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Conan the Barbarian #7 Advance Review

By Andy Frisk
July 29, 2012 - 10:00

Becky Cloonan rejoins Brian Wood on Conan the Barbarian #7 for “Border Fury Part 1,” the next saga in what is quickly becoming one of the best written and drawn comics on the market. Wood has resurrected the glory of his too short lived Northlanders series through Conan the Barbarian and we’re getting treated to the best Conan stories written in a long time, and perhaps ever. “Border Fury” is the tale of Conan and Belit’s journey to Conan’s homeland of Cimmeria. Conan has returned home to aid his homeland and former village against the rampages of a man who is razing the countryside, and doing so in Conan’s name. Belit though doesn’t quite like the Cimmerian way of life and isn’t fitting in with its people and weather. Can their love survive both?

Again, Brian Wood continues to deliver the most intelligent, engaging, and dynamic Conan stories I’ve ever read. As always, Wood manages to work in some beautifully subtle social commentary, again of the type that he so brilliantly built into the narrative of Northlanders, while managing to make Conan, as a character, incredibly interesting and much more than just a hack and slash dark fantasy pin up boy. This is a far, far cry from the Conan of 1982’s Conan the Barbarian and even 2011’s film reboot of the character. I honestly can’t say that I even found Robert E. Howard’s or even Roy Thomas’ original tales of Conan’s this engaging. The character dynamics between both Conan and Belit are so believable and realistic that they bring a new dimension of realism and depth to this incarnation of Conan as a character, as well as his fictional world.

It is a joy also to see Becky Cloonan taking the reins artistically again this issue. She is one of the most interesting sequential artists in the business (and nicest too as she graciously signed every copy of DEMO for me at Heroes Con this year!). Cloonan and Wood’s work go together beautifully. Her artwork is detailed enough to be completely engaging visually, yet maintains a roughness that fits the harsh landscape and setting.

There isn’t much more by way of praise that I can heap upon Wood and Cloonan’s Conan the Barbarian without sounding like a mouthpiece for the two or Dark Horse Comics. I will anyway, simply because this book is really just that good. Conan the Barbarian is one of the best reads on the market right now. Get into it before it runs its course, which hopefully will not happen for a very, very long time.   

Rating: 10 /10

Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00

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