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Monster / Red Sonja

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"History's end is assured! I will bring darkness into this world! I will rule over it! And as with all things, it begins...with BLOOD. Innocent blood...and the darkness rises."
Kulan Gath, while performing a Human Sacrifice, Prophecy issue #5

Of all the many evil sorcerers, barbaric kings, and dark gods the Hyrkanian She-Devil has fought through her various incarnations, these characters stand out as the nastiest.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

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Marvel Comics (Earth-616)

  • Marvel Feature 1975 Vol. 2 issue #2—"Blood of the Hunter": Rejak the Tracker is a savage brigand who, to spite Red Sonja for stealing from him, decides to torment her by murdering everyone she comes across. Rejak massacres a tavern full of people and dozens of soldiers Red Sonja has befriended, killing a man she's befriended and mocking her by propping his body up on a pole, tormenting her with such relentlessness that even the hardened Red Sonja starts to become fearful. Rejak climaxes his torment by poisoning streams—resulting in numerous dead animals—and pointlessly killing a bunch of innocent people at a farm, cornering Red Sonja there and promising to torture her to death if she doesn't return what she stole from him.
  • Vol. 1:
    • Issue #3—"The Games of Gita": Queen Sortilej holds cruel reign over the twin cities of Athos and Zotoz, forcing the Zotozians into a cruel caste system where they toil and suffer as slaves of Athos. Worse still, the Queen establishes a twisted Olympics-style "game" where Athosian athletes and Zotozian slaves are made to participate against each other. The Zotozians face an inevitable Morton's Fork in their "participation": If they lose, they're executed, and if they win, they're executed—alongside the Athosian losers.
    • Issue #15—"The Tomb of Three Dead Kings!": The Three Dead Kings themselves, Nubis, Kaukasis, and Mongollis, are ageless Vampire Monarchs, rulers of a long-dead kingdom who feed on innocent women. Through their human servants Sharlo and his son Flurdelie, the Three Kings have fed upon countless women through the ages. When Flurdelie convinces the Three Kings Sharlo has ceased being useful, the Three Kings reward Sharlo's long service by reducing him to a monstrous, plantlike monstrosity that feels nothing but a constant, maddening hunger.

Dynamite Comics

Recurring Villains
  • Sonja's greatest nemesis, the Evil Sorcerer Kulan Gath, manipulates untold amounts of bloodshed and destruction to restore himself to Hyboria. Taking over the world, Kulan Gath enacts a horrific dystopia where he sacrifices people for their blood to use in his rituals and has countless innocents slaughtered for refusing to worship him or even hesitating in his worship. Keeping his former lover, the Goddess Scathach, as an abused slave, Kulan Gath is defeated but later returns, moving throughout the centuries and killing more and more innocents. Arriving on Earth, Kulan Gath summons demons to kill countless innocents and tries to enact the end of time to obliterate the universe and create everything again in his own image. A spiteful, egotistical, sadistic monster, Kulan Gath repeatedly proves why he is Sonja's most horrific enemy.
  • Thulsa Doom is one of Sonja's greatest enemies. Once a slave of Atlantis, Thulsa Doom started as a noble, if ambitious man, but slipped into evil and the worship of Set. Centuries later, all traces of goodness are gone and Thulsa Doom leads an army of raiders to slaughter and enslave all they find. Obsessed with Sonja, Thulsa Doom tries to seduce and rape her, before attempting to devour ancient gods to rise to godhood himself. Later slain by Sonja, he returns thanks to Set to destroy her kingdom, killing countless innocents there and sacrificing men and children for Set, letting Set impregnate all the women. After betraying and destroying Set himself, Thulsa Doom raises Atlantis from the seas in a massive cataclysm before taking over bloodily, intending to raise the Dreaming God of Atlantis to consume most of the world and reign over it himself.

Limited Series

  • Queen of the Frozen Wastes, written by Frank Cho & Doug Murray: The titular Queen is a primordial being who has existed for eons, watching humanity grow and vying for the day where she can control the Earth. The Queen twists the primitive neanderthals into a society of cannibals, having them capture and butcher countless people for her and them to eat while taking dozens more as slaves. Enraptured by Sonja's beauty, the Queen attempts to break her will to force her into joining her side by forcing her to fight the innocent slaves, tearing out the heart of the first she spares and trying to make her watch as another is torn apart by a bear.
  • Thulsa Doom, written by Arvid Nelson: Ancasta was a vicious Lord of Atlantis and a twisted woman who enjoyed beating and raping her slaves, including Thulsa Doom himself. When Thulsa Doom escaped and scarred her face, Ancasta manages to heal herself by sacrificing many slaves and using their blood to restore her beauty. Hunting Thulsa Doom and the artifacts he carries, Ancasta kills numerous innocents and seeks to force Thulsa Doom's ally Mallius, the true chosen of the god Valka, into compliance by keeping Mallius's family hostage on massive torture wheels before summoning the corpses of countless innocents she has killed into a hideous golem.
  • Wrath of the Gods & Revenge of the Gods, written by Luke Lieberman & Ethan Ryker: Loki is the son of Odin and brother of Thor. Despising Thor's mother's tribe the Budini, Loki slaughtered them and then makes it a mission to massacre and kill as many Budini as possible while sparing only women he brings into his harem. Trying to kill Thor and his younger brother, Loki kills numerous innocents before resurfacing later. Allying with a group of raiders to capture Sonja and take over a kingdom, Loki tortures the kingdom, having countless more killed before unleashing monsters his father locked away to bring about Ragnarok and consume the world before making it anew in his own image.
  • Atlantis Rises, written by Luke Lieberman: King Kazel is the power-hungry ruler of the fallen kingdom of Atlantis. Awakened from his millennia-long slumber by Thulsa Doom, Kazel immediately has him imprisoned and launches a bloody campaign to restore Atlantis's former glory and subjugate all mortals. First assaulting the capital of Baalar and personally killing its king, Kazel sets about brutally conquering any kingdoms in his path and slaughtering hundreds of civilians, with survivors taken as slaves. Upon learning of Thulsa Doom's usurpation of power in Atlantis, Kazel furiously beheads the Atlantean who informed him of this news, threatening the same on any others who test his wrath, before attempting to reassert his control over Atlantis by killing Doom.
  • Birth of the She-Devil, written by Luke Lieberman: Raka is a bandit from Sonja's past, having murdered an innocent merchant and taking his daughter Shashana to rape and abuse. Years later, Raka is revealed as a devotee of Bel, God of Chaos, spreading a mist that causes men to lose inhibitions and fall upon one another. Attacking one village, Raka butchers everyone there, spreading his poison to the capital city while glorying in all loss of morals and the sheer slaughter that results. Plotting on a "great cleansing", Raka intends upon spreading his dark evangelism to all nations, even having a group of prospective concubines butcher one another with the survivor getting to claim his lusts as a reward.

