The final chapter in Brian Wood’s Conan the Barbarian is here, and I have to say I have mix feeling about this series. On one hand Wood’s Conan run has been very entertaining and the story telling was great, but I am sad to see the series end with only twenty-five issues. Also, after Cloonan left there was some problems with the art from time to time. At some point the art was either really good and other times art was really inconsistent and really made Conan a tough read sometimes. Aside from the art issues, this Conan series was very good run in terms of story and it made me care for Conan. In Conan issue twenty-five we have Conan returning from his epic fight in the jungle. Conan lands the Tigress on a nearby island and just sits in the sand sad and depressed wondering what to do with the mighty ship. During the time that he is on the island, Conan takes to challenging local fighters to fights hoping that one of the fighters just puts him out of his misery. After one of the fights Conan wonders why everyone in the island begins to call him the Ghostman. The barmaid explains to Conan that the reason everyone is calling him the Ghostman is because everyone can see that Conan is a defeated man, and the only person that can get himself out of that state is Conan himself.
This last issue of Conan was not my favorite. I understand that Conan is in grief because he lost the love of his life and his crew, but it felt like Wood’s spent way too much time on showing Conan’s grief. I felt that they could had done all the grieving in a couple of panels or even a page or two and once the grieving process was done show Conan remembering Belit and her crew on all the good times they had together and finally moving on to the next chapter in his life. But all I got in this last issue was Conan just moping around and trying to make himself feel better by kicking other people’s asses. It just felt so different from the entire series.
As for the art, I would had loved to have Becky Cloonan come back to the issue and finish the series, but Leandro Fernandez does a very good job of giving the book that initial feel of the first couple of issues of Conan that I read when Cloonan worked on it. Great consistent art on every page, and Dave Stewart’s coloring was fantastic in this issue, both of them combine did a really good job to capture what Cloonan did for the book in the beginning. Overall, Conan # 25 was a lackluster ending to a great series. Can’t win them all I guess.
Writer: Brian Wood Artist: Leandro Fernandez Colorist: Dave Stewart Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price $3.50 Release: 2/19/14