Monday, 7 September 2009

‘Conan the Cimmerian’ (Dark Horse Comics) #10 – 13 (‘Black Colossus’)

I’ve been following ‘Conan the Cimmerian’ for a few months now (with a short break when I had to do grown up stuff with my pay packet like, you know, pay bills and stuff) and was really pleased to see them get round to the ‘Black Colossus’ storyline, one of my favourites from when I last read the Fantasy Masterworks ‘Conan Collection’. I was very interested to see how this came across in a comic so made sure to pick this one up! I wasn’t disappointed...



Natohk, the ‘veiled one’, has gathered an army from amongst the desert tribes and marches on the Hyborian nations. All that stands in his way is the tiny kingdom of Khoraja where the god Mitra has told Princess Yasmela to hand control of her armies over to the first man she meets if she is to stand any chance of defeating Natohk. Guess who just happens to have been in a fight and is walking home drunk...?
Before he knows it, Conan is at the head of an army which will meet the prophet’s horde at Shamla Pass for a fight that could determine the fate of the Hyborian nations...



Even though I knew the story already (and Conan stories are pretty formulaic so even if I didn’t know the story, I could have guessed how this one would turn out!) I found that after reading the first instalment I just knew I’d be around for the rest. This might even be the storyline that finally gets me into this comic on a regular basis. It was that good. Giorello really steps things up a gear in ‘Black Colossus’ with some brooding pictures of Khoraja by night and some real epic stuff at the Battle of Shamla Pass. I’ve mentioned it before but Count Thespides’ doomed charge is worth the price of admission on its own. I think the Dabel Brothers have the rights to Erikson’s ‘Malazan Book of the Fallen’ (which means we’ll probably never see it in this format...) but I think Giorello would be a great artist for this setting and I’d love to see him give it a go.

Timothy Truman is also on song with his writing duties, keeping things tense and also making sure that Conan stays true to the character originally drawn by Robert E. Howard. In a way, I guess that’s not exactly a hard thing to do (Conan being the no nonsense, hard fighting and womanising character that he is) but Truman does it with style. I also loved the way he fleshes out Conan’s world through character’s dealing out relevant information (in just the right amounts) and little asides like the prayers to Set...

I’ve been looking for more fantasy in comics and I think this title could become a staple feature in my monthly shop, especially if it keeps going like this!

2 comments:

Michael Natale said...

Your taste in books and comics tends to run parallel with my own and I've come to trust you when you say something is good.

Dammit. Now I have to go get this too.

Timbo said...

Thanks for the great review and kind words! -Timothy Truman
http://www.timothytruman.com