Overview

Conan the Barbarian #3

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Conan the Barbarian #3

Credits

  • Words: Brian Wood
  • Art: Becky Cloonan
  • Colors: Dave Stewart
  • Story Title: Queen of the Black Coast Part 3
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Apr 11, 2012

Even Conan isn’t immune to feminine charms. In last month’s issue, the tough Cimmerian saw the deaths of his new friends, and embarked on a bloody battle on the titular Queen’s ship, the Tigress. But beautiful women can bring forth unexpected reactions from men, even one as steadfast as Conan.

This is a series with lengthy captions scattered throughout its pages, and that’s a good thing indeed when those captions are presumably from Robert E. Howard’s original novel. It’s all so wonderfully evocative in that old school manner, and Wood has used this device wonderfully to grant us access into Conan’s mind. “But the bloodbath he just witnessed was extreme, and this terrible beauty before him, this bringer of death, her slender body and milk-white skin contrasting with his own weathered and battered body…she stirred something deep within his barbarian soul.” Sure, Wood could use expressions and dialogue to move the story, but then we wouldn’t be privy to great prose like that.

Aboard Belit’s ship, Conan meets a shaman who warns him of Belit’s brutality and power over men, and also befriends N’gora, Belit’s second-in-command. We have yet to understand the exact power Belit holds over the men in her craft, who are all fiercely loyal to her, but even Conan is enchanted and fits into his new life of piracy with ease.

Cloonan’s sketchy, yet painterly style is a handsome fit with diverse qualities. The sex scene is rendered with subtlety, and the hardened crew, and nighttime seas all look like perfect fantasy fodder.

The Demo partners of Wood and Cloonan make this classic, and often requested, tale of the manly barbarian enchanting and unexpected. Seeing as this series centers on Conan as a young man, he still has many lessons that must be learned, and I suspect a tough lesson on love and loyalty will soon be learnt.

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