Once again Truman and Giorello have crafted another harrowing tale of pulp action on a level that is rarely matched. After years of reading Conan comics I’ve come to believe that this duo should be entered in the pantheon of legendary comic writer/artist teams. They work remarkably well together, pairing Giorello’s beautiful classic-style art with Truman’s action packed story. I feel like I could go on and on about how good their work on Conan has been over the years, but enough, let’s get to the meat of the review! King Conan and two of his most trustworthy guards continue their journey through the jungle to try and learn more about the meaning behind the mystical crown that was brought to Aquilonia from a defeated ranger. Their goal is to get it to the priests of Mitra, but of course the Picts that are hot on their trail have other plans. Deep in the jungle the trio are ambushed, and blood is shed. In beautiful fashion that Giorello does so masterfully blades are swung and crimson flashes across the page. The battle scenes in Conan are the driving force behind the story, and the payoff is always great. Durian one of Conan’s men is skewered saving the King from two spear-wielding Picts, and eventually they are overwhelmed, tied up, and brought to the Picts encampment. Here it is revealed that the Picts have gathered all of their tribes, a feat that has not happened in many, many years. Obviously the allure and mythology behind the crown have brought them here in pursuit of power and glory.
Conan and Crassus are strung up, a fire kindled beneath them, as the lead witch of the Picts demands to know where the crown is. Previously to being captured Conan hid it in the reeds near where they were ambushed, and feigns innocence. The fire is lit, and we watch Crassus ignite, his skin oozing off of his flesh like a melting ice cream cone. Giorello can really draw some gore, and this proves it, as the words snap, crackle, and ssssss float past the sizzling corpse. Conan watches in horror, but refuses to cave to the whims of the Pictish horde. One of the chieftains demands a favor before Conan himself is burned, and yells at Conan for killing his kin, but secretly hands him an arrowhead. Just before the flames begin to lick at his flesh, Conan rips free as agile as ever. Punching his way out of the bewildered crowd, and follows the fleeing Wolf tribe into the jungle, one of his old allies a witch named Nai is with them.
King Conan continues to be an exhilarating read, and remains to me one of Dark Horse’s best books. As far as pure escapism goes Conan comics always fill that need. With Truman and Giorello at the helm, you can be assured that blood will be spilled, adventure will be close at hand, and Conan will always be King!
King Conan #2 Writer: Tim Truman Artist: Tomas Giorello Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/27/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital