Monday, November 25, 2013

Conan The Barbarian #22 - A Review

Conan The Barbarian #22 proves that any work - no matter how good - can be completely destroyed in translation by unskilled adapters.  If it weren't for the fact that this is the final arc on this book for this creative team, I'd consider dropping the title completely.  As it is, this issue inspired nothing within me save a desire to reread the old Roy Thomas Conan comics to see it retold properly.

Brian Wood does not adapt Robert E. Howard's original text - he butchers it, like Conan chopping his way through a horde of Stygians!  While the dialogue in this book does capture the basic gist of Howard's original story, much of the original passionate dialogue is gone.  For instance, Conan's famed musings on the nature of reality and how it matters little if life is an illusion so long as he is part of that illusion is cut completely.  Curiously the only text Wood leaves intact is the written descriptions of things that could be more clearly conveyed in the artwork.

Then again - considering artist Riccardo Burchielli - Wood may well have good reason to trust the text over the art.  Burchielli is not a bad artist but his sense of cinematography is odd.  Many is the conversation where we cannot see the characters talking, being instead treated to a far-shot of the ship or the surrounding environment.  When the characters do appear, they are often turned away from the reader - the better for Belit to flash her half-bared backside to the reader!

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