Here we go with another lesson where Conan learns just how hard it truly is out here for a pimp in the fifteenth issue. The siege of Shem is now brought to a temporary cease-fire as both sides front like the warring has not been taxing and ya know they just need a smoke break or whatever. Conan who we last left in pretty shitty shape following a quasi "successful" infiltration of the walls of the great Shemite fortress his boo Belit, lies hidden within so to speak. Really imagine it like this: you're Mario and on your last life just barely made your way through the last castle and gave Bowser one for then the Princess is like...."I don't know this big goofy fuck" then a big ass gang of koopa troopas mudhole stomps the shit outta you while she watches like " damn, I feel kinda bad but uh..gotta do whatcha gotta do right?" and that pretty much catches you up to speed for #15 here.
Awakening from said ass-whooping and a much needed light to no coma (props if you see what I did there), Conan is back on his grind to get what he came for and get gone war campaign be damned! At the same time the reader is given an account of the origin of the so called “Woman on the Wall” aka Belit. Now while I wasn't too shocked about anything revealed in her origin so far I will say it didn't take away from my enjoyment of it either. In fact while not the most in-depth it does provide us with more insight as to what would harden a beautiful woman just enough to make her a match for Conan while not overdoing it and becoming a Red Sonja rip-off kudos to Brian Wood for that one.
Suffice it to say there isn't much more I can go into much detail about without ruining what's left to enjoy about this issue, but let's just say even Barbarians get somewhat happy endings here and there, I say somewhat because once you see the conclusion of this arc you'd be remiss to not think Conan's happiness will not come without a price and I'm pretty sure this one is going to come back to bite him in the ass somewhere down the road. It's those kind of winding oh snap tales that add an extra layer of bad-assery to the tales of Conan the Barbarian.
Overall this is a pretty decent issue, while for the time being the resolution to this arc is a bit lackluster considering all the shit Conan wadded through to get to it, like I said there will most definitely be future consequences to it so at least there's that since technically it's not over yet.
Artist Andrea Mutti provides some tasteful artwork that adds credence to an ending that lacks a bit of the punch I was expecting considering the buildup to this point and the fact shit got real last issue. In fact I was a little put off but how intense Brian Wood built up Conan's breaking into the walls of the infamous impenetrable Ramah Em Rah Fortress only to have Conan get off relatively easy for his bloody efforts.
Still though this issue is enjoyable and shows yet again that while Brian Wood may not be the perfect Conan writer he does know the character and the world, while not afraid to try and break away a bit from the typical Conan formula and try to keep things fresh. While I would probably put this on the lower end of books I'd suggest to a new reader of Conan anyone familiar with the story or who's been following it up until now should shed all doubts and give this a read.
Score: 2/5 (3/5 if you're up to date on Conan)
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 4/17/13