Conan the Barbarian #7 Advance Review
By Andy Frisk
July 29, 2012 - 10:00
Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): Brian Wood
Penciller(s): Becky Cloonan
Inker(s): Becky Cloonan
Colourist(s): Dave Stewart
Letterer(s): Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Cover Artist(s): Massimo Carnevale
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.
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