Review – Conan: Road Of Kings #12

Script: Roy Thomas
Pencils: Mike Hawthorne
Inks: John Lucas
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starkings
Cover: Aleksi Briclot

Conan: Road of Kings #12 starts with Conan in belligerent state is greeted by Lt.  Torio of King of Argos guards, he tells Conan that his capture will promote him to captain for sure, in anger Conan ask’s Torio if he was the one who struck him from behind. With a grin Torio tells him he was,  at that moment Conan calls him coward and lunges for an attack on him only to be pulled by the  iron chains placed upon his legs.  Conan informs Torio that no cell will make him tell where Ivanos and his girl have fled to, aware that Conan has no clue of the events that has happened  before his arrival Torio informs him that he knows Conan knows nothing and that he plans to catch Ivanos and Shandi on his own to which he’ll relish in his screams after he’s shown Shandi what its like to be with a real man.

An angered again Conan spits something into his mouth which makes him choke, pissed, Torio pulls his sword and threatens Conan before he is quickly stopped by Sholider who reminds him the barbarian is in his custody and a prisoner of the King of Argos. As they leave the cell, Conan notices that someone was watching the ordeal in the shadows, thinking he or she is a spy he calls them forth to face him, the stranger replies telling Conan that old Publius does not spy but didn’t think the guards wanted any witness’s. As they chat, Conan ask’s Publius  how long has he been imprisoned here. Publius replies that it’s been so long that he has forgotten to the crime he was accused of, he warns Conan that no one has walked free and to be ready for the court torturer..[spoiler show=”Story Spoilers” hide=”Story Spoilers”]A few hours later, the guards return and escort Conan to the judge. As they wait for  Judge Macabrus to enter, Torio and another comment that maybe the Macabrus plans to have a trial at dawn, at that very moment the doors open and the judge enters and ask’s what crimes has the man before him committed. In an out burst Torio tells the judge that Conan refuses to give information on the man who murdered his fellow solider, the judge replies that surely a half-naked savage couldn’t have gotten the best of them. Torio explains that once he had captured Conan he took all over his belongings, as he throws Conan’s armor in front of Macabrus he comments that by the quality of the armor it is indeed stolen and he’ll have it to defray court costs that includes the sword Torio had taken for himself. Before the Judge gives his final judgement, he tells Conan that if he joins Argos army and fights in the coming war the crimes against him would be dropped. Conan declines his offer and a now enraged Macabrus tells Conan that it is duty to serve the state. Conan replies by saying he is not a Argossean and doesn’t want anything to do with it kingdom or its ruler. Macabrus gives his final verdict which is for Conan to rot in the dungeon until he reveals the whereabouts of Ivanos and Shandi. With that decided, a frustrated Conan replies by calling everyone in the court mad and begins to attack everyone inside. Hacking and slashing his way to the last man, which happens to be Torio! Out of fear he directs Conan to the nearest exit but the Cimmeria didnt care what Torio had to say and stabs him in the chest, now on the run from the guards Torio had mentioned, Conan jumps on a horse and races to the docks………..

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Packed with lots of action, this issue has a lot going on compared to the last, I said in the last review that readers should expect a down point in couple of issue but that’s not the case in Road of Kings #12. Roy Thomas jumps right into action and after reading this issue I was once again left wanting more, the artwork including the cover is solid as expected . With that said Road of Kings #12 is must for fans to pick up I mean come on who wouldn’t want to see Conan gutting some poor soul foolish enough to stand toe to toe against Roy Thomas and Mike Hawthorne’s version of the Cimmerian hero.

Release Date: January 18, 2012

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

Review – Avatar: The Last Airbender Volume 1—The Promise Part 1

Created by: Bryan Konietzko & Michael Diante DiMartino
Script: Gene Luen Yang
Art & Cover: Gurihiru
Letters: Michael Heisler

This series of digests rejoins Aang and friends for exciting new adventures, beginning with a faceoff against the Fire Nation that threatens to throw the world into another war, testing all of Aang’s powers and ingenuity!

Aang, Zuko, Katara, Sokka and the earth King Kuei discussing  the state of the colonies and how to restore the four nations back to what it used to be before the war started. Aang comments that removing the colonies will not be easy and a lot of  lives will be disrupted but, maybe if he takes part overseeing and making sure everything goes peacefully as planned it might work out. With everything ordered together they call the plan “The Harmony Of Restoration Movement”. The Earth King  tells the others he will plan a celebration to announce the THORM to the earth kingdom citizens. As the meeting concludes, Aang steps outside with Katara and they share moment together before[spoiler show=”Story Spoilers” hide=”Story Spoilers”]

Sokka interrupts them. Later in day during the celebration festival a confliced Zuko tells Aang if he was to ever turn into his father and rule as he did, that Aang would kill him if necessary as safety net for the nations, a remorseful Aang agrees. One year later in the fire nations capital, Zuko who is having difficulty sleeping awakens shouting which alarms the guards. As they arrive, a visibly paranoid Zuko proceeds to tell the guards of  an intruder inside the castle. As they tell him there is no one present but them, Zuko demands the men to believe him and then a ninja assassin makes an attempt to kill Zuko. After a brief fight with the assassin Zuko unmask’s the ninja who turns out to be a young lady named Kori, she tells Zuko that his and the Avatar’s The Harmony Of Restoration Movement is going to destroy her homeland the city of Yu Dao. The next scene  with Zuko takes Kori back to Yu Dao and he confronts the mayor who is also Kori’s father about the attempt she made to take his life. As the mayor pleads for forgiveness for his daughters actions Zuko tells him that the movement will only help bring about peace. To which the mayor informs Zuko the history of fire nation citizens who have been there for generations and that they consider Yu Dao to be home and that his father would have never let the avatar and the earth king bully him. Enraged over the fact the mayor mentions his fathers name, Zuko has a flash back of a day he went to visit his father’s dungeon cell. The old Fire Lord reminds his son of the pressures of being the Fire Lord and that he will need his advice one day. The Scene changes to Aang and the others escorting fire nation citizens back they are told that the new  Fire Lord has withdrawn form the movement. Shocked and confused, Aang, Katara, Sokka  and Toph riding on top of apaa make their way to Yu Dao to confront Zuko, as they travel we see Aang who is in his meditating state. They ask  for Avatar Roku’s guidance on how to handle the Zuko situation and if he should honor the promise he made the night of the festival…….

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Avatar : The Last Airbender – This issue gives a glimpse of what type of pressure Zuko is under as the new Fire Lord and the responsibly it brings, also how its starting effect him mentally. We get see how skilled Aang has become during the time skip and Toph having her own school with 3 apprentices. As there are more things I can elaborate on in this issue I’ll leave it at this and say if you’re a fan of Cartoon series you should have no problem going from watching it on TV to reading. with the comic  writing is solid along with artwork making  Avatar the last Airbender easy to follow

On Sale January 25th, 2012

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

Review – Conan: Road Of Kings #11

Script: Roy Thomas
Pencils: Mike Hawthorne
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starkings
Cover Artist: Aleksi Briclot

With the Plot of Aquilonia’s tyrannical leader dethrone…Conan continue’s his adventures but not without helping himself of a few pounds of  the royal palaces gold……

Conan: Road of Kings #11 Has our Cimmerian hero on his way to Messantia through cattle-scow transport.Once reaching  Messantia conan ask’s for direction to The Black Stag tavern, where he plans to rest and fill his belly while walking through the alley Conan see’s two strangers trying to mug what looks like a solider who turns out to be Ivanos, a companion of his during his adventures as a seamen. they have brief conversion about  the events that took place during that time and together they make way to the tavern After a  few drinks Ivanos introduces Conan to Shandi who’s a waitress at the tavern, Conan ask’s Ivanos if Argos is still looking for mercenaries to which Ivanos informs him that his lack of armor will not help him.[spoiler show=”Story Spoilers” hide=”Story Spoilers”] So he sends Conan to a local armory shop own by Publius who after seeing the gold Conan promised as payment try’s to lead Conan to a trap he has set up in a back room, knowing it’s a trap Conan follows him and with a infuriding grim Conan tells Publius he’s aware of the trapdoor beneath his feet, what should stop him from throwing him down the trapdoor. A fearful publius tells Conan if speared he can keep his armor for free, which Conan tells him he plan to do so anyway. Meanwhile at the tavern Shandi is harassed by the captain of the Kings guards who insults her and grabs her.

A furious Ivanos demands the Captain to release her, who then attacks him but is quickly struck in the chest by Ivanos. Knowing the trouble that will follow with killing a captain, they flee into the night. Oblivious of what has taken place in the tavern a  half intoxicated Conan joyful walks inside and is quickly spotted and approach by friends of the captain who attack him, As he fights his way out  of the tavern he runs into a passerby who causes him to drop his newly acquired helmet at that moment a man sneaks behind him and strikes Conan in the back of the head knocking him out cold.

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This issue  is a bit slow in the action department and understandably so with the Aquilonia story coming to a conclusion you would figure an issue or two would be slow as another story develops, Road of kings #11 gives you glimpse of whats to come in the next issue which is good, With Ivanos introduce and the problem he has place upon himself  I’m interested on how its going to play out. As far as the art Mike Hawthorne picks up where Dan Panosian left off and does a solid job.

