Conan purists should be first in line this week as an adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s only Conan novel is making it to the comic shelves this week. For everyone else, is it good?
King Conan: Hour of the Dragon #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
Check out our review of King Conan: Hour of the Dragon #1 if you missed it.
Anyone who cracks this open to take a peek will be first struck by how Tomás Giorello’s pencils look like something that belong in an ancient novel with one elaborate drawing every hundred pages or so. Only you get a hell of a lot more art, and there’s no blocky, boring text to sift through. Right, comics…duh. But his incredibly detailed work is something to really marvel at. I can’t help but wonder, while ogling the detail of a sword or the timber in the background, how damn long it took to draw such a thing. The man must never sleep. Either that or he’s possessed by demons. Let’s say the latter, because honestly, do we want our Conan artists not possessed by demons?
Devil is in the details.
So it goes without saying this book is worth a purchase for its art, but what about the story? Last issue Conan was basically bamboozled by a magic wielding douche. He’s sick and his army is being taken out, but everyone knows a barbarian never backs down. This issue sees that fight take place while an older version of himself tells the story.
But that was my best Sexing Squire!
It’s not hard to see this is a very straight adaptation which isn’t necessarily a good thing. The story is moving incredibly slowly and the exposition and dialogue tends to weigh down the pages. You want the story to be exciting and fun, but Timothy Truman may have kept too close to the novel on this one. That isn’t to say it’s not entertaining, but the pace of it slogs at times and makes you wish it did more with the character or his interactions. He is a barbarian though, so maybe that’s just me being spoiled by Brian Wood’s interpretation of the character.
That being said, this comic can’t get anything lower than an seven out of ten because it contains everything you want in a Conan comic. A scantily clad woman, Conan committing ultraviolence with his fists and sword and finally a monster. What’s Conan without his supernatural enemies?
The badass is back!
- You’ll want to jump into the frame the art is so good
- The Conan Trinity is here: Monsters, Babes and Violence
- Pacing needs work
It’d be interesting to read the original novel this comic is based on to see if the pacing is as much as an issue as it is here. Of course, a novel has the benefit of not being hacked into issues and can be read from cover to cover without stop. One wonders how many things Truman changed and maybe if he needed to take more liberties. That said, it’s got everything you need in a Conan comic and when it comes to needs, Conan has many, just like his readers.
Is It Good?
Yes. Conan lives and breathes as strong as he’s always done in this true to form issue.