Review – Conan the Slayer #4 : Evil reveals its self!!

  • Writer: Cullen Bunn
  • Artist: Sergio Davila
  • Cover Artist: Serigo Davila
  • Published by: Dark horse Comics

Conan the Slayer #4 kicks it up a notch with action in this arcs mid-point, In the cvudu9dweaetpsbfirst issue we briefly seen Kyrlo encounter with an unknown creature, the creature then promised to help Kyrlo take the crown form his father but not without granting the creature a favor in return.

A lot was reviled in the first few pages, for one the creature is a Ghul who has been wondering battlefields for ages, it also seems to enjoy death destruction, the Ghul is seen tracking Conan and company for reasons unknown. As for Conan, Taraslan and Oskana they are traveling on foot back to the village, and when they reach the village they are surprise to see Taraslan’s father’s funeral pyre. Knowing Kyrlo is the cause of Hetman’s death Conan confronts Kyrlo and calls him out in front of the village, A fight breaks out and when Conan mercilessly takes out all of Kyrlo’s followers, Conan’s savage nature is shown in this skirmish reminding the readers that he too can be as dangerous when he needs too.

With Kyrlo capture Conan suggest Taraslan should take out his brother to avoid future conflicts that will happen if he lives, but Taraslan doesn’t agree and instead he locks his brother away in a tent. Later that night Kyrlo is confronted by the Ghul who agrees to help him escape.

Conan and the others are attack by dragon like creatures summoned by the Ghul, the attack was just a distraction for Kyrlo as he is seen fleeing with one of the monsters, an angry Conan promises Taraslan that if he sends him after Kyrlo he will take him.

Conclusion: This was an action base issue this time around, although we do get a little back story about the Ghul, it looks as if the Ghul will be the main villain from here on out and that’s a good little twist for this arc. The most intriguing part of this issue is Conan’s ruthlessness when he confronted Krylo, at one point he was pulling Krylo by his hair and was going to throw him into the Hetman’s funeral pyre, for me I found that moment to be significant because most writers rarely write him that way and I found that to be refreshing.

Links: Preview | Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review – Kingsway West #2

  • Writer: Greg Pak
  • Artist: Mirko Colak
  • Colorist: Wil Quintana
  • Cover Artist: Mirko Colak

In the first issue it ended with Sonia getting kidnapped while Kingsway and Ah 29000Toy run into some trouble with local soldiers, we also get a glimpse of the main antagonist’s and their plans for the future.

Early on in the issue we get a flashback of Kingsway and Sonia telling each other stories of their experiences of war, with promise of a new future the two of them agree to leave their past behind them and look towards a new life together. Back in the present Kingsway saves Ah Toy from the soldiers that attack her and again she asks him to come defend his people, but Kingsway again shoots the offer down telling Ah Toy that the people he saved also turned on him for the Queens reward.

The issue takes an interesting turn when the two men we seen at the end of the first issue, who are now identify as Dr. Uhrmacher and Strode meet up with the woman with angel wings. We find out the Red Gold can give abilities, mutations and even bring back the dead. Clearly Red Gold is a precious commodity in the world of Kingsway and there’s many that would kill for it.

Conclusion:  While the story opened up a little bit more there are still a lot of question that will hopefully be answered, as of right now we only know the past of Kingsway and that Red Gold is powerful and hard to find. I find myself more interested in the antagonist then in Kingsway, again maybe that will change in future issues so I’ll wait until then.

Links: Preview | Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★☆☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★☆☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review – Conan The Avenger #16 The Blood Oasis Part One

Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Brian Ching
Cover Artist: Jason Felix
Published by: Darkhorse Comics

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Cover by Jason Felix

A mysterious oasis with a massive inland lighthouse beckons to Conan amidst the scorching sands. Answering a call for help, he offers assistance, only to realize too late all is not what it seems—he’s stumbled into a trap!

Now free from Princess Thalis of Stygian, Conan and Natala journey through the south desert of Stygian, Natala pleads her frustrations of the pass events and how Conan seemed to not have cared, meanwhile Conan notices a sandstorm and the two take refuge as the storm passes, as the storm passes Conan notices 3 armored soldiers and beings to attack them, under the impression that the soldiers are from Thalis strikes them down, just as when Conan is about to finish one them off, one of them takes off his helmet and introduces himself as Valerius of Khauran.

Valerius tells Conan and Natala that he and a unknown companion are too is looking for the Oasis’s so the two decide to travel together, meanwhile in the shadows we see a man watching from the shadows in nearby desert stone. But it didn’t take long before he was expose by Conan, the man introduces himself as Kerim Shah from Iranistan, he tells them he’s just a traveler on business but Conan and Valerius don’t buy it and Conan states that if Kerim is lying he’ll take him out.

