Conan #38


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Conan #38


  • Words: Timothy Truman
  • Art: Cary Nord
  • Inks: Cary Nord
  • Colors: Richard Isanove
  • Story Title: The Maze
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Mar 21, 2007

The Priests of Anu have angered Conan the Barbarian beyond measure. Why would anyone want to do that?

In this issue we see a sad ending to not one, but two of Conan’s long standing relationships. A betrayal, a death, and a slew of murdered priests pretty much sums up #38 without giving away too much. With a typical plot involving deceitful, hypocritical rulers, priests who long for eternal life and will do anything to get it, and Conan, the loveable Cimmerian, caught in the middle of it all with nothing but his wits and his blade, fighting his way through the drama the only way he knows how, Timothy Truman serves up a Conan tale that does many things . . .

First and foremost it seems to be an ending point, or a beginning point, depending on how you look at it. Characters are permanently changed, relationships dissolved, and Conan is taken back to square one, alone and wandering. It is as though Truman is trying to get rid of the old. Perhaps he has plans that do not involve a supporting cast. I don’t know, and I have mixed feelings on it. However, beyond that, this writer knows Conan. He knows how the barbarian speaks. He knows how he acts. He knows how he swings his blade and thinks at the same time. Conan has been written as little more than mindless eye candy for the ladies once or twice before, but never by Truman. He has love and respect for the character and this comes through in every issue he scribes.

The same can be said for Cary Nord who has given Conan a new look for a new century. Nord takes Conan down to the bare basics, drawing him wearing virtually nothing and looking out of place in the "civilized" world he wanders. The lines are thin and firm, the images, simple and strong. When Richard Isanove, best described as a colorist’s colorist, adds color to Nord’s lines, the images have a way of taking readers back to the Hyborian Age, back to the time of Conan, when blood, swords, and wizards ruled. The scenes are so vivid, so intense, it is depressing at times to finish the book and look around at the modern world.

Dark Horse began this resurgence in barbarians and their ilk in comics and it continues to be the best at it. Conan’s adventures have a unique look and a classic writer that would make even Robert Howard smile.

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