See all reviews of Conan the Barbarian (5)

Last month Conan the Barbarian took some drugs and a couple folks were a bit perturbed by this. What those haters don’t realize however, is that he took it because of a lady, and c’mon. Peer pressure sucks coming from someone with lady parts, amirite boys? Really it’s a vision quest and not some drug addict stuff, and while the last issue was good, we must ask ourselves of the second part of this story, is it good?


Conan the Barbarian #17 (Dark Horse Comics)



Check out our review of #16 if you missed it.

Writer Brian Wood has been instilling a new perspective on Conan ever since he started this series. This is a younger, more naive and less arrogant Conan that is finding his way in the world. He’s still got a ton of machismo, but let’s face it, the character is getting a breath of fresh air in this series because we’re getting new stories as far as his character goes. That’s win in my mind. Last issue ended with Conan and Belit discovering an underwater shipwreck complete with floating bodies. From the start of this issue you might be a bit confused, but just note that the vision quest continues and it appears to be taking on a much more realistic vibe.


Sad Conan is so sad.

The issue opens with Conan thinking Belit won’t come save him from imprisonment, but as we know she did just that a few issues back. No, this is a new perspective he’s getting, sulking and alone, with no hope. The drug seems to be getting into some dark shit, but can Conan overcome it?


Now THAT is S&M.

The issue clips on by with no warning or transition between events, which is striking and also a little confusing. That aside, it’s interesting to see Conan at the root of himself, trying to figure out why he’s feeling as he does. To think of Conan ruminating on his feelings is something you probably never thought you’d see, but here it is. I get the sense that Wood is going for a profound conclusion to this three part story that’ll define Belit and Conan for issues to come. It’s hard to say if it’s effective yet, considering we have another issue to go, but it’s certainly appreciated. Before this vision quest we knew they were in love, but aside from some sex scenes they didn’t have any heartfelt moments together.

Davide Gianfelice continues to dazzle with the art. It’s somewhat cartoony looking, but still maintains an edge that Conan requires. The action sequence in particular should keep people happy. It’s taut and interesting to look at. My only gripe is how they’ve stuck Belit into a G-string. It’s a tad gratuitous and out of place considering the setting.


Finally get some Conan climbing scenes. Love.

8.0

  • Belit in a thong
  • Curious to see how deep this goes into Conan’s psyche
  • Belit in a thong
  • Story is told in a slightly confusing way

There’s a lot going on in this issue as it keeps cutting to completely different locations. Plus there’s plenty of things to think about since it’s the stuff that’s going on is so symbolic to the characters. The only issue I take—so far anyway—is that it’s hard to see what it’s trying to say exactly. The characters are doused in this fever dream vision quest and much like the characters, I’m a bit lost on what it all means. Then again, maybe Wood is saving up that meaning for the next issue when this vision quest ends.

Is It Good?

Yes. Hey, this may not be the traditional Conan you grew up with, but that’s why it’s so good!

About The Author

David Brooke
Contributor, Comics Manager

David used to write for his movie site Cine Discretion whilst writing a movie review column in college as well as a short stint writing for the Cape Codder newspaper. When the paper business went under David vowed to find a job in video and now currently works at a software company. Paper was overrated. Staving off insanity, David directed, wrote and starred in a bunch of short films. Dave currently creates training videos using sparkly animations but one of his true loves is writing about movies, comics, books and other nerd debauchery.

  • DarthYan

    Conan the young and niave has already been covered in Kurt Busiek’s run. As such having him go through it again is a bit redundant. Also, classic conan is hardly terrible. It’s racist by today’s standards but that doesn’t make the character stories and world any les interesting

    • David Brooke

      Totally agree. I think Busiek’s run is phenomenal. Also the classic comics are good too.