Review: Conan & Red Sonja – The Age of Adventure Part 2

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Dan Panosian Cover

Writer:Gail Simone, Jim Zub
Artist:Dan Panosian
Cover Artist:Dan Panosian
Published by: Darkhorse Comics

It’s been some time since Conan and Red Sonja’s encounter, and things have change, Conan is now back at sea with Belit, as they sail they come across a neighboring ship passing by, On that ship is Red Sonja and Annisia who think the Tigress is a Slaver Ship and as the twos hip past one another Sonja and company jump aboard the Tigress. Conan and Belit spring into action, with Conan facing Annisia and Belit facing off against Red Sonja, the skirmish doesn’t last long with Conan and Sonja both getting up hand on each other’s opponent. Once Conan realizes that its Sonja he lays down his sword and the four of them decide to catch up, Conan tells Belit about the time he and Sonja met and Sonja tells Conan about how she and Annisia became friends she then goes on to tell him about the oath she made to kill all slavers.

Later that night Conan and company are awaken by a crewman who shows them an island that is covered in Red Veins, the four of them jump on small boats and enter the island. They soon notice that the veins are Bloodroot and it has completely covered the island, the Bloodroot has infected everything even the wild life. After noticing a trail of Bloodroot they follow it to a temple, inside the temple sits the Sorcerer Thoth-Amon who informs them of his plan of unleashing Bloodroot on all the kingdoms, a fight assumes with Conan and company attacking the sorcerer and driving him back, Thoth-Amon then teleports away before he’s seriously injured, but not before promising his revenge against them.

The issue ends with a wounded Thoth-Amon carrying the last single Bloodroot as he walks in an unknown snowy environment.

Final thoughts: While Age of adventure is good issue it does have its flaws, one them being the pacing, Age of Adventure is extremely fasted paced I mean really fast, the other flaw is the fight between them and Thoth-Amon, the way they defeat him was a little too easy to say he’s supposed to be this powerful sorcerer. On plus side again the interaction between Conan and Red Sonja is brilliantly display, at one point Conan and Red Sonja are talking but are insulting each other at the same time as if they’ve been friends forever, Conan in front of Belit confesses that he was surprise how he didn’t end up in her bed because of her beauty, Belit’s reaction to the two of them was clear she was jealous, but not of Red Sonja but of the bond the two have in the short time they’ve known one another it’s reminiscent to her and Conan’s bond.

Although this is a left to be desired type of issue it’s still filled with action which in all honesty is what a Conan and Red Sonja Comic is all about at the end of the day.

 

Links: Preview Buy
Release Date: Out Now

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

Review – Conan & Red Sonja -The age of innocence Part 1

Writer:Gail Simone, Jim Zub
Artist:Dan Panosian
Cover Artist:Dan Panosian
Published by: Darkhorse Comics25321

I’ve always been a fan of the epic fantasy genre of comics so when dark announced that they would be teaming Conan and Red Sonja in a series I knew good things were in store, Conan had an unbelievable run in 2014 and Red Sonja has recently jumped into the scene, so teaming the two would only help each other.

Gail Simone and Jim Zub’s, Conan & Red Sonja is nothing short of entertaining, Simone and Zub set the tone right away with its action and fast pacing. In issue #1 Sonja is paid to steal a jewel for a fee, so disguise as a common peasant girl she seduces and tricks a wealth gentle into helping her find the place the jewel is located, next panel the perspective changes and now we see Conan at the entrance of what looks like a secret room, he then proceeds to takes out two guards and walks in only to see Red Sonja sword in hand and at the throat of the Prince, after a brief verbal spat which ended with prince dead the two leave before the guards arrive. With jewel box in hand they set up for the night and everything seems okay until Red Sonja tries to steal the box while Conan sleeps and once again a fight breaks out between the two, the fight ends with both of them agreeing to open the box.

Once the box is open they find out that there isn’t a jewel but instead plant seeds, confused and angry that they have been deceived, they again go at it again verbally, at that moment a mysterious man appears. The man is known as Manus both Conan and Red Sonja were hired by him, he informs them that seeds are called Bloodroot and it will help his master take down any kingdom. Knowing that such a weapon is to dangerous Conan and Red Sonja take the Bloodroots from Manus kill him and drop the roots in a fire.

After it’s all said and done Conan asks Red Sonja to join him on his journey but she refuses saying she will travel alone on her own path.

