Friday, June 15, 2012

Conan the Barbarian #5

Written by Brian Wood
Art by James Harren

It's a good week for Brian Wood comics.  His take on Conan has worked really well.  I still can't compare it to other writer's use of the character, having not read the series before Wood and Cloonan took the reins of Dark Horse's latest relaunch with the character, but I do know that I like how this book has been going.

In this issue, Conan faces execution at the hands of the authorities in Messantia.  Walking up to the gallows, Conan despairs that his lover, the pirate queen Belit, is not going to be able to free him, but she soon appears, disguised as an upper-class lady, and requests that Conan be tried through combat, with the prize of his freedom dangled before him.

This leads to an issue full of action which really shows off James Harren's skill as an artist.  As Conan fights the gigantic champion of Messantia, I was reminded of the recent amazing fight scene between a Wendigo and the were-jaguar in BPRD.  Harren is really very good at these sorts of things, but it is his landscapes and urban scenes that I like best.

This is a great series.  If you've always found yourself unenthused by the idea of reading a Conan comic (as I was), you should try this - it's not what you think.

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