Vol. 2, written by Gail Simone

  • Issues #1-6: King Bazrat is known as a butcher who happily runs brutal slave pits where slaves are forced to fight to the death for his amusement. This is the fate of Sonja and her sister in arms, "Dark" Anissia, who are finally liberated by noble king Dimath of Patra. Seething at being bested, Bazrat has a poison concocted to simulate a plague and unleashes it on both Dimath's armies and his own, poisoning any he feels are disloyal before infecting entire nations and manipulating Anissia from the shadows into killing all the "infected", resulting in countless villages with all their inhabitants burned alive. He then intends to have every civilian in Patra burned to ashes while alive, and reveals he murdered one of his own generals to keep the man's wife as an abused play thing before trying to force Sonja and Anissia to fight to the death, gleefully commenting the deaths of so many were to make the appearance of plague "convincing".
  • Issues #7-12: Emperor Samala the Wise is one of the vilest tyrants Sonja ever faces. Samala establishes backbreaking labor of thousands to create a grand mausoleum in preparation for his impending death from old age, tricking Sonja into gathering the land's finest artisans to help through a lavish party with the promise to free all of the country's slaves. In actuality, Samala simply intends to bury all of the thousands of slaves alive with him, having the bookkeeper keeping tally of his demands murdered for his "honesty", and when Sonja finally figures out his scheme, Samala spitefully intends to torture the artisans—one of whom is a child-— to death, knowing Sonja has befriended all of them.

Crossovers, by publication date

  • Witchblade/Red Sonja, written by Doug Wagner: Ragniel is one of the Fallen Angels who were cast down from Heavens after the rebellion against God. Being freed by a mad wizard, Ragniel immediately killed him and then, when Red Sonja refused to be his concubine, he forced her to fight against her deceased father, whom he had resurrected. After being defeated and sealed away by Red Sonja, Ragniel eventually frees himself, forms a cult and has them commit ritualistic murders by skinning people alive. Tracking down the current wielder of the Witchblade, Ragniel zombified some of her fellow police officers and tries to force her to give up Witchblade, before he spitefully has her husband mortally wounded and declares his intention on kidnapping her infant daughter and having her breed the new race, with which he intends to take over Heaven and Earth. When Sara Pezzini picked on his trail, Ragniel painfully transformed all his followers into the mindless monsters and sends them to kill Sara.
  • Red Sonja/Tarzan, written by Gail Simone: Eson Duul is a former Cimmerian who stole a sword of Sorrow after massacring its keeper's household. Obsessed with his own glory, Duul uses it to hunt heroes and legends across multitudes of worlds and times, slaughtering them and all they care about on grand scales. Not content with this, Duul hunts entire species to extinction, obsessed with never being outdone. Targeting Tarzan, Duul hunts down Tarzan's young grandson to murder him and slaughters all in his path, intending to enslave Tarzan's daughter-in-law. When Sonja and Tarzan hunt him to a lost world, Duul seeks to rally the primordial beings there to flood the surface and slaughter everything in their path so that Duul may reign supreme.
  • Mars Attacks Red Sonja, written by John Layman: Xi'Zeer, a Martian scientist opposed to his people's peaceful ways, fakes an attack on his people and leads an expedition to the Hyborean Age, where he begins to slaughter humans en masse, deposing the royals of one nation after massacring their people. Subjecting others to ghastly experiments, even his own people for opposing his insane ambitions, Xi'Zeer creates Green Sonja, a Martian version of the heroine to serve as his queen, and intends to graft Sonja herself to numerous other bodies to fight and die in pain forever as punishment for defying him.

Other Media

  • Against the Prince of Hell, by David C. Smith & Richard L. Tierney: Du-jum, worshipper of the evil vulture god Urmu, takes over the city of Thesrad and proceeds to have the population tortured and massacred on a whim. He proceeds to hunt for Prince Omeron, torturing to death any loyalists he encounters with dark sorcery, before instituting bloody Human Sacrifice to appease Urmu. After killing countless innocents, Du-jum attempts to tunnel into hell itself to unleash the demonic legions under his control to slaughter as they will and bring the world under his power, even attempting to murder his own daughter when she stands against him.
  • 1985 film: Queen Gedren is an evil tyrant who opens the film by vamping on to Sonja herself. When Sonja resists her advances, Gedren has her family butchered and has Sonja gang raped by Gedren's soldiers. She later massacres a temple of peaceful priestesses to get her hands on an Artifact of Doom that will allow her to Take Over the World and shows no hesitation exterminating any country that resists her. When Sonja herself confronts Gedren later, Gedren says the lives of Sonja's family mean nothing next to a scar Sonja dealt her.