Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Conan The Barbarian #11 - A Review

I fear I've grown bored of Brain Wood's thoughtful take on Conan The Barbarian.  And by thoughtful, I mean there are more pages of people standing around talking than there are scenes of honest combat.  While this sort of thing is okay in moderation - and indeed, I enjoyed last month's issue which was mostly scenes of Conan and Belit discussing their relationship - two issues in a row of Conan brooding on his place in the universe is a bit much. 

By my count, this issue has two and a half pages of combat compared to five pages of Conan having hallucinations while on an inexplicable vision quest that serves no obvious purpose in the story apart from padding the page count..  This is, to my mind, unacceptable.  Does this mean I want nothing but mindless action in a Conan story?  Of course not!  Robert E. Howard wrote many thoughtful scenes of Conan philosophizing but those scenes were interspersed with scenes of Conan kicking ass.  This book, by contrast, is all talk with little action.

At least the artwork by Declan Shaley is appropriately atmospheric.  What precious little action exists is paced well and ably illustrated.  And Shaley manages the difficult task of drawing a Belit who looks sickly yet strong at the same time, though her appearance does not stay consistent between the two scenes we see her in - her blotchy skin vanished when it comes time for her to bail Conan out of a fight.

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