Sunday, February 24, 2013

Conan the Barbarian #13

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Mirko Colak

The last story arc in this title was pretty tough on Conan.  He was alone among the crew of the Tigress in staving off a deadly disease which, while allowing everyone to recover, exacted a terrible price from Conan and his lover, the pirate queen Bêlit.

With this new arc, 'The Woman on the Wall', Bêlit has returned to her homeland of Shem, and has left her ship.  After helping the crew with repairs for a while, Conan decides to go after her, but soon finds himself conscripted into a large army which is laying siege to the fortress city of Ramah En Ram.

What makes this siege stand out for all of the men involved is the nightly appearance of a pale, beautiful woman who walks the ramparts of the fortress.  She is the cause of much speculation among the soldier, but it is only Conan who knows for certainty who she is.

Brian Wood writes this book extremely well.  Reading this story brought to mind the arc in Northlanders, his Viking history series, that dealt with the siege of Paris, but this is handled very differently.  Conan's character shines through in many instances, most especialy when he takes his fellows to task for their attitudes.

Mirko Colak joins the series as artist for this arc, and he gives the book a much more realist vibe than previous artists have.  His characters all carry a great deal of weight to themselves, and it makes this arc feel more grounded.  It's good stuff.

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