Thursday, September 2, 2004

Conan #7 - A Review

Written by: Kurt Busiek
Penciled by: Cary Nord & Thomas Yeates
Inked by: Cary Nord & Thomas Yeates
Colored by: Dave Stewart
Lettered by: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Editor: Scott Allie
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Is there anything about the greatness of this series that hasn’t already been discussed in sickeningly sweet detail in the past few months by every other Internet comic reviewer out there? Personally, I have heaped tons of sugar upon Busiek’s skill as a writer and used a gallon of honey-coating on the words describing the artwork of Nord and Yeates. And yet, it still doesn’t seem to be enough to describe the skill and love that goes into each issue of this book.

Still, I can think of only one: the sense of humor. Yes, most don’t think of Conan as being a funny book but it does have its’ own unique sense of humor. Take this issue, where Conan is on a mission of vengeance. Some time back, he and his comrades in arms were betrayed by two of their own and sold into slavery. Among all of them, only Conan has survived their escape attempt and is now eagerly tracking down their former brothers-in-arms.

Suffice to say, Conan does track them down, exact a bloody vengeance as only he can and is immediately accosted by a merchant about how the laws of the city prohibit murdering people in the street. Picture this scene as Conan stands over a corpse, his sword shoved down the open mouth of his former comrade, as he advances on said merchant and says…

Conan: These men were cowards and traitors who sold their own people into slavery and death. They deserved their deaths and any who stand with them deserve death as well… Now. I speak, little Brythunian. WHAT did you say?

Innkeeper: O-only that these, ah these pigs were NOT Brythunian, and Brythurnian law is for Brythurnians only. L-Let me stand you a drink… welcome a justice-minded traveler to our village!

This issue is an excellent one for those of you who have yet to experience the glory and wonder that is Conan to start with. The action of the series thus far is explained away easily without seeming too continuity-heavy and the next story, involving some magically-aided woman warrior is set up nicely as the issue ends with a hint of mystery and anticipation. And as always, Nord and Yeates artwork is splendid, perfectly capturing the feeling of Howard’s world with an amazing style that looks like the finest of watercolors put over an intricately engraved woodcut.

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