There is only one more issue remaining in Brian Wood’s historic run of Conan the Barbarian. These issues can’t hit the shelves fast enough. This issue ended in a way that (in my opinion) would have been appropriate for the end of the series. I don’t have any freaking idea what is going to happen next month. I can’t tell if I’m more excited because of the events leading up to the end, or because of my inability to foresee any possible outcome. I would like to say that I’ve been reading Brian Wood’s work long enough to have some kind of idea of what he’ll do, but that’s the thing, you never really know what he’ll hit you with next. Conan has nothing left to lose. He awaits the arrival of his hidden enemy. But if they expect to defeat Conan with the same ease as they did his crew, they’re in for a grave underestimation. What awaits them, is harboring the kind of calm calamity that can only lead to their ruin.
The narration storytelling style of this arc has been the best creative decision that I have ever had the pleasure of reading in my life. And it can definitely be said about this latest issue as well. Every issue makes me feel like I am sitting at a campfire in a present day Cimmeria, and am being told of the exploits of its greatest champion. This is the new template of graphic storytelling.
Watching Conan slice through his enemies in this issue gave me a sense of validation that I thought was only possible to feel through firsthand experiences. The art style that Riccardo Burchielli has, was made to be seen in the pages Conan the Barbarian.
I won’t keep going on and on this week about how this series has changed the way that I read comics, maybe when Wood’s run is complete, but I will say that something is different here. There comes a time in every person’s life that certain moments start to make up who you are. I guess that you could call these “defining moment”. We start to show symptoms (for lack of a better word) of our experiences. Whether these symptoms come from something that we’ve experienced firsthand, heard in a conversation, watched, or read. I will never read comics the same way again. That is for sure. This is one of those moments.
Writer: Brian Wood Artist: Riccardo Burchielli Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 1/22/14