Do you want to see Conan the Barbarian fight in all-out war? How about seeing him slither in the mud to fight off a dinosaur looking monster? Do you like butts? You’ll love the new reprinting of Conan the Cimmerian by Marvel Comics! Running 464 pages, the Dark Horse Comics series Conan the Cimmerian is getting its final issues collected in a new Marvel collection.
Out now in comic shops, this collection, written mostly by Timothy Truman, is all about action. There’s a lot less storybook stuff and a whole lot of blood and battle. The first 144 pages is all one story focusing on Conan joining an army after observing from the sidelines and then rising up in the ranks. He eventually becomes a leader, falls in love with a princess, and fights a sorcerer who has a djinn on his side. No biggie for Conan, though there are close calls. It’s an epic story that will get your blood pumping.
Following this is a shorter story, and then we dive into another epic as Conan must survive in a swamp or die. It’s an interesting take on the character as he’s pushed to his limits never really in control until he’s the last man standing. This leads to him befriending a woman cast out–and wearing some kind of ancient g-string with lots of butt shots–and eventually vanquishing a giant gorilla. This further leads to him fighting a pirate leader, gargoyle’s come to life, and eventually becoming captain of his own pirate ship. It’s a rousing story that shows the mettle of Conan as well as his ability to make the best of bad situations. There are a few good speeches in the story too which shows how good of a leader Conan can be.
The collection ends with 13 pages of covers (one by Rob Guillery!) the original afterwords from the Dark Horse collections and some uncolored and inked pages. It’s a nice bunch of extras that keep the book feeling thorough.
Much of this book is drawn by the excellent art of Tomas Giorello. The man is capable of drawing panel after panel of hundreds of soldiers with heads being lopped off and yet none feel old or recycled. He can draw monsters, gore, and plenty of cheesecake too. The butt shots get a bit overdone in the end–one character is always bent over with her rear end pointed at us–but it’s certainly not an issue for much of the collection.
One negative would be the length of the 144-page battling. It gets old over time with much of the narrative feeling circular as heads are lopped, battles are won, the enemy regains strength, and we start all over. I found myself hoping for more twists, turns, or at least adventure. We don’t get to see Conan drinking in bars, snatching up jewels, or doing the usual things he typically does. There’s a commitment to the war-time story that I respect, but it’s clear they committed to this battle when more of a mix of the story could have done the story well.
I had a blast with the final stories of Conan the Cimmerian. The art by Giorello is impeccable and never boring, and it’s fun to see a longer story for Conan in battle form and eventually the results of such war-time stories when armies are disbanded.
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