Sunday, May 20, 2012

Conan the Barbarian #4

The true sign of a great fictional character is that he or she (or it) holds up under diverse creative teams.

Certainly Conan the Barbarian fits that description. We've seen a wide assortment of talent spinning tales based on Robert E. Howard's character. Some have been great, some just OK, and some have been poor.

Happily, this series falls into the "great" category.

His depiction in this comic is a bit different from the usual muscle-bound brute, but it's very entertaining - and just as valid.

Writer Brian Wood gives us - of all things - a romantic Conan, longing for the attention of the she-pirate Belit (who, like Conan, is a virtual force of nature).

This story finds Conan playing a deadly game, as he takes part in a plan that requires him to put a lot of trust in Belit and her pirates.

The art this time around is by James Harren, who continues the style established by Becky Cloonan - a stark and stylized look at the characters - but also adds some beautiful scenery, including a double-page vista of Messantia that would have earned a "thumbs up" from Hal Foster.

I'm enjoying this version of Conan - more contemplative than his usual self, but one who's learning and changing because of his relationship with a fierce woman.

Highly recommended!

Grade: A-


No comments: