Review: King Conan #3

Truman and Giorello are back at it again! Bringing the high fantasy adventure that Conan readers have come to expect from them. King Conan’s story continues to unfold and entertain. As I state every month, I am a biased Conan fan. And yet, every time I pick up an issue of Conan I always half expect to be let down based purely on the idea that eventually I’ll get bored of watching Conan cut people in half, or fight monsters, or yell really inspiring things. However, every time I finish an issue this is never the case, I am always on the edge of my seat wanting more. Maybe I’m just a huge fan of adventure stories, or maybe Truman and Giorello’s ability to consistently write an epic yarn full of fast-paced action can’t be beat. Conan finds himself at odds with the Pict Wolf Tribe that just rescued him from the Witch Kwarada and the Pictish hordes that are on the brink of invasion with Aquilonia. While Conan is grateful for his rescue he still considers the Picts to be his sworn enemies, but now he sees that alliance may be the only way to combat the hordes that will soon be at his doorstep. Conan discovers that the future chief of the Wolf Tribe (who happen to be the most powerful and most influential of all the tribes) is just a boy, who is traveling with them through the jungle. Conan agrees to make a truce with them after much deliberation.

King-Conan-#3-1The young chieftain reveals that he was watching when Conan and his comrades were first ambushed back in issue two, and that he saw where Conan hid the ancient crown, things begin to look up. All hope is lost when the evil Picts emerge from the jungle, the Dark Witch Kwarada was, unsurprisingly, tracking Conan the entire time. The ensuing battle leaves Conan the last man standing, the young Chief captured along with the crown, and a pile of corpses rotting in the jungle heat. A perfect set-up for the final chapter of this excellent adventure.

Conan is one of those rare comics that benefits from being a little derivative. A lot of media be it video games, movies, or TV are often derided for their lack of originality, and yet Conan stories are praised for following the path set by Robert E. Howard all those decades ago. They are supposed to read like the dog-eared paperback wrinkled by repeat reads. Surely there are critics of this derivative style, but for those who are looking for the pulpy classic feel of 1920s fantasy Dark Horse’s Conan comics never fail to deliver. This doesn’t go to say that they feel old by any means, even compared to the 70s Marvel comics they feel sleek and modernized. Each panel lush with detail, and overflowing with kinetic energy. It takes a lot of skill to translate a literary character and put them into fast moving visual oriented comic books, and Dark Horse constantly does just that. Alright, that’s enough praise for Conan for one day, just go and read this miniseries yourself, just in time for the finale next month!

Score: 4/5

King Conan: Wolves Beyond the Border #3 Written by: Timothy Truman Art by: Tomas Giorello Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: Print: $3.99 Release Date: 2/24/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital