Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Conan the Barbarian #2

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Becky Cloonan

I've come to realise that I have to read this new Conan series differently than my original expectations of it would have allowed.  When I hear that Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan are collaborating on a comic, I expect a very literate comic, such as the two volumes of Demo, or, closer to this material, their collaboration on Northlanders. That's not what they're going for with Conan; in fact, this comic is closer to Cloonan's sadly unfinished East Coast Rising than it is to anything else the two have done together.

Basically, Wood and Cloonan are having a good time giving us an action movie of a comic.  The pirate Belit is drawing closer to the vessel that Conan is on, having befriended its owner.  Most of the issue is spent with Conan firing arrows at his enemies, before boarding their boat and fighting with almost the entire crew.

Wood keeps the story moving, and Cloonan's art is divine.  While she is an artist I always associate with the urban experience first, she is very comfortable drawing barbarian action at sea.  Her Belit is gorgeous, and I found the way she drew (and Dave Stewart coloured) the African pirates to be very interesting.

I'm not getting the cerebral high that I thought may be possible from this book, but I am getting a visceral one, and that's just as good.

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