If you want to read a good modern Conan comic, read anything by Kurt Busiek. If you want the next best, you go for Timothy Truman, who writes the latest Conan adaptation from Robert E. Howard’s novel The Hour of the Dragon. The six part comic mini series starts today; is it good?
King Conan: Hour of the Dragon #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Based on how this issue is paced and organized I get the impression this isn’t intended for non-Conan fans. Not that it’s confusing or anything, but it takes on the formula of a lot of the comics. An aged King Conan who is a lot more mellow with old age recounts an adventure he once went on. Anyone new to Conan might be confused, but after a brief opening the story begins and most anyone should be able to gel nicely with what’s to come.
Typical move by anyone really, to hang out with your dead wife’s body…
Anyone not digging Brian Wood’s take on Conan in Conan the Barbarian should be right at home here. The heavy exposition and Indiana Jonesian storytelling is at work here. Conan lives in a very mystical and mythical world which is made all the more vivid with Tomás Giorello’s amazing pencil work.
If you draw that line he’s speaking of you get a pretty grizzly image.
Giorello’s work is so detailed and classic in the sense of illustration you can’t help but be transported to an earlier time when magazines of all sorts contained images like his. We’re in for an even bigger treat though, because there’s so much of it! Really a single panel by Giorello could be enough to tell a story in a novel, but we get pages and pages of it.
Ah culture. Evil, but culture nonetheless.
Unfortunately for this series you get a strong sense that it’s being adapted to be read in a collected format. This issue opens like the first two chapters of a book. We get the intro but then spend almost all of our time with the villains. We learn how they’ve resurrected the mummy and what their deal is, but not a lot of Conan. When he does show up he doesn’t do any battling or fighting, but is wounded so to speak. It’s part of the story, but it’s a bit of a letdown considering you paid for Conan but only get the start of a story.
Conan vs. a mummy…sign me up!
I’m going to take a guess and say Truman is following the book to a T. That’s great for people who expect their Conan comics to be honest with the source material, but the plotting in this issue leaves a lot to be desired for anyone who wants to just pick up a comic and enjoy themselves.
OMG, it’s Alan Moore!
- Great sense of atmosphere
- Amazing art
- More Conan please!
Of course the mythical aspects of Conan are on display here for all to see. If you want to be transported to another time and place you can’t go wrong with this issue. That said, we’re reviewing a single issue here, and I can’t say it’s a perfect read from beginning to end because its strengths require you to read at least another issue in this six part series.
Is It Good?
Good, but not great. Not enough Conan in this issue to warrant a blind buy by any means.