Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Conan The Barbarian #1 (Review)

I try to like Conan, I really do.....I was excited when I heard of the new Conan The Barbarian series by Dark Horse Comics, following on the heels of the Conan movie (that I enjoyed).  The announcement that Brian Wood (who wrote the acclaimed Northlanders series from Vertigo) would be writing and that Becky Cloonan would do artwork further perked my interest. Then I opened and read issue #1.......

It's well-written, well-drawn, and entertaining. Robert E. Howard's "Queen of the Black Coast" story is one of the most-requested, highly anticipated arcs from the legacy of Conan, and it does not disappoint.  However, it just didn't "do it" for me.  I don't know why.....

Perhaps it's knowing the sad, tragic circumstances of Robert E. Howard's life and death.   Perhaps it's that Conan is a Barbarian makes his own rules and is not above thievery and murder to accomplish his goals.  That said, he does have a high code of honor and does generally do the right thing......like I said, I try to like Conan, I really do.

I'm at a loss as to why I didn't get into #1......it begins with Conan escaping Messantia on a stolen horse after being imprisoned and put on trial for witnessing a murder involving soldiers of the city.  He escapes on a trading ship and meets Tito & his crew as they head north to Kush. Conan hears the tales of the mysterious and feared Belit; Queen of the Black Coast, and pledges to Tito to end her reign of seafaring terror.

After a few pages that seem to lead you to believe that Conan is fantasizing about Belit, the issue ends with Conan and the crew of the Argus face-to-face with the dark & mysterious Queen of the Black Coast.

Citizen's Grade: O.K.  Maybe it's the $3.50 price tag, or the fact that Conan doesn't fly or have a power ring, or maybe I'm judging the book by the wrong standards....but Conan The Barbarian is a good book with a good writer and a great artist that I'll hear & read about others enjoying.....That said, if you like the Conan movies, or the fantasy/magic genre, then definitely check this title out for yourself!!

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