Review – Conan The Barbarian – The Nightmare Of The Shallows Part 1

Massimo Carnevale Cover

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

This new adventure for Conan and Belit starts in the city of lanthe,Ophir a place with vast mountain ranges and forests that is said to have Ancient beasts leaving within the shadows. It also seems to be a city for the wealthy, with the rich living up top where domes and towers that has ruby rooftops; the lower part of the city is for those who seek out more personal pleasures. As Conana and Belit enjoy the lavish lifestyle that they’ve built form themselves and unknown me comes to and presents to them a pill with is called the “Yellow Lotus”, he promise that it will grant their minds pleasures and experiences that they have never had before. A reluctant Conan declines but is quickly convince by Belit to take the Yellow Lotus and enjoy it with her, as they sit with their eyes closed.

In a dreamlike state Conan and Belit are running through the woods, she talks about how when she was a little girl the woods frighten her, at the same time Conan with bow in hand ask Belit how did they get there and how he’d get a bow, as they continue to walk deep in the forest, they come across Argus and its Captain Tito and the rest of his crew form Messantia are all slaughter and hung form trees.

This where things get weird, Conan and Belit are soon attacked by an unknown enemy, as arrows rain towards them a undead member of Argus talks to Conan about how his guilt is consuming him, But the switches to him and Belit laying and bed talking when all of sudden their unborn son comes rushing in the bedroom shocking Conan. Then it jumps to Conan in the snowy woods ready to fight the great bear god Mathghamhain, the fight ends quickly with Conan fatally striking the Bear god down. As the corpse lays next to him it begins to talk to him and it says things t similar  to what the undead man form before had said to him.

The issue ends with Conan and Belit who are still in a dreamlike state are now at the beach and swimming peacefully underwater in the ocean of The Devils Shallow, and once again they come across what looks like a bunch of dead pirates and their ships.

Final Thoughts: Let me start by saying for a first issue it has very good writing The Nightmare Of The Shallows Part 1 dives into the mind of Conan and how every adventure he and Belit had has affected him in some way shape or form, Brian Wood once again brings out another emotion Conan’s not use to dealing with and that’s guilt. Wood touches upon this issue multiple times throughout the comic with past characters he has encountered. You can expect the pacing and flow to be the same as his previous arcs such as Queen Of The Black Coast and Border Fury.

Davide Gianfelice is the artist for this arc, his style is similar to Becky Cloonan in that it features more heavy handed illustrations for each panel, while its not highly detail it is easy to follow and understand.

In the end The Nightmare Of The Shallows Part 1is a good start for what looks like an arc that my have a few twist and turns in the future, and that alone makes it worth picking up.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date:  May 15, 2013