There is a review quote at the beginning of this comic that states… “This is Conan the way he was meant to be, the character we fell in love with.” And when you look at the cover and throughout the issue, the quote is right… At least from the art perspective. These pictures and renditions were exactly how I remember all the great Conan of old, whether I read a Robert E. Howard book or thumbed through some of John Busema’s classic renderings in the 1970s. These were the pages that I would find. I like the art here and just the pictures alone are great, story unread. But this is a known tale. In fact, it is a part of the adaptation of the "Hour of the Dragon" story by Howard himself; one of his bests. So, all the things that are good about Conan are located right here in this comic. It should be marvelous. Right? Right?
I have enjoyed Conan throughout my life and am well adept at his continuum and rise to eventually rule as a king. I must admit that I never read much from that lofty place as I typically followed the up and coming Conan over the being there and maintaining Conan. It just felt weird to me to read, probably more from inexperience than anything else I would say.
Within this issue, Conan is in the port city of Messantia. He has already been deposed by rivals and is now in search for an old relic that may hold the key to his re-ascent. Of course, he is not the only one searching and there is trouble a plenty waiting for him as he works to regain his power.
The story itself adapted from Howard’s work by Timothy Truman is written well enough. But it never really captured my imagination like I was hoping. It wasn't terrible by any means of the word. But it wasn't as action packed as I would have hoped either. I still give it high enough marks that you should give it a chance as future issues promise to become quite intense and satisfying. The potential is there and this story can be exceptional I believe.
With Tomas Giorello’s art….Incredible. His style is perfectly suited for this type of story and as I mentioned earlier, I could look at just the art alone and be wowed. I think these artistic impressions would have made Robert E. Howard quite pleased.
This story arc has everything working in its favor. It has a well-known character. It is based from a popular (maybe one of the most popular) stories from Robert E. Howard himself. It has the backing of Dark Horse Comics, it has capable writing, and it has phenomenal art. Everything is there. It just hasn’t quite fallen into place as of yet I am afraid. I am looking forward to seeing where it will go though.
Writer: Timothy Truman Artist: Tomas Giorello Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 2/26/14