Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: King Conan #1

By Reboot

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics

This Wednesday, May 29th, Dark Horse Comics premieres Issue #1 of 6 of a new Conan series titled King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon.  This is scripted by Timothy Truman, with art by Tomas Giorello and adapted from the novel of the same name by Conan creator Robert E. Howard. 

Let me start with what I do know about Conan.  Admittedly, I'm not well versed in the comics.  My knowledge of Conan comes primarily from the two films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and the cartoon Conan The Adventurer which I watched often as a kid (I even had some of the action figures!).  In all fairness, that probably gives me a better background on the character than the average person you'll run into on the street, but that doesn't necessarily prepare me for the kind of intricate plot threads you'd find in a comic book series that has been going on more or less for many decades. 
Being unfamiliar with the comics and the original source material, I can't judge how true it is to the novel.  However, I can say this, the first issue is primarily exposition and that is a problem.  I'm a casual Conan fan at best, and having to go page after page of names and dates and locations was daunting and quite frankly uninteresting.  It isn't until about page 14 that we really start getting into the actual plot of the issue.  Once I got there, I will say that my interest did perk back up a bit, but 14 pages is a lot to ask someone to get through of a 22 page comic before feeling like they're reading something that isn't a Wikipedia article.
Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics
That's not to say that there is nothing to be thrilled about with this comic.  Tomas Giorello's art is fantastic.  Every page is interesting even when the exposition or the dialogue is not.  If it weren't for the fantastic art this definitely would have been more of a chore to get through.  The colors work great with the story too, and the lettering is smooth and helps you get through it without any hindrance as your eyes explore every inch of the page. 

After reading King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon,  I can honestly say I don't know if I can recommend this or not.  I didn't get enough from the first issue to see if this is going to make for a compelling 6 issue story.  Maybe after issue 2 comes out I'll have a better idea.  I could see this potentially being great once it's all collected, but if you're not a big Conan fan in the first place, this probably isn't the best place to start. 

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1 comment:

  1. I have been enjoying all of the Conan books coming out of Dark Horse lately. Conan has always been a favorite of mine since I was a kid and read all the Robert E Howard books.