Saturday, April 2, 2011
One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel #2
BAD THING: Truman deviates a bit from Howard's text in this chapter. In the original Robert E. Howard story, Conan's jailer recognizes him from his days as a pirate as the man indirectly responsible for the death of his brother. While he is identified as a eunuch by the narrator, no reference is made to it in the dialogue of the scene. So it is somewhat jarring to see this extra bit of motivation added to the jailer's hatred of Conan and his threat to do more than kill Conan.
I can understand why Truman made this change as the original text of this scene was filled with some commentary and description that would be racist by today's standards. The problem is that having the jailer refer to Conan as "your kind" rather than "white men" is little better and the whole scene could honestly lose the reference to the jailer being offended by Conan's attempts to bribe him... particularly since he was the one who started demanding money to release him in the first place!
GOOD THING: All issues of just how acceptable it is to alter the original text in an adaptation aside, the action does flow very well here. And artist Tomas Giorello has an amazing gift for capturing expression, managing to do well what few artists even attempt - a frightened Conan.
The Final Verdict: While some may debate the appropriateness of adding in references to castration that were not in the original story, it cannot be denied that this comic is a fast-paced, well-illustrated tale of Conan regardless of how you feel about how it was adapted.