Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: James Harren
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
After earning his freedom, Conan and the shaman start to head towards the dock but are met by more guards who taunt the Cimmerian. Informing him that his beloved Belit has been captured by their commander who plans to have his way with her. Unable to tell if what the solider is saying is true, the news enrages him and drives the warrior into a berserker like rage, he begins to slaughter every solider including the horse’s the men ride. After dismantling the soldiers, Conan and the Shaman rush to the docks to meet up with Belit and as they ride an unsure Conan starts to wonder if life with Belit will be worth it. For as long as he’s with her, violence and trouble will always follow him, he wonders if that is the only life a pirate can live . As his mind races with these questions and doubts, the Shaman notices a conflicted Conan, he manages to reassure the Cimmerian that Belit has chosen him. Not moving though to cast doubt that yes violence will follow, instead sharing that if he tried to get her to understand him better life my not be as troubled what he thinks it would. At the docks, Conan notices Belit is late to the ship, he also realizes what the solider said was true and without hesitation he takes off to save Belit with a promise of bring her back no matter what.
The Argos Deception Part #3 is relatively short, as a result this is more of a synopsis, the issue is straight forward with lots of action and I mean lots of action. One of the many strong points in this issue is the writing as the narrative monologue is great, Wood makes it feel as though someone is telling the story reminiscent to the King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword monologue’s. I mentioned in the first two reviews that this Conan seems more human, struggling with new emotions he never had deal with before, the main of which are fear and doubt. Wood navigates the fear and doubt Conan has in the beginning into his biggest strength, examples of that are best shown when he’s told Belit is captured and when he arrives to save her. In those two particular moments, Conan’s emotions are on his sleeve and you can see he’s no longer fighting for just himself.
James Harren’s work in this issue is top-notch to say the least, Harren tells the story with a cinematic feel in each panel. He really brings strong thematic scenes from the first page to the last. Harren really nailed it on this issue is all I can really say. The action sequences and the level of detail he brings to each character in their facial expressions will not go unappreciated, particularly in Conan when his fighting. You can see the emotional rage as he swings his sword and feel the depth of what he’s struggling with.
Final Thoughts: This was a very good issue it has all the right ingredients, fans and even Non-Conan fans would like this issue with how well they pulled it off. My biggest beef is that The Argos Deception adventure was too short yet again, with only 3 parts the story seems rushed and it finishes just when it was getting good although I will say I’m interested on how the next story is going to be after this improvement from Queen of the Black Coast.
Script: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover Art: Massimo Carnevale
Published By: Dark Horse
This beautiful hardcover edition of Orchid Volume 1 collects issues 1-4. As an added bonus, Volume 1 also contains all of the codes needed to download the free songs by Tom Morello that originally came with each individual issue. Aside from getting one of the best new comics out there, there is a little piece written by Morello about his inspiration for creating Orchid and a few sketches of some of the main characters (a couple more pages of sketches would have been nice). This hardcover edition is a great way to catch up on this AMAZING series and it really allows you to dive right in and see what you’ve been missing. It was a treat to go back through and reread the story and rediscover Scott Hepburn’s phenomenal art. Whether you are a new or old fan of the series this book is definitely worth picking up!
Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Nathan Massengill
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse
Now that Buffy’s mind and body are back together in human form, it’s time for her to get back to reality and figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life. Enter Kennedy, she’s got a job for Buffy, which Buffy accepts immediately in her never-ending quest to be a “grown-up.” As quickly as Buffy begins her new job, her inability to be led rears its ugly head. Buffy is used to being in charge but now she’s supposed to follow, which, surprise surprise she is not too keen on! Buffy soon learns that maybe she should listen to others, even if it means no longer listening to her Slayer instincts. Since she is the Chosen One we can expect that this new lesson she learned won’t change her mind for too long and her new career may be short-lived. A demon approaches her for help and off she goes. Unfortunately, Buffy finds that her one true calling, the thing that really sets her apart from everyone else, slaying, is not as needed by society as she thought. After a little bit of soul-searching and career consideration, she decides to get her job back with Kennedy which may soon have her facing a past SUPER big bad!
This issue was solid. The ending alludes to an exciting big bad that could really potentially cause some big trouble. As per usual the art and writing were great. I’m not a huge Kennedy fan so seeing her wasn’t anything great for me but I’m sure some people will be happy with this. The only complaint I have in this issue (and Season 9 in general) is that Buffy sometimes comes off as kind of a twit. Buffy is a strong woman who has survived countless apocalypses, pure evil, she’s died…a lot and yet sometimes it seems as if she is written like she’s 15 and new to this whole situation. In these instances, she lacks confidence, maturity and experience. I love Buffy and I love these characters and I think the stories that are being written are for the most part excellent but I do wish Buffy’s mentality and overall essence was portrayed in more of a linear fashion (as linear as a Slayer in her 20’s can!). My tangent is over and I feel fully confident in saying that while there have been issues in this series it is still a must read and it’s definitely worthwhile to pick up.