Overview

Conan the Cimmerian #1

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Conan the Cimmerian #1

Credits

  • Words: Timothy Truman
  • Art: Tomas Giorello & Richard Corben
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Jose Villarrubia
  • Story Title: Hunter's Moon
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jul 16, 2008

Tales from the second phase of the life of Robert E. Howard's greatest creation begin in Dark Horse Comics' Conan the Cimmerian #1.

The next chapter in the timeline of Conan adventures concerns his return to Cimmeria after years of wandering. Marking the transition, the initial Conan series ended at issue #50, and Conan the Cimmerian picks up the new adventures. Conan quickly finds battle upon his return in the form of Hoenig Red Hand and his band of Vanir raiders. The brigands flee, as an old stranger appears and tends to a wounded Conan. This stranger, it turns out, knows some tales of Conan's grandfather Connacht, and the second half of the issue deals with our barbarian hero's ancestor in Cimmeria's past. Like his grandson, Connacht had a penchant for finding trouble, as he rescues two children slated for sacrifice by some cultists. The children harbor some secrets of their own, and may not be as innocent as they seem.

Timothy Truman returns to pen the adventures of Conan the Cimmerian and begins the series strong with past and present mysteries. The longevity of the Conan character and his many adaptations in a myriad of mediums owes a great deal to the visceral simplicity of the character. The other defining characteristic of the Conan franchise is the richness of complexity, detail and outright oddity of the landscape of the Hyborian age and its denizens. It exists in pre-history, with cultures invented by Howard but borrowing from many ancient societies including Viking, Roman, Celtic and others. Truman's tale of Connacht is shaped from vaguely Druidic influences.

Tomas Giorello and Richard Corben split the art duties, with Giorello on the "present" sequences, and Corben on the flashbacks. Their styles are very different, but equally appropriate to the material. It cannot be easy following Cary Nord's work on Conan, but artistically the title hasn't missed a beat. It doesn't hurt to have Jose Villarrubia doing the color work, and his painterly quality work enhances the world that is Cimmeria, described by Robert E. Howard as "a gloomy land that seemed to hold / All winds and clouds and dreams that shun the sun."

The alternate cover features the first published Conan work by the legendary Joe Kubert, a fact that surprised me given the storied history of both the character and the illustrator.

I always liked the Marvel Conan series or Savage Sword of Conan because I could get a quick fix of pure escapism with little moral ambiguity and at least one brawl or swordfight. Dark Horse's Conan ups the ante with their production value, and commitment to keeping the product in print.

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