Final thoughts: This was a very entertaining 1st issue, I especially enjoyed the interaction between Conan and Sonja, and you can tell Conan is drawn to her strength as a warrior more so then his beloved Belit, in there duel Conan praises her skills and strength, he even asks her to join his side not as lover but as warrior, If you’re a fan of epic fantasy genre I suggest following this series and if your fan you won’t be disappointed

Links: Preview | Buy
Release Date: Out Now

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

Review – EI8HT #1

Writer: Rafael Albuquerque, Mike Johnson23589
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque
Cover Artist: Rafael Albuquerque
Published by: Darkhorse Comics

Ei8ht is an original story by Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson, In the beginning of the issue we see the main protagonist Joshua climbing from wreckage which is turns out to be his ship, daze and confuse it seems the crash has effected is memory and from that point on we get flashbacks of him meeting with an unknown man, the two are talking over the mission and how important it is.

Back in real time Joshua is struggling with his communication device, with his memory lapse he has forgotten how to use it, and he then remembers that he left himself a clue knowing that his memory would be effect by the travel. On his wrist is the number eight, remembering that it’s the code for the communicator he uses it and a mysterious voice answers him and gives him a message about a dinosaur, but  before he could get the full message the device shuts off and at the same time a dinosaur approaches him and leads him into trouble.

As a first issue Ei8ht has its pros and cons, for the most part Albuquerque and Johnson do a good job keeping everything a mystery throughout the first half of the issue, as for the back half of the issue it becomes a little predictable, guy crashes on mysterious planet, loses all communication, gets capture by the natives. It’s that straight forward there’s no crazy plot twist or anything of that nature, I will say that the issue did have a good cliff hanger and that only will keep me interested.

Final Thoughts: If you’re looking for an un-original story then Eight may not be for you like I said before the plot is pretty simplistic and that alone my turn some readers off, I on other hand don’t mind it as long as we get a few twists and turns before the story finishes. In the end Ei8ht is nice start for first issue but it does leave alot to be desired.

Links: Preview | Buy
Release Date: February 18, 2015

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

Review – King Conan: The Conqueror Part 1 of 6

Writer: Timothy Truman
Artist: Tomas Giorello
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Cover Artist: Tomas Giorello
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

After nearly getting the jewel from Beloso in the Hour of the dragon 22198Arc, Conan after some time has now tracked Beloso and the jewel down to Messantia. .[spoiler show=”Story Spoilers” hide=”Story Spoilers”]The kingdom of Messantia is know for its trade and Conan has figure that if Beloso is to sell the jewel it would be here, so in order to find more info about Beloso’s whereabouts he sneaks into Publio’s villa and demands him to help find Beloso, Publio agrees to help Conan but not before secretly stating he’ll get rid of the cimmerian once and for all. At the same time a group of assassins set to capture or kill Conan have arrive, when publio returns he tells him that Beloso is sleeping in the house of Servio. When night falls Conan makes his way to Beloso’s room, when he arrives Beloso is laying dead with the mark of Set on his chest, Conan comes to realization that someone else is also tracking the jewel and maybe still be around, After noticing a ship leaving the bay Conan tries to follow but is confronted by some men Publio paid to take his life, outnumbered Conan is knocked out by the men and is left for dead. Meanwhile the assassins have confronted publio about Conan and where he may be hiding, At first publio tries to lie saying that he sent Conan to the house of servio but when one of  the men he sent to take out Conan returns and tells him and the assassins that they have killed Conan and his body lays at the seaport, the assassins then make Publio and the man show them where the body is laid. When they get to the port Conan’s body is no longer there and they notice a ship leaving, the issue ends with heavily wounded Conan rowing away on the boat and the assassins vowing to follow Conan to wherever seas he may go even to hell if needed.—————————[/spoiler]

The Conqueror starts off fast from the jump, Truman doesn’t waste anytime getting into it. The pacing is extremely fast, mostly due to the fact that its a continuation story, so character development and other things that involves a new arc aren’t really explored feature in this issue, So new readers may want to catch up on some back issues in order to figure what’s going on. that aside King Conan: The Conqueror Part 1 is a typical Conan issue, and i mean that in a good way.

Timothy Truman’s King Conan arcs are completely different from Brian Woods, While woods likes to show more emotions in his version of Conan, Truman keeps Conan at his purest and true savagery nature which in actuality is Conan’s true character. Artist and Colorist Tomas Giorello, Jose Villarrubia are back and bring that consistency we all come to expect from the both of them.

