Ryan Thomason

King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel – Review

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Reading these Conan adaptions that Dark Horse has done of the Robert E. Howard writings has inspired me to take my Conan knowledge beyond that of the movies. Reading this four issue arc based on the story was a great read, and had me hungering for more. The script by Timothy Truman was very well done, though I don’t know how much was changed from Howards work, I can say that I was sucked in and never wanted to come out. King Conan is retelling the story to a scribe at the command of one of his councilors who wants to write a detailed account of Conan’s rule. A chronicle to show all who would call themselves king what a true king is like.

The story is set in the early days of Conan’s rule as king, tricked by an ally, he is imprisoned by an evil wizard in a dungeon of sick and twisted creatures which Conan must escape from. The artwork by Tomas Giorello is part of the reason why I felt myself becoming so attached to the story. It’s gritty but not sloppy or looks poorly done. It’s just perfectly gritty to so compliment the story and Conan himself. If you’ve been avoiding these comic books because your only reference is a couple of campy Conan movies by Arnold Schwarzenegger, then you’re really missing out. Not only on a great adaption, but a wonderfully drawn book that I’m going to have to hunt down and collect from a non-digital version.

Conan does escape the dungeon, with the help of a crazed man that he frees from a horrible prison cell. If you could call it a prison cell, think of the worst prison cell you can imagine, times it by a million, and you might touch on the horrible way this guy was trapped down there. One of the coolest parts was in the final issue, where Conan gets to enact his revenge on those who betrayed him and tried to take over his kingdom. It was the stuff that you love Conan fore, blood, guts, Crom, and Conan just being a bad-ass.

I can’t thank Dark Horse enough for sending me the giant pile of Conan comic books to review for this week’s tribute to Crom, and his greatest warrior Conan. Not only do I have a better knowledge of the character, but a deep interest to just dive into the works of Robert E. Howard, who mind you, wrote these things in the 1930’s.

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