Review: King Conan: Hour of the Dragon #1

Review by: Connor Russell I need to make a confession to you readers now before the hating starts. I have never read or watched anything related to Conan the Barbarian before. The closest I ever got was reading the blurb on a back of a book once. That's why when I saw an issue one I just knew that it was time I finally jumped onto this iconic character and give him a look over. Now that you've hopefully let go of your anger that was rising up, please read on.

At the start, King Conan is approached in the tomb of his first wife Zenobia. He was approached by a fledgling scribe who was asked to find out how Conan met his first wife and the story revolving around it. We cut to some men performing a ritual to revive Xaltotun (apparently a great magician, as I said I know nothing of this world). These men want his help to overthrow Conan from his throne, and the newly revived man agrees out of revenge from fighting barbarians back during his first life. The men pull strings and gather armies against Conan, all in the hopes to defeat him. More happens here and there but that is something that you will have to read for yourself.

King Conan #1 CoverTimothy Truman was in charge of writing duties for this issue. To me, pacing plays a very important role in a comic. Making sure the single issue has enough and not too much in such a limited form of narrative, and in this I found that Truman did a pretty good job. A lot goes on in a short amount of time but these events were all presented well without overshadowing one another. Another point I wish to raise is that with such a rich world and a long history, this could have been written with presumed knowledge disenfranchising new readers. Although I'm sure older readers would have known most things (Xaltotun for example), it is definitely written in a way that new fans can jump on without feeling lost.

Tomas Giorello was in charge of pencil duties and Jose Villarrubia took care of colors. I have never come across Giorello's work before but I found myself really digging it. This is a style I quite like. Things look a little rough and sketchy at times but pull it off well. The colors I found were generally a little dulled except for things like magic but it really helped bring the art forward in this book.

This book has done everything that an issue one should do, especially issue ones for arcs or mini-series in an already established franchise. They are meant to hook new readers and share what we are missing out on. This book has made me want to check out more Conan; in fact I may go buy a collection soon. Seriously, check it out.

Score: 4/5

Writers: Timothy Truman Artist: Tomas Giorello Colorist: Jose Villarrubia Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Released: 5/29/13