Conan is one of those characters that almost everybody has heard in some form or another. Created by Robert Howard for the pulp magazines in 1932, Conan has appeared in almost every medium possible since then, including comics from numerous different publishers over the past decade. Currently the rights to publish Conan stories belong to Dark Horse Comics, and Conan The Avenger #16 marks the beginning of a new story arc entitled Blood Oasis.
Although this is the 16th issue in the current series, it is the opening chapter of a new story; couple that with the in built knowledge of Conan the Barbarian that almost every person seems to have – even if it’s only that he’s a bad ass who walks around killing things – and the brief, but informative recap page, and we’ve got a good jumping on point for new readers.
But just because Conan The Avenger #16 provides an entry point to readers interested in the series does that mean should you bother picking this comic up?
Fred Van Lente has written a good opening chapter to Blood Oasis, and while there isn’t anything ground breaking about the issue, it does give us a solid opening; Conan, having escaped certain death is now traversing the desert with his companion Natala attempting to reach an oasis in the south. Brian Ching‘s art work is solid conveying the facial and physical expressions of the characters with an effortless charm, he is also well suited to the empty environs of the story’s setting, with his art effortlessly capturing the feeling of emptiness as Conan and Natala face off against the desert. Micheal Atiyah‘s colouring skills add some pop to the pages, and the colouring really shines on some of the later pages.
Conan is a character that threatens a deadly violence whenever his blade is drawn. He’s been one of, if not the most familiar sword and sorcery characters for many of us for decades, and if you’re looking to start reading Conan comic books, then Conan The Avenger #16 is as good a place as you’ll find to jump into the action packed ongoing series. You’ll find the start of a story arc, a character that you don’t need to know his deepest darkest secrets in order to follow, and a solid comic book that’s easy to enjoy.
Script: Fred Van Lente Art: Brian Ching Colours: Micheal Atiyeh
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read
Dark Horse provided a FREE copy for review.
Also published on Graphic Policy.