As expected in a first issue nothing big really happened, Turman uses The Conqueror Part 1 as a setup for the next issue so expect more in the next issue.

Links: Preview | BuyNow
Release Date: February 26, 2014

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

Review – Conan The Barbarian #8 – Border Fury Part 2

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

At home in Cimmeria, Conan feels a confidence he hasn’t experienced in some time. However, Bêlit is unsure of herself among Conan’s family and clan in this strange, frozen land, a dangerous variable as the two face not only the impostor Conan, but also his vicious army!

Massimo Carnevale Cover

Conan and Belit are still tracking the imposter throughout the harsh lands of Cimmeria, writer Brian Wood continues telling this adventure in story in narrative form with internal/interior monologues. In the beginning of this Issue its apparent that Belit is struggling keeping up with Conan, the land of Cimmeria is slowly over whiling the Queen of the Black Coast. After a brief encounter with a warrior who was sent to confront Conan, later that night they have a conversation that concludes with both agreeing Conan should continue tracking the mystery man alone. Now on her own in the cold mountains of cimmeria, Belit  faces the dangers of the land and its occupants and must use her love for Conan as strength to it out alive.

Meanwhile Conan tracks the imposter and his crew of savages to what looks like a giant glacier , with sword in hand the Cimmerian angrily shouts for them to face him. In the end Border Fury had the potential to turn into a good story for the Conan series but sadly it looks like that’s not going to happened sometimes when comics have multiple story arcs a lot of things get disregard like character development or in this case a quick story conclusion’s, Border Fury would be a lot better if it had at least 6 issues just enough for writer Brian Wood to time to elaborate on how much damage the unknown warrior has caused in Cimmeria with that said I think the story was a little too fast for me to enjoy.

Artist Vasilis Lolos takes over for Becky Cloonan and will admit that I don’t particularly care for it, his style is unique and I don’t mean that in a good way. At times I couldn’t tell the difference between Conan and Belit due to them being drawing so similar, Lolos art is a little to grungy for me.

Final ThoughtsIn the end Border Fury Part 2 is maybe the worst issue so far in the Conan the Barbarian Arc

Links: Preview Pre-Order
Release Date: September 12, 2012

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

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

—————————[/spoiler]

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

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

Review – Freaks Of The Heartland

Greg Ruth Cover

Writer: Steve Niles
Art: Greg Ruth
Cover: Greg Ruth
Published by: Darkhorse Comics
Genre: Horror

Freaks Of The Heartland is a collection of Steve Niles and Greg Ruth six-issue Miniseries turned paperback. It’s a tale of a rural town in the Midwest of Gristlewood Valley, a place where the townspeople have been keeping a secret for many years. Trevor, a boy who lives with abusive father, a mother who’s deeply distressed and finally a physically deformed little brother Will. The people of Gristlewood Valley see Will as a monster and something evil but Trevor doesn’t see his little brother that way. One day their father decides to kill Will for being what he thinks is a monster, but before he can do it Trevor intervenes and escapes with Will. On their journey they discover that Will isn’t one of a kind, but that all the families of Gristlewood Valley each have a deformed kid that they treated badly. Together, Trevor,Will and others like him leave town to find a place where they can be safe and call home, All the while try to avoid the angry and fearful townsmen.

The Freaks of the Heartland is a well-written story that is very emotionally driven which is something I haven’t seen in a horror story, Overall Steve Niles and Greg Ruth tale is precisely laid out in storyboard format and would have no problem transitioning to a film. If you’re looking f or blood and gore this isn’t the book for you, even though it does have its moments when Will protects Trevor form their father. Besides that section, there’s nothing else worthy of mentioning in the filed of gore and intense violence. The biggest beef I have with the book is that it’s too short with unresolved characters, you really don’t get a sense of closure to the story at the end.

Artist Greg Ruth brings the Midwest town to life using a nice mixture of earth tones throughout the book which is perfect to my tastes, I really enjoy the use of Reds and Orange for the  action pages, Ruth really captures the Midwestern landscape and did a beautiful job re-creating it.

Overall,the book is awesome for none violent horror story,I recommend this book to anyone looking for more than just blood and gore, but for a story that has real emotion and themes dealing with acceptance and discrimination you should give it a shot, believe me when I say you won’t disappointed.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date: July 4, 2012

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