Conan the Avenger #1: Shadows over Kush, a comic book review
Dark Horse builds a new Conan adventure from the bones of a Robert E Howard unpublished original. Howard began working on the story sometime in the 1930s, but never finished it before his tragic and untimely death. With untitled synopsis and a draft of a few chapters of the piece to work from, we have Conan The Avenger!
Conan the Avenger #1
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Brian Ching
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: April 23rd, 2014
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Conan the Avenger takes up following his loss of his first true love, Belit. Which happens to have wrapped up from Dark Horse’s Queen of the Black Coast run that was written wonderfully by Brian Wood. Conan decides that after the loss of Belit, he might as well go the one direction he was headed before he ran into Belit, that is Kush. Joining a caravan, Conan finds only solace in wine as his caravan makes a stop along the way. But, nothing is ever easy for Conan, especially if he wants to get blackout drunk and pass out until the morning.
A child is born, but it is not a child. It is a lizard abomination with four arms and a grotesque mouth, blood dripping from the corner of it’s mouth as its tongue lays still. It died with the first breath. But, it killed also the woman that bore it, a Noblewoman with a husband in a position of power and a substantial amount of forces. Distraught, the man seeks revenge, but a Witch Hunter Agara must find the true source of the sorcery. Which leads Agara to a Conan nursing one wicked hangover.
Fred Van Lente continues working the Conan franchise after his well done work with CONAN AND THE PEOPLE OF THE BLACK CIRCLE. I really like what he’s done with this story, leading Conan from the deep emotional (for Conan at least) loss of Belit to transform him into the Barbarian King that we know him to be. Brian Ching delivers some of the best artwork I’ve seen in a Conan comic, and I’ve read a lot of Conan comics. Brian’s artwork in Conan the Avenger is just a huge step up from some of the more gritter artwork that sometimes plagues the series. With the addition of Michael Atiyeh doing the colors, the combined art really brings something to behold and brings the story to life through battles, backgrounds and decapitations.
I’m very much looking forward to where Conan the Avengers goes forward, with Fred Van Lente, Brian Ching and Michael Atiyeh working on this, it has all the markings of being an exceptional run. I wouldn’t wait until the trade hits, this is well worth the issue by issue buy. If you’re looking for similar Conan adventures i’d suggest Conan the Barbarian, Conan and the People of the Black Circle, or King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword.