Monday, June 3, 2013

King Conan #1

Dark Horse is making fans of Conan very happy these days, publishing two comics devoted to everyone's favorite barbarian.

What's interesting is that the comics are very different. Over in Conan the Barbarian, writer Brian Wood is giving us a Conan rooted in the real world, dealing with his love for Belit and taking part in real-world adventures with little or no magic in evidence. It's a great comic, but it's a different take on the character.

Now, if you're looking for Robert E. Howard's character, look no further than King Conan.

Writer Tim Truman is tuned in to the original Conan - tough, brutal, a warrior who overcomes obstacles by force of will and a surprising amount of wit - not to mention his incredible strength and fighting skills.

And here he adapts the only full-length Conan novel written by Howard - The Hour of the Dragon. The story features Conan later in life after he has become the King of Aquilonia.

He faces an attack from Nemedia, one that is backed by a powerful sorcerer. It's a thrilling start to a 12-part series, and Truman nails it.

The art is by the amazing Tomas Giorello, with color art by Jose Villarrubia, and it's wonderful - with amazing environments, powerful character depictions, dynamic layouts - I'm surprised that more people aren't referring to Giorello as one of the best Conan artists since Windsor-Smith and Buscema - yep, I said it.

So if you're a Conan fan, it's a great time to follow the adventures of that character - you can enjoy something different, or a terrific version of the classic.

Personally, I'm buying both. But if I was only buying one, this series would win out.

Grade: A


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