Later on the group finds Akrel the Tower of Silence a well-known temple/castle, at the front of the Tower of Silence a camp that has been set up by unknown soldiers is invested be vultures, as they get closer they see that the vultures are picking at the dead bodies of the soldiers, Conan and the others look around to see if anyone was alive and sure enough they find 3 woman trapped in a cage.

The woman tells them that Raiders had ambushed them and they hid while the raiders attacked, thinking that the raiders are inside Conan decides to enter the Tower of Silence, at the same time Kerim sneaks off and into the shadows again with bow in hand ready to make a move on Valerius unknown companion.

Blood of Oasis Part One starts off with good amount of mystique to it, characters Kerim Shah and Valerius are interesting but the biggest question is who is the other person Valerius is travelling with?, you can see that whoever Valerrius is escorting is clearly royalty, so the question I want answer will most likely be answer in the next issue, but I wonder how important will he or she be to the main plot of the story, and will he or she be any importance to the Oasis’s they all speak of.

Fred Van Lente’s writing is great in this issue, I particularly like how he shows Natala’s snobbish and pamper ways throughout it, Artist Brian Ching deserves equal praise for illustrating those expressing’s in great detail and even the action panels were well drawn and detail making it easy to flow panel to panel.

Links: Preview | Buy
Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★☆☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★☆☆ 
Overall:★★★☆☆ 

Review – Conan and the People of the Black Circle #1

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Ariel Olivetti Cover

Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Ariel Olivetti
Colorist: Ariel Olivetti
Cover Artist: Ariel Olivetti
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse has been on a roll as of late with the Conan franchise, each arc being better than the last. In comes new comer Fred Van Lente (Brain Boy), looking to continue the series high quality story arcs. The people of the Black Circle is Van Lente’s retelling of Robert E. Howard original story. Continue reading Review – Conan and the People of the Black Circle #1

Review – Akaneiro #3

Writer: Justin Aclin
Artist: Vasilis Lolos
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Shu yan
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Akaneiro #3 opens and ends with nonstop action. Basically this issue was nothing but one big battle between the Red hunters and yokai, In the beginning we see Kani, who in the last issue unlocked her full power, fighting against the Ghost Werewolf Clan. With her new found powers kani is surprisingly holding her own against the Wolf demons, The moment shifts when a higher level Wolf demon appears and subdues her, the demon then tells Kani that the Red hunters hunt them down because the produce karma crystals to which they use for profit and personally gain, Kani denies the claim the wolf demon has told her, she then powers up and breaks free of the demons hold and quickly slays him.

Red hunters Mitsuo and Fumiyo make an appearance and help Kani get rid of the other demons. Things once again turn for the worst when the Demon King himself appears, his size alone is frightening, and he towers over Kani and the others, when he attacks you can see the huge power difference between he and the Red hunters and he quickly gets the upper hand with brute strength alone.

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Shu Yan Cover

And for second it looks like the end is near for them but out of nowhere the entire clan of Red hunters including Kani’s father show up and joins the fray, At this point we see some pretty cool new characters who display some there abilities, one those characters is the head leader of the Red hunters, this guy fights the Demon King by himself and actually holds his own to point where he knocks the Demon King down to ground so Kani can give him a final attack.

Victory wouldn’t have been possible if the Demon fox that lead Kani into the trap in the 1st issue didn’t betray the Demon King and sided with the Red hunters, the only reason the fox betrayed the Demon king was because he said that the Demon King didn’t respect him. With the Demon king dead it looks as if peace on the horizon for the two clans, so to insure that peace Kani and the Red Hunter leader convinces the Fox Demon to stay and protect the home village, the Fox agrees saying “I have enjoyed being a god so far, if a whole village would like to do so, That sounds fine to me.”

The issue ends with Kani, who after a few months is now a Red hunter and is seen hunting down Yokai with Mitsuo and Fumiyo, Mitsuo comments on how Kani is enjoying herself to which Kani admits she does really love hunting down Yokai and that balance most be maintain no matter what.

Final thoughts: As a final issue Akaneiro #3 was firstrate, it was filled with action form the first page to the last. But it does leave some things to question like, how much of a impact did Kani’s actions effect the world? Instead of elaborating on that Justin Aclin skips that and acts as if nothing or no one was affected by them, which I found kind of a letdown. But besides that it was a nice adaption one worth of praise.

