On a search for a mysterious woman, Conan the Cimmerian stumbles upon a city that was not in this area only short weeks ago. Upon investigating the city, he finds its inhabitants delirious and constantly falling in and out of sleep. In this search, he learns the history of this mysterious city and finds the woman he seeks in the hands of a dangerous and vicious god.
Though I’ve not followed this series thus far and only have shallow knowledge of the Conan franchise, most of which is composed of the Arnold Schwarzenegger film classic, it says something that Cullen Bunn manages to fill the reader in very quickly on the what’s, where’s, how’s, and why’s of its story. It pulls you into the action and adventure very quickly. You know the kind of man Conan is, and you know the reason he is here and why the conflict arises. The titular barbarian also has a bit of a sense of humor about himself which adds a nice flavor to the character.
The art is quite strong. It has a pleasing aesthetic style, and it makes Conan an imposing figure to behold. Sergio Davila and Michael Atiyeh put together a really nice-looking comic that is sure to please its readers.
The caveat is, and yes, it is a barbarian comic, but the T&A factor is laid on a little strong on the women. It’s not aided by the fact that one woman character is Conan’s goal and the other immediately tries to sleep with Conan immediately upon seeing him.
The other problem is the pacing. It’s quite slow and a decent amount of the comic is Conan searching the admittedly gorgeous empty city and a flashback to its history. Neither of these make for particularly exciting storytelling. When the fight finally does come, it’s pathetically short and leaves the comic on a cliffhanger.
That being said, Conan the Slayer provides largely compelling reading. The main character is fun, the art is gorgeous, and the mystery of the city is interesting for the most part. If barbarians, swords, and sorcery are your thing, check this one out.
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