Monday, March 31, 2014

King Conan: The Conqueror #2 - A Review

This eighth chapter of Dark Horse Comics adaptation of The Hour Of The Dragon finds our favorite barbarian in dire straits.  The last issue ended with Conan setting sail after the thief who stole the magical gem he needs to save his kingdom.  As this issue opens, Conan is lost at sea and without provisions.  Salvation of a kind does find Conan but his rescuers see him not as a sailor in need but as another strong back for their slave galley!

As in previous chapters, Tim Truman's script captures the flavor of Robert E. Howard's original writing, for good and for ill.  While this chapter - in which Conan turns the tables on the slavers and leads a rebellion against them - is a grand action sequence, it is still full of unfortunate implications to modern audiences in that the predominantly black slaves didn't have any apparent inclination to try and rebel against their captors until Conan showed up.  Truman mitigates this by making some of the crew more reluctant to jump into the battle, until their fellows - former crewmen of Conan in his pirate days - tell them of Conan's prowess as a leader.  

Every glorious bit of gore and action is perfectly captured by Tomas Giorello and Jose Vilarrubia.  Giorello is one of the finest visual storytellers in the business and Vilarrubia's colors are well-applied throughout, with a wide variety of vibrant shades being used in the backgrounds to contrast the dimmer colors used for most of the events in the foreground.  The final effect is breathtaking!

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