Here we are, the end of another Conan story arc that has delivered rabid gorilla fights, magic jewels, and a damsel that needed saving. Can the story wrap up effectively? More importantly, is it good?
King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon #6 (Dark Horse Comics)
Check out our review of #5 if you missed it.
This is the last issue, so step up and grab back issues if you want to be fully abreast of what has happened prior. That said, there’s a good amount of action and plot development to tide even the most clueless Conan fan over. Last issue Conan made some new friends of a religious group he pardoned when he was King. He’s off to find the jewel that was stolen from him, save the girl who’s up in a tower, and meet his destiny. All of this, of course, is being retold by King Conan of old.
Conan sporting some Day of the Dead paint right on time!
Once again Timothy Truman adapts from Robert E. Howard’s novel Hour of the Dragon with so-so results. So far this series has had some strong ups and some rather mediocre downs that have made the read a bit of a slog to get through. This issue offers up some Conan versus zombies, bandits and some Indiana Jones-like misdirection to beat the bad guys. That sounds like a lot, but unfortunately there’s also a lot of exposition, Conan sneaking about and a good portion of time spent having Conan simply speak to a person being tortured in a tongue nobody else can speak. Generally the writing is good, but as far as concluding issues go there’s a lot to be desired.
Damn straight bitches.
Artist Tomás Giorello continues to shine, and it’s nice to see his rendition of monsters and gore. The zombies are unique and interesting—not so much undead as they are ghoulish—and he truly masters a quiet moment for Conan near the end. This issue has a lot of repeating panels used to convey small emotional moments for Conan. He’s trying to show a Conan that’s less hotheaded and more worn which works, at least visually. There’s also an interesting callback to the first page, of old King Conan, that is a nice touch as far as what is to come.
Sad Conan is so sad.
- The art will always be stellar and the layouts are quite nice this month.
- No emotional resolution for Conan, nor for the plot
Unfortunately this issue rides on the coattails of the next issue too much. There’s a lack of resolution and even worse, a lack of any perspective. Why should we care that Conan has lost the things he has? He’s still King, or at least soon to be King again. A lot of the actions in this issue also seem to be more about getting from point A to point B more than having any meaningful message.
Is It Good?
It’s good, but it’s nearly only because of the art. Aside from that it’s a very skippable issue.