By Geoff Hoppe
Jul 23, 2007 - 23:11
What’s wrong with Conan #42? I’ll tell you what’s wrong. Dave Stewart’s absence is what’s wrong.
A disclaimer: I have nothing against Richard Isanove. Marvel’s 1602 made comics history for three reasons, and only two of them are named Kubert and Gaiman. Any man who can make Queen Elizabeth look as convincing as Captain
…BUT…Isanove’s style doesn’t suit Conan’s world. The visible brushstrokes call unnecessary attention to themselves. They distract from the story. They’re the Romantic, Delacroix-ian counterpart to Dave Stewart’s precise, unobtrusive Neoclassicism (but Dave Stewart is WAY cooler than J.A.D. Ingres. Hands down).
Isanove does one thing very well, however. He captures Conan’s youth. Nord and Stewart’s Conan looked thirty. At this point in the story, he’s about twenty. Isanove’s softer palette brings out an appropriate naiveté in Conan.
Ok, enough art ranting. Cross my heart.
Tony Harris did amazing things with the cover art.
Tim Truman maintains the excitement he’s inexplicably created. Rogues in the House, the basis for Conan’s current story arc, isn’t exactly action-packed. There’s a lot of sneaking around, and a comparatively demure setting. Truman must have recognized this, because he’s used some fine layouts to give the story a gripping pace that overcomes some of the source’s weaknesses.
Worth the money? For Robert E. Howard fans, sure. Casual readers, pass it up.