Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Conan And The People Of The Black Circle #3 - A Review

The third part of Conan And The People Of The Black Circle possesses problems that were less obvious in the first two chapters, if not completely absent.  Writer Fred Van Lente's decision to remove much of Howard's original narration - while helping to speed certain scenes in the earlier part of the story - proves something of a hindrance in these later chapters where Conan finally begins to face the titular Black Circle of wizards.  Here, Howard's description of the spells and devices used against Conan and his fellow warriors would add to the artwork rather than distracting from it, as it is often unclear precisely what is happening.    

This might not be so bad were Ariel Olivetti a good visual storyteller.  Alas, Olivetti is a great artist but there is very little sense of flow and continuity between his painted panels.  Indeed, there is one sequence in the climax of the book where the heroine is naked before the villain and then suddenly fully dressed the next time we see her but a few seconds later!

All in all, this isn't the worst adaptation of Robert E. Howard's work but it's also not a good one.  It seems to have been rushed to completion in its final hours.  I'll probably pick up the final issue for the sake of completeness but I can't say this series holds any attraction save for the most devout of Conan fans.

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