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Is It Good? Conan the Barbarian #17 Review

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 s--t, 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.


  • 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!


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