CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1

Review by: thehorseman

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Avg Rating: 4.4
 
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Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Becky Cloonan
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale

Size: 0 pages
Price: 3.50

Listen. I love Brian Wood. He’s one of my favourite writers in comics. With that being said, I had to read this issue twice to be certain of my final assessment.

No, sir, I didn’t like it.

Let me be frank. I’m not a Conan fan or particularly knowledgeable about the character. I picked this up solely on the strength of the creative team. The problem I have is the portrayal of Conan himself. I don’t mind that he’s younger and slimmer, but there’s an air of lightness that feels a little out of place. It makes Conan seem more like The Princess Bride’s “Man in Black” than the “barbarian” I conjure in my head when I hear the name Conan. In the story itself, our hero talks at length about killing a soldier, but not a drop of blood is spilled in the story itself! He comes off as a bit of a charismatic blowhard, who may or may not even be telling the truth.

I refer you back to the fact that I’m not any manner of authority on Conan. Maybe this is Wood’s intention. Maybe this is actually “in character” for Conan. Perhaps there’s a reason to set it up this way. I think the story just seemed lighter and the title character far chattier than I would have liked or expected.

The art of Becky Cloonan is solid, as always, though I don’t feel it’s the best I’ve seen of her.

I’ll probably give this a few more issues to see where it goes, but as it stands right now, I worry that I won’t have a suitable replacement for Northlanders once it wraps up.

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 4 - Very Good

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