Links: Preview |BuyNow
Release Date: July 31, 2013

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review – Akaneiro #2

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Shu yan Cover

Writer: Justin Aclin
Artist: Vasilis Lolos
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Shu yan
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

The brave young warrior Kani battles a gauntlet of fantastic mythical beasts inspired by Japanese folklore. However, things are not what they seem, and danger lurks where Kani least expects it!

After being tricked by Yokai disguse as a human, Kani is sent to village that has been taking over by two Yokai who place her in a dream like trance, in this dreamlike state she is training to become a Red Hunter and meets up with two unknown Red Hunters who accompany her, At the same time in the real world red hunters Mitsuo and Fumiyo are looking for her since she hasn’t arrive at the village, as they track her they also encounter the yokai fox who mocks them.

Back in Kani Dream state, Kani and the two other red hunters come across a few Yokai who get the best of Kani, Meanwhile Mitsuo and Fumiyo return to Kani Village in hopes of finding her there. They meet up with her father and ask him if he’s seen her, thinking the worst Kani’s father starts to panic. And begins to question the red hunters of Kani whereabouts as well.

The fox appears again starts to mock Mistsuo and Fumiyo again, under the assumption the Yokai has taken her they capture him and ask him where he has hidden Kani. He tells them Kani is in a place that none of them can find her, he then asks if they have heard of the Demon king in Frostrock Mountain and the Ghost Werewolf Clan.

Next we see a member of the Ghost clan Tanaka taking to the Demon king, he says that Kani will and heart is strong and that it will be difficult to complete the task he has given them. The Demon king tells him that killing Kani who hurt the Yokai’s plan of taking over, but if they were to corrupt her by taking something form her maybe then they could succeed.

The issue ends with Kani waking up and confronting her captors, who turn out to be werewolves of the ghost clan, as they attack the unarmed Kani she is pushed to use a new ability that taps into the karma crystals.

Links: Preview |BuyNow
Release Date: June 24, 2013

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

 

Review – Akaneiro #1

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Shu Yan Cover

Writer: Justin Aclin
Artist: Vasilis Lolos
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Shu yan
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

From the brilliant imagination of video game auteur American McGee comes a dazzling reenvisioning of Red Riding Hood set in the wondrous world of Japanese folklore! Justin Aclin and Vasilis Lolos take Kani a young woman torn between two cultures on an epic adventure battling devious Yokai for the fate of her world! 

Akanerio was first introduce to us through a action role-playing game that was developed by American McGee’s Spicy Horse company, the game was base heavily on the Little Red Riding Hood tale but in feudal Japan also add a mixture of manga and Japanese folklore.

Issue #1 is basically a origins issue, the main character Kani whose tribe the Ainiu’s live on the island of Yomi, they are a religious tribe that believe in spiritual guidance or direction so it seems, writer Aclin doesn’t really get into detail about them,Then there’s another tribe called the Akane’s they are a warrior tribe that defend the island form “Yokai” demons that also in habit Yomi island. The Akane’s have a elite group of specially trained warriors called the Red Hunters, who are the ones that defend the island.

The two tribes have a history and are both trying to gain the upper hand on one another, The main character Kani whose mother was killed by a Yokai believes the Red Hunters are necessary and that the ways of her people are slow. During a spiritual ceremony a Yokai eludes one the Red hunters and attacks the Ainiu village, Kani who witness the death of her mother begins to attack the demon along with the Red hunter it escaped form. After the demon is killed the elder of the Ainiu’s blames the attack on the Akane’s and the Red Hunters, he declares war against them. But before things can get out of hand Kani suggest that maybe war could be eluded if she was to join the Red Hunters, the other elders agree that just maybe things could be better between the two if she would join the clan, but only if she can pass the test all Akane’s must take before becoming a red hunter.

During her journey to the village of Akane Kani endures the harsh snowy mountains a group demon infected hares that attack her now injury and tired she comes as cross a man standing by two rhodes. After getting directions form the man she continues her journey little did she know is that the man was actually a Yokai disguise as a man and he just sent her in the wrong direction.

Final Thoughts: Akanerio #1 has very solid writing theirs a good amount of exposition throughout the issue, Justin Aclin blends both American and Japanese folklore together quite well the flow and pacing reminds me of a manga one that comes to mind is Inuyasha, if not for the artwork it could maybe pass off as a manga. Now when I say “if not for the artwork” I’m not saying its bad. Artist Vasilis Lolos does a beautiful job on the monster designs each have there own distinct features which is  must when creating beasts who are mutated by demons. While the character designs are good the lack of backgrounds in some panels is unacceptable, Shu yan cover art is amazing if may say.All in all Akaneiro #1 is a good issue and worth following I’m for sure going to keep an eye out for it.

Links: Preview Pre-Order
Release Date: May 22, 2013

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