Cullen Bunn has gifted us a gory, surefooted Conan series with a bit of magic and sorcery just under the surface. Combined we’ve got a sword and sorcery epic on our hands, but is it good?
Conan the Slayer #3 (Dark Horse Comics)
So what’s it about? The official Dark Horse summary reads:
While on a raid, Conan and a small party of Kozaki riders—including the chief’s son—are separated from the rest of the tribe and attacked by a sea witch. Meanwhile, in their absence, disastrous events are unfolding at the Kozaki camp . . .
Why does this book matter?
The last issue ended with giant trolls showing up (at least I think that’s what they were) which means the sorcery is kicking itself up a notch. This issue is dealing with the fallout of said trolls kicking Conan’s ass.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Who’s this hottie?
This issue boils down to two major developments: The first deals with the main villain enacting his plan and at the same time getting played by a sorcerer. The second is Conan kicking ass and taking names. All together the plot progresses just enough while delivering major monster vs. Conan action. Bunn adds a bit of flavor to the baddies as they’ve got a glamor on them that makes people see them differently. So for one, they look like green trolls, another hellish demons, and so on. That allows artist Sergio Davila to draw some wicked beasties of varying types in the same scene.
Plus, there’s nearly topless ladies too! Really, this issue has everything you’d want out of a Conan book, from the arm being cut off to a seductress trying to get laid by Conan. Betrayers are revealed and there’s plenty of action. Plus, the main bad guy of this issue gets possibly the worst torture imaginable which Conan allows. You’re so damn metal Conan.
You got to dig Davila’s’ art in this issue with well rendered muscles, battle axes, and monsters. The action is easy to follow and there are quite a few pulse pounding panels. The design of the monsters is quite nice as well, with interesting jagged rocks coming out of them, and cool chains wrapping around them. What is this, the 90s?!
It can’t be perfect can it?
While the fight scenes are well choreographed, the battle goes way too easily in Conan’s favor. The bad guys are possibly too big for their own good, but they practically don’t put up a fight. You’re really never worried for the good guy’s well being, which reduces the excitement.
The political element to open the issue is a bit of a snooze fest, which is an unfortunate way to open the book. Maybe it opens this way since readers will be dying to know what happened to Conan since the last issue, but it starts off this issue too slowly.
Time to get it on Conan. Sorry.
Is It Good?
This issue is good for some tight action and some sexual themes that longtime fans should love. This is about as metal as Conan can get.