Saturday, September 9, 2017

Conan The Slayer #12 - A Preview/Review

Conan has triumphed over the demon giant Khosatral Khel and slain the conniving nobleman who tried to lure Conan to his doom on the cursed isle of Xapur. With the enslaved princess Octavia in tow, Conan seeks the last of his enemies - the teacherous vizier Ghaznavi The Wise! But even with Khosatral Khel dead there are still dangers aplenty in the jungles of Xapur...

Conan The Slayer #12 proves an uneven ending to what started out as the strongest Conan series in years. Most of that is due to the artwork, with Michael Atiyeh's colors being far blander and duller than usual. The chief problem however, is Dheeraj Verma's pencils and inks, which alternate between being too deep or too thin depending on the panel. To give credit where credit is due, the design for Conan here is a good one, depicting him as a warrior of speed and strength, more like a wolf or panther than the bear he is usually depicted as.

Cullen Bunn's story seems strong enough, though it does fly in the face of the end of the last issue, where Conan was ready to quit Xapur. As this chapter opens, Conan has become stupidly focused upon revenge, needlessly endangering the woman he's taken under his protection - something truly out of character for the surprisingly chilvaric Conan. Also, despite his skill as a writer, even Bunn cannot find an angle to make Octavia - widely considered the weakest of Robert E. Howard's female protagonists - into a figure capable of anything but stating the obvious and screaming.

 It remains to be seen what will happen in the next Conan comic or indeed what it will be called. It is worth noting, however, that the next issue would be the 150th monthly Conan comic since Dark Horse took over the license. Hopefully they are planning something big for the occasion.

The Final Analysis: 6 out of 10. It's not bad, but it should have been better.

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