Ryan Thomason

Getting Back In Touch With My Inner Barbarian, Conan The Barbarian: Issues #17 – #19

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Sometimes you just get caught up in life and you realize that you’ve been neglecting one of your favorite series. Then, you get to spend a little extra glorious time getting caught up.

Issues 17 and 18 are the final in an arc done by Brian Wood and Davide Gianfelice, who’ve teamed up before on Northlanders. Conan and Belit are under the mind-altering influences of the yellow lotus. Essentially, they are in a long hallucinogenic dreamscape. The dream of what could be if they give up their current lifestyle and go live on a deserted island. It was especially interesting how Conan knew their child would eventually leave the island to do just as Conan had done himself. This whole arc was a nice “what if” scenario of what could be a possibility to Conan and Belit, how if the influences of being under the yellow lotus would draw them into taking the drug even more just to escape. I enjoyed all of this arc, and while I was glad for the conclusion and getting back to business of kicking dudes in the face and stealing treasure; this was a great side trip.

Conan19Issue 19 is well; simply what I needed in my Conan fix. Wood is teaming up with Paul Azaceta (Amazing Spider-Man & B.P.R.D.) and while Crom may frown upon my language, it’s beautiful. At least in terms of what one would expect from a Conan the Barbarian comic. This is essentially what you sign up for. The artwork is dark in tone, but lends an air of grit and density that it’s hard for me to explain. Maybe it’s my lack of what someone would call “comic book” knowledge, or that I’m easy to please. But there is something about this arc, the religious relic, the surrounding darkness that seems to be closing in around Conan and Belit. It’s a story that I wish I didn’t have to wait until the next issue to find out what happens next. THEN, have to wait even longer for the rest of the arc to close out.

Issue 19 may be a good jumping in point if you are looking to get into Conan the Barbarian by Dark Horse Comics. But, remember this. We live in a digital age, and while your local comic shop may not have issue #1 to #19. Dark Horse Digital does. I can’t get enough of the stories that Brian Wood keeps building layer upon layer of and I don’t know who does the artist selection process for each arc but it is consistently all done so damn good in keeping with the tone of what Conan should be, yet each artist puts their own little touch in there that makes it a little different. I can’t get enough of Conan the Barbarian, may Crom forgive me for even getting a little behind on reading them.

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