Review – Conan The Barbarian #7 – Border Fury Part 1

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Becky Cloonan
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Massimo Carnevale

While recent Aventures in Messantia haven driven them closer together, it also brought a new path of uncertainly for the barbarian and Queen of the Black Coast. Now in Cimmeria the homeland of the her beloved, a place where her status as the black queen is unknown and not respected or feared…

This adventure starts in the present day with Conan and a blind Belit on the run from unknown warriors in the snowy high mountains of Cimmeria. As they take cover, Conan promises Belit that she will make it out alive. From there, it jumps back weeks where the two first leave the Tigress and make way through the Northern lands until reaching the valleys, hills, and the Dark wooded under skies of Cimmeria.[spoiler show=”Story Spoilers” hide=”Story Spoilers”] At the village of Duthil, Conan and Belit are greeted by his mother who shows some bitterness towards her son, she tells him that he must meet up with the elders to discuss recent events that have taken place. An angry Belit question’s his mother asking why does she have so ill of feelings toward her son. The Cimmerian woman replies sharply telling Belit that woman here conduct themselves differently then where she is from. The next morning Conan meets up with the elders to talk about an unknown man who is using his name as he causes havoc in local villages, the conversation ends with Conan agreeing to rid Chimmeria of a man who would tarnish his name and kill his own fellow Cimmerians. Meanwhile, Belit seems to be have trouble adjusting and has a brief confrontation with some of the villagers, to which Conan intervenes and promises her that if she stands with him and helps find the man who is dishonoring his name that he’ll do the same for her. Scene changes, we see a village being burned down and its inhabitants captured and murdered by unknown warriors dressed in black armor. As the men round-up the rest of the villagers, a man who looks exactly like Conan is sitting on a horse and proclaims himself as Conan


Final Thoughts: Border Fury Part#1 is filled with narrative  dialog’s, something I’ve noticed a lot from writer Brian Wood. Wood likes to script his tales in third person omniscient narration and in my opinion this format works for all of Conan’s adventures. It gives you sense that Wood himself is telling the tale and guiding the reader. One main focus for this issue is Belit, it seems the Queen of the Black coast is having a hard time adjusting to the non-piracy life and its quickly taking a toll on her mentally. Like Conan in the Argos Deception and Queen of the Black Coast adventures she is struggling emotionally. Wood is doing a role reversal with the two in Border Fury tale, which has sparked my interest greatly, I am waiting to see how this adventure unfolds and if Belit can keep it together. Artist Becky Cloonan is brought back and she brings a significantly darker and unique art style to this new tale.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date: August 08, 2012


Review – The Creep #0

Writer: John Arcudi
Art: Jonathan Case
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Frank Miller
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Where do we start with The Creep? If you’ve been following Dark Horse Presents you’ll be aware of the 3 chapter mini series that ran in the pages of the book. If you’re not familiar with it, well today is your lucky day and we’re talking about this unique story all in one shot before the real thing kicks off.

Being a detective is never easy, you’re going through some of the worst cases and examples of humanity or what could be called humanity with a sliver of hope at the other end if you’re lucky. Add into the mix some hormonal issues and a massive frame and all of a sudden life really doesn’t seem nearly as promising. We join Oxel in a rough time of his life, facing down self employment debt, crappy local teens and a visit from his past coming back to dig up all his less cherished memories.

Naturally this is the highlight of the story though, from here we see Oxel take up an assignment that not only stirs up past emotional trauma but some intense psychological issues because of the case itself. It’s one thing to look into a random case that comes across the desk, it’s another when it strikes home and the trail itself has already been tampered with by those seeking the aid. Oxel has his work cut out for him in a domestic drama that looks to span much further than he’d prefer and given the connection he has, there’s no looking back on this one.

The Creep #0 is a good read, for those curious I suggest checking it out but to be aware that even though it spans 3 chapters of work there are only about 26 pages of actual content to read through and then you’re left hanging for more. Who is Oxel? What does his old love interest have to do with all this and why is are the flashback panels so amazing in their retro form?

Jonathan Case does a great job mixing present day and flashbacks together, the sharp contrast paints a solid break between the present day (blue/cool) and the yearning for yesterday (warm) and not only that but the memories are highly stylized presentations giving an almost idealistic representation of those days, the glory years before it all went so wrong. It compliments the pace setup by John Arcudi as the story moves along, bringing Oxel’s emotional struggle to a fuller life. It’ll be a hard wait for The Creep #1 to roll around, until then bask in the almost noir style case that gets unleashed through these pages and try to dig up your own conclusions.

Release Date: August 8, 2012

Links: Preview | Pre-Order


Review – Star Wars – Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral #1 of 5

Script: John Jackson Miller
Pencils: Andrea Mutti
Inks: Pierluigi Baldassini
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Paul Renaud
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

On our latest journey across the stars we come across the planet Kesh. A world cast into darkness 2000 years ago when a freighter for the Sith Lord Naga Sadow came upon it in an unexpected manner. Instead of falling to ruin, this group stood up and forged their will and became survivors or even better as the Tribe.

Naturally it’s not all so dramatic, we take a focus on Officer Takara and two youth seeking to make some drama out of a celebratory event and the events that lead them into a grander situation. The thing is, Kesh is still divided among natives and Sith as they were the ones to enslave the natives and use their intellectual and engineering superiority to plant themselves above the rest so there’s a bit of anger and general rage sitting around still.

In the story we see a build up of this tension and around Takara who stands on the Sith side as an enforcer or supporter of the law. Her upbringing has never left her to question much until meeting a person who defied all she knew and that’s where our story picks up. Breaking out of the bubble and challenging a new world we see these two crash skulls and take off into the unknown even if the other isn’t exactly crazy about the idea. Did I mention the primary city that both of these guys reside in is pretty much the only main establishment and they know absolutely nothing of what they’re getting into? Well there’s that also.

It’s a bit of a relaxation from the current Star Wars story lines that have been going on lately, everything always so dead serious and tense. While you can feel for the characters in Spiral you don’t sense an immediate danger to their well-being to ponder how they’ll get by or if they’ll even be alive in the next issue. Miller has a fun story coming out and I hope it stays just as entertaining for the next 4 issues.

For those curious about the art, Mutti develops interesting atmospheres that lend themselves to the Star Wars universe but more importantly to a world that would inhabitable to Humans as well given they were able to survive this long. Atiyeh develops color in the world that varies not only from climate to climate but throughout the general moods shown in the panels as well, although I’m still in awe over the palette used to develop Takara’s red hair as it just glows.

Release Date: August 8, 2012

Links: Preview | Pre-Order