Robert E. Howard‘s Conan the Barbarian has transcended his humble pulp novel origins to become one of, if not the most recognizable barbarian characters in popular culture. Whether you’ve seen him on television or on the silver screen, or maybe you’ve read about his adventures in books or in comics – either way the chances are you’re at least somewhat familiar with the Cimmerian.
And that passing familiarity is really all you need to dive into Conan The Slayer #1.
Cullen Bunn has written an opening that feels like it came right from Robert E. Howard’s notebook; it’s a powerful moment, for this reviewer at least, as it serves to remind you just how old the character is. The throwback narration style of writing in the opening pages of the comic sets up a brilliantly Conan-esque comic book. Depending on which of the three covers you pick up, you’re treated to one of three covers by Lee Bermejo (featured in this review), Mark Schultz with Dave Stewart or Rafeal Albuqurque. Each one of the covers sets the tone for the comic within, with Sergio Davilla‘s art work effortlessly capturing the harsh realities of Conan’s brutal life.
Conan The Slayer #1 is ideal for those who have a passing interest in the Cimmerian; the comic opens with an effective display of how dangerous Conan is, before taking a more self reflective and introspective tone (well, as far as Conan gets, anyway). The comic is well paced, and the story doesn’t feel as though it’s crammed into the pages given (or stretched out to make page count), rather it strikes a fine balance between the two. Now while the issue more than stands alone on it’s own merits, it also succeeds in making me want to come back for more next issue.
Job done for issue one, then, eh?
Writer: Cullen Bunn Art: Sergio Davilla Colours: Michael Atiyah
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Dark Horse comics provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review.