‘Dark Horse Comics’ Roundup Reviews: Week of January 27th

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Conan22Conan The Avenger #22 

A Witch Shall Be Born Part Three

Writer:  Fred Van Lente

Artist:  Brian Ching

Colorist:  Michael Atiyeh

Cover Artist:  Paul Renaud

Seven months ago, the witch Salome, twin sister to Queen Taramis of Khauran, infiltrated the queen’s quarters, took her captive, and replaced her.  Since then, after publicly challenging the false monarch, Conan himself was captured, crucified, and left to die in the desert.  With only the vultures for company, the Cimmerian was on the brink of death-until Olgerd Vladislav, cheiftain of the Zuagir, offered him a chance to survive.  After enduring Vladislav’s brutal test of fortitude, Conan must now prove himself among the hostile Zuagir…

He’s been defeated, crucified, and left to die in the desert—and now, Conan faces still another fearsome trial when he must prove his worth among the hostile Zuagir tribesmen. In Conan’s mission to retake the city from a traitorous false queen, is the cruel Zuagir chieftain friend or foe?

For a book titled Conan, its interesting that he isn’t in this issue as much as ou think he would be; Focus has been shifted more to the true queen, Salome, the twin sister of Taramis.  A pair of parched men, who were once guards of Taramis, attempt to cross the desert to the Oasis of Arkel for necessities to survive.  They are ambushed and upon Tarek’s person written about Queen Taramis’ decent.

This issue is more of a bridge being the middle part of the story.  It contains a lot of dialogue between the characters, it doesn’t flow as well as the previous issues.

The Verdict 7.5/10

KingConan2King Conan: Wolves Beyond The Border #2

Writer:  Timothy Truman

Artist:  Tomas Giorello

Colorist:  Jose Villarrubia

Cover Artist:  Tomas Giorello

Know, O Prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the sons of the Aryas, there was an age undreamed of when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars.  But the proudest kingdom in the world was Aquilonia.  Hither came Conan the Cimmerian; black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer; with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.

In this expansion on Robert E. Howard’s unfinished “Wolves beyond the Border” tale, Conan leaves the protection of his kingdom in Aquilonia to return a cursed crown to Pictish tribes in the south. Hoping for a bit of adventure to clear his head, the undercover barbarian king is overwhelmed and captured!

In a different tale of Conan.  He here is the King.  It is very exciting with Conan not holding back, and leading his men thru the forest into battle with the enemy army.  Death seems to always follow Conan, and his men know it as well.  Deaths happen all around, and the art of the characters, with their facial expressions and poses,  is great as they embrace their own deaths.

This is the second issue out of 4 of this brutal Conan story.  This is not a story for the weak of heart.  Lots of engaging battle with gnashing wounds and spewing red blood make you feel like it’s a mix of the 80’s horror with 80’s fantasy.

The Verdict 9/10
HellBoyWinterSpecialHellboy Winter Special One-Shot

Writer: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Chelsea Cain, Scott Allie

Artist: Michael Walsh, Michael Avon Oeming, Tim Sale

Colorist: Dave Stewart

Cover Artist: Tim Sale

Best-selling novelist Chelsea Cain writes and Michael Avon Oeming draws the first of three snowbound stories. Then Tim Sale visits Mignola’s prehistoric mythology, and in a lead-in to the upcoming issues of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953, Hellboy explores a haunted mine in the barren wastes of Wyoming.

This Hellboy One-Shot is split up into several smaller stories.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953 –Wandering Souls  was a story that flowed with the right amount of pages.  The story takes place in a barn in Wyoming that is haunted by Chinese Ghosts.  It was the best story in the one-shot and definitely one to check out.

Broken Vessels is the first work of Hellboy that Tim Sale has done.  and turned out well.  Its pretty awesome getting the chance to see demonic snowmen.    The views of the past look great with its color scheme.

The last story is just a 2 page Lobster Johnson joke.  It works for what it was.  It was pretty silly and a good way to end the issue.

The Verdict 7/10

 

IttyBittyItty Bitty Hellboy:  The Search for the Were-Jaguar #3

Writer: Art Baltazar, Franco

Artist: Art Baltazar

Cover Artist: Art Baltazar

The Giant Roger takes over the island! What are Hellboy and his friends to do? What’s it mean for the Were-Jaguar? Why is Lobster Johnson stuck in that tree? The BPRD have their work cut out for them!

For anyone that is a fan of the Tiny Titans story, this is a great way of transitioning the stories of Hellboy into this style.  The book is obviously for younger readers.  It’s a lot more art and bright colors to keep the younger readers eyes.  So there isn’t a whole lot of dialogue or “big words” to understand the story

The story is a fun read for adults to take away the seriousness of Hellboy and his crew.  They still manage to have an adventure on the island and Hellboy’s hand being put in the wrong places can cause a lot of trouble!

The Verdict 7/10.

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