Review: King Conan #3

By Alex Vazquez

We’re three quarters of the way into our story, and as expected events are coming to a head, as assassins strike and blood-thirsty beasts are unleashed. All the while, our barbarian King has his back to the wall (just the way he likes it).

Timothy Truman’s bells and whistles have added an extra dimension to this retelling of Robert E. Howard’s original story. He follows the REH tradition of displaying Conan during the different eras in his life. More satisfyingly, it feels organic to the mythos.

Tomas Giorello and Jose Villarubia’s artwork has yet to disappoint, the page depicting a certain snake is especially sublime. Moreover, I find the panels juxtaposing between the different points in Conan’s life beautifully subtle.

The last issue can’t get here any sooner. May Mitra deliver it with swiftness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Alex on Twitter @Net_Lex

Review-King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel TPB

By  Alex Vazquez

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King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel TPB collects all four issues of the masterful adaption of Robert E. Howard’s short story. Once again Tomas Giorello, Timothy Truman, and Jose Villarrubia combine their talents to bring us a comic for the ages.

Truman once again takes REH’s original story and expands upon it beautifully. Any self respecting Conan fan will tell you that the original story was narrated by some unknown, omniscient character. (I think of actor Mako’s voice, thanks to the 80’s flick). This time around the tale is told in the first person, by the Cimmerian himself. Truman’s bold take on the story works, and serves to add another dimension to the events.

The artwork is perfection. Tomas Giorello can do no wrong with the world of Hyboria. I find his detailed and kinetic style perfectly suited for REH’s pseudo-historical tales. I especially love Giroello’s pale inks, which gives the pages a ‘pulpy’ look. Oh, and the splash pages are exquisite and poster worthy.

I’ve stated before that the drawings in these books work perfectly well in black and white. That being said, Villarrubia comes along and makes me happy that they’re not. His tones are vibrant in the right spots but appropriately drab all around, complementing the faded inks.

We’re also treated to a few ‘special features’ in this TPB, such as: chapter divider pages featuring artwork from Derrick Robertson, an art gallery, and an insightful introduction from Timothy Truman (which pays off at the end of the story).

This is a great package that should be in any Conan fan’s collection. Read, enjoy, and dream of the days of high adventure.

 

Follow Alex on Twitter @Net_Lex

Review of King Conan #1

By Alex Vazquez

 

I’ll have to  admit it’s been a while since I’ve read an American comic book. If there was ever a comic to bring me back into the fold. I couldn’t think of any subject matter better than Conan the Barbarian. I’ve read The Phoenix on the Sword as written by the man himself, Robert E. Howard, and this first issue hits the mark with tone.

Our writer, Timothy Truman, accurately captures the characterizations from the source material. In addition to that, he expands the scope of the narrative a bit. This is evident from the first page, but I’m pleased to find that this approach doesn’t step on the toes of the original, if anything enhances it a bit.

Tomas Giorello’s artwork brings me back to the pages of Marvel’s Savage Sword of Conan, albeit in color. His appropriately hatchy line work isn’t lost in said colors either. On that note, Jose Villarrubia’s wonderfully drab colors serve to express the melancholia and paranoia that permeates the story.

This book would look just as amazing in black and white; the colors are almost the icing on the cake and the splash pages are epic. The story is broken up into four issues. Overall, nothing big transpires in this first issue. By the end you can surmise who the true villain is. I look forward to the upcoming issues when things start to ramp up story wise. Until then, enjoy this love letter to the very story that introduced us to Robert E. Howard’s barbarian, thief, general, and king.

Follow Alex on  Twitter @nettomono