Thursday, March 24, 2011

Epic Illustrated #10: Marada, the She-Wolf in "The Shattered Sword" (Part 1 of 2)

Download Epic Illustrated #10

Marada, the She-Wolf is a fantasy comic book fictional character created for Epic Comics by writer Chris Claremont and English artist John Bolton. She first appeared in Epic Illustrated #10 (Feb. 1982). The story was originally planned for the character of Red Sonja, Conan's sometime partner, but had to be changed due to issues surrounding the then-in-production Red Sonja movie with Brigitte Nielsen. Claremont moved the historical milieu from the Hyborian Era to the Roman Empire, and changed her hair from red to silver. Marada is also more sensual than Red Sonja, perhaps due to Bolton's drawings. (This change of character from Red Sonja to Marada resulted in some dispute over ownership of the character. Since Marada's adventures were first published in the creator-owned series Epic Illustrated, the rights to her character were eventually given to writer Claremont and artist Bolton.)

Marada is introduced as "her mother was the first born of Caesar," though it is unclear if this refers to Julius Caesar or to a current emperor (bearing the generic title of "Caesar") during the Imperial age. Her adventures are a mix of fantasy and history, told from an adult point of view. Together with her friend, the princess Arianrod, she fights against evil demons, wizards, witches and other fantastic creatures, but also against the threats a woman could expect from a world ruled by males.

In a tip of the hat to New Mutants #32, Marada met a woman named Ashake in the graphic novel, and in a nod to Giant-Size Dracula #2, a demon named Y'Garon.

Script: Christopher Claremont
Pencils and inks: John Bolton
Letters: Tom Orzechowski

Originally posted 7/18/09.

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