Walter Geovani’s lush artwork making every page something to truly savor, you have all the more reason to savor every page.

D: RED SONJA: QUEEN OF PLAGUES is far and away one of the best trades of 2014. Filled with taut action and loads of heart…

K: … and some killer quips!

D: … this is a book that should be on your comic shop pull list.

K: This book would make a great gift for anyone on your “National-Be-Nice-To-A-Redhead-Because-I-Said-So-Day” shopping list.

D: Still not a holiday, Red.

K: Shoot.