Conan The Barbarian #5
Script by Brian Wood
Art by James Harren
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Cover by Maasimo Carnevale
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 6, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50
Conan the Barbarian #5 is part two of “The Argos Deception.” To put it mildly, Conan is in BIG trouble. He’s been persuaded by the Pirate Queen Belit to let himself be captured so that Belit and her crew can pull off a daring heist that will land them in gold for the rest of their days… and quite possibly land Conan in a grave.
Brian Wood adapts this Robert E. Howard story and the coolest thing about it, is that there’s MAYBE a page of dialogue in the whole issue. No, it’s not a silent issue, not by any means. The story itself is told through narration and inner monologues. Conan and his people are not the sort to deliver long-winded diatribes about how they’re going to best their enemy or conquer some kingdom or something like that. They’re cold. They’re calculating. They’re manipulative. They don’t need to talk. They don’t WANT to talk. And honestly, it totally works for this issue. Even though there’s not a lot of speaking, the characters are really moved forward this issue. Very well written issue.
James Harren‘s art in this issue is astounding. Not only does he draw a great fantasy city/world, this issue contains one of the BEST choreographed fight scenes that I’ve seen in recent memory. It’s seriously fantastic. Like the fight from the movie They Live fantastic. I won’t go into spoilers, but I found myself immediately rereading this pages after I finished them. There’s also a great fight scene featuring Belit that is far and away, one of the most clever and surprising that I’ve seen in a while. Harren really outdoes himself here. Be glad that you’re along for the ride.
The end of the issue will leave you a little confused and with a lot of questions. But, it’s OK, it’s supposed to. I really can’t wait for the conclusion to this story next month. It’s been a great one. Brian Wood has brought new life into this title, making it more than just a sword and sorcery book. These are great stories, adapted from great stories. I highly recommend that you pick up both this issue AND this series. Very entertaining stuff!