A few months back, Dark Horse Comics released their new title Conan the Cimmerian, featuring... well... Conan. Anyway, being one of the world's biggest Conan fans, I freely admit that I was shamelessly salivating over the new book. After their previous 50 issue run of their former title Conan, containing art and writing that almost put Marvel's old book to shame, I couldn't wait to see where they took it.
And to be honest, I'm both loving and somewhat less-than loving it. Hmmm...
Issue 0 came out first as a preview kick-off to the new title with a beautiful visual representation of Robert E. Howard's poem, Cimmeria. Stunningly rendered by artists Tomás Giorello and José Villarrubia, I have rarely seen such a sumblime take of our favorite son of Cimmeria.
Issue 1 came out with a cover by famed artist Frank Cho, of Liberty Meadows fame, with an alternate cover by the great Joe Kubert. I opted for the Cho cover, because, well... it had a half naked girl on it. I'm only human. The interior art by Giorello and Villarrubia was simply brilliant, but the story took an odd turn as Conan is told a story by an old hermit about his grandfather returning from the east after his own wanderlust was quenched.
But here's where it got dissapointing. The flashback scenes (which take up the bulk of the book) were done by 80's grown-up-comics artist Richard Corben, who made his fame back in the day as an artistic force to be reckoned with in titles like Heavy Metal. However, I hate to say this, but Corben's art in this book came off almost comical and far too cartoony for my taste. It just didn't seem to fit with the mood of the story.
Also, not to be a complainer, but here we have a brand-spanking-new Conan title and we're forced to sit through a story about his grandfather lugging around a couple of dirt-around-the-mouth little kids that may or may not be werewolves? Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting story, but save it for a mid-series story arc, don't give it a headlining spot in the first inaugural issues of a whole new series! Ah well, my hypocracy is only made greater, because we all damn well know that I'm going to buy every issue that comes out. I just can't help it. Maybe a little faith would be in order to see where this takes us.
So, today, I stopped by my local comic shop and picked up issues 2 and 3, still being lead in by exquisite art by Giorello and Villarrubia, and still being slightly manhandled by Corben (whose art, I must admit, seems far more controlled in issue 2). Besides, at least we get another half naked chick thanks to Frank Cho!
So far, I'm giving it 3 1/2 stars out of 5 and fully expect that grade to rise as this new title gains its footing.
Also, I stopped by the Dark Horse website and found these sweet sneak peeks of the next three Conan covers! Check 'em out...
So, in conclusion; is it great? No. But good enough to reccomend it to a fellow Conan fan? Does a Priest of Set play with his snake? Hell yes! Go out and get them!
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