Friday, April 13, 2012

Conan the Barbarian #3

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Becky Cloonan

There is a languorousness to this title that I really didn't expect.  When I think of Conan (despite not being very familiar with the character, having read only a handful of comics that feature him over the years), I always imagine large scale battles and things of that ilk.  This is basically a talking heads comic, and I found it pretty satisfying. 

Conan has found himself under the spell of Belit, the titular 'Queen of the Black Coast'.  Her men have killed all of Conan's new companions, and because she is attracted to him, Conan is spared.  He becomes her lover, which also makes him second in command of her vessel.  He spends some time talking to an old shaman, and with N'Gora the subchief of the boat.

All of this serves to help establish these characters, and why they go around pillaging and plundering other ships and small villages, but it is ultimately all talk (except for the steamy scene between Conan and his new woman).  It's an effective issue, but a strange conclusion to a story arc.

Of course, the biggest strength of this comic is Becky Cloonan's wonderful artwork.  I've long been a fan of her work, and I feel this is some of the best stuff she's ever produced.  It's a very lovely comic (especially that love scene).  Unfortunately, she will not be drawing the next three issues of this title, but James Harren, whose work on BPRD I've been enjoying, is going to be coming aboard, so hopefully things continue to run smoothly.

I never expected that I would be eagerly looking forward to new issues of a Conan comic, but Brian Wood is also not giving me the Conan comic I expected, so it's all working out rather nicely.

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