The point of fiction is to bring us somewhere else, let us experience what we never will in real life. A storyteller truly succeeds when they are able to make you feel as though you’re in the tale they are crafting.
This comic made me feel like I was fighting right alongside Conan; was the fight worth it, however? Is it good?
Conan the Barbarian #19 (Dark Horse Publishing)
Conan and Belit, two deadly combatants, travel through the Forest of Ghouls in a fearsome storm. They search for a place to sleep and fill their stomachs and happen upon a small, barely lit village. As they begin to find out more and more about the town’s dark secrets they start to regret ever stepping foot in the town.
What I expected from a Conan comic was a violent, hack-and-slash, gore-fest. While there is a good deal of violence, it all serves a purpose in telling the story. All of the combat scenes are really quite exciting; Conan and Belit make a dynamic duo as they dispatch all of their foes with haste and finesse.
It seems the “black stones” mean a great deal to the inhabitants of this town and the mere uttering of the two words sets the townspeople on edge. While we never find out what exactly the black stones are Brian Wood does an amazing job portraying just how outlawed it is to talk about the stones. A sequence at a church shows that a priest will go to some very desperate measures for the stones.
All of the dialogue, especially a scene in a tavern is spot-on. Brian Wood is clearly a very talented writer and this book is his sweet-spot. He is awesome at crafting smooth dialogue in the Hyborian medieval-style language.
- Awesome action sequences
- Intriguing plot
- Smooth dialogue
- Jaw-dropping art
- I have to wait a whole month for the next one
The art is just gorgeous. All of the shadows and coloring give the book just the right feeling. The blood splatters all over the page in a bright red that draws you in. The scene in the church especially is just gorgeous and makes the fight scenes just that much better.
Is It Good?
So good. Easily the best Dark Horse comic I have ever read.