This book has many problems but the greatest of these is a severe lack of Conan. Our favorite barbarian doesn't show up until well past the halfway point of this issue. Even then his story seems to be an afterthought compared to the politics of Punt and the growing civil unrest. This presents another problem - why should the reader care about the political struggle when Conan can't be bothered to give a damn?
Fred Van Lente's fails to capture the spirit of the Conan mythos. I've written before of how Van Lente's scripts thus far have lacked the sense of weird mystery that is a large part of the Howard oeuvre. That problem is also present here. For all of Conan's waffling regarding whether or not he can work for a wizard, he seems remarkably at-ease with the idea that the love of his life is haunting him or is unable to rest because of his own conflicted heart. This seems terribly out of character for Conan, who is far more passionate about those he cares for and is usually depicted as being ill at ease with anything that smacks of the unnatural.
I've also written about their being certain logic problems with the scripts in this series so far. Previous issues brought us slavers who seemed more interested in stealing from passed-out drunks than selling them for a profit. As one would expect from a slaver! This issue sees Conan having the good fortune to find the only two prostitutes in Punt who are willing to indulge in a threesome and let him crash at their place without requiring any payment in advance.
Only the most devout of Conan fans need bother with this issue. The rest of you would do better to wait until next month. I don't hold out much hope that the story will improve, but at least the artwork should be better.
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