Release Date: December 21, 2011

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

Review – Conan: Road Of Kings #10

Script: Roy Thomas
Art: Dan Panosian
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starkings
Cover Artist: Aleksi Briclot

Conan: Road Of Kings #10 Starts with Conan discovering that Count Trocero has launched the siege of Tarantia. Thelitis and the others inform Conan of their plan to sneak in and assassinate the  current  king (Deucalion) and make Arpello the new king. Inside the castle, Conan and the others who are disgused as servants of  Thelitis are greeted by Deucalion and his guards whose out number them.  Conan gets in position to attack  but is stopped by Prospero, meanwhile, Thelitis plan to use’s the kings affections for her against him are spoiled when deucalion orders his guards to feed the retainers as he calls them – to his royal dragon. Out numbered, Conan springs to action hacking and slashing his way, as more and more guards attack and D’Jonn and Prospero are captured Conan escapes jumping thru a window and falls 3 stories on to a wooden wheel barrel which happens to sit in front of Deucalion’s chambers. Meanwhile Thelitis  who’s alone with Decalion kills him and herself just as Conan enters, shocked by the death of Thelitis he makes his way back to the others before they are fed to Deucalion’s dragon which turns out to be a giant lizard. Again Conan is thrust into action once more to save Albiona and the others from death.

Trouble seems to follow Conan wherever he goes when placed in hopeless situations, it’s certain he’ll pull through and survive, hacking and slashing his way out only to start all over again in the next issue. At this point there hasn’t been a warrior or warlord introduced to challenge Conan which is a bummer, I would love to see Conan run into someone hardcore finally.  Instead he’s been on the run with others that have plans to use Conan for their personal gain.

With plenty of action and solid writing Conan: Road of Kings #10 is another solid read, I can’t praise Thomas and Panosian enough on the job they’re doing with Road of Kings, they are  staying true to the Conan we all know and love.

Release date: Out Now

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

 

 

 

Review – The Goon #36

Story & Art By: Eric Powell
Colors By: Dave Stewart
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue features real life Queen Of Burlesque, Roxi Dlite and her not so real life “handler” Abercrombie.  We find them escaping from trouble, looking for a new place to cause even more trouble.  Where do they land? Well, the Goon’s hood of course!  Roxi, an entrepreneur, decides to stay awhile and make some fast cash.  Meanwhile, The Goon and Franky are getting into their own predicaments, (along with some awesome disguises), Franky, in an incident involving an old woman and The Goon with his big punches.  Eventually all of their paths cross and mayhem ensues.  Franky falls in love which only complicates things as he gets drawn in by a fake menage á trois, being duped it’s all up to The Goon to save the day.  Saving the day, Franky and everything else is just what The Goon does and scores some ladies to boot.

The Goon #36 is really great and well worth reading.  What is really great about these comics is that even if you are new to the series you are really able to jump right in and enjoy the story.  It’s rare in comics for this to happen.  Even though there are constant themes and storylines continuing from one issue to the next they are not so complicated that you can’t get the jist reading for the first time.  The characters , art and dialog are phenomenal.  This issue gets you looking forward to the next and hopefully the movie that is to be adapted from the series.  If you love The Goon you will love this issue, if you have never read The Goon this issue is a great place to start!

Release Date: November 2nd, 2011

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

 

Review – Conan: Road Of Kings #9

Script: Roy Thomas
Art: Dan Panosian
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starkings
Cover Artist: Aleksi Briclot

The Last issue Conan and Albiona reunite’s with her mother Thelitis and the other conspirators—inside the catacombs they get attacked by an army of undead soldiers the Aquilonians buried centuries ago..

From the start, Conan and the others are fighting what seems like an endless battle with the undead. As they make way through the first wave of them, a second wave follows, which cause’s Arpello to frantically run away in fear. Conan and the other’s start to wonder if maybe sorcerery is playing a hand, with fatigue setting in the end looks near—when Conan furiously cuts one in half, that’s when they find out that magic isn’t at work. But parasites which have inhabited the bodies of the dead soldiers gives Conan, Prospero and J’honn a new-found vitality of strength which cuts short when Arpello runs into is own set of problems.

Roy Thomas’s writing is spot on, I’m not surprised since he’s been doing Conan stories for a while now, he does a fantastic job binding  comedic dialogue within action sequences. His formula works and I can’t see anyone else writing and nailing it like he does. I thought Mike Hawthorne’s art work was a perfect fit until I saw Dan Panosian art in this issue, there is no significant drop in the work. In fact, you probably couldn’t tell the difference between the two artists. I commend Panosian for not altering or changing the artwork  in any way, the colorist  Dan Jackson does a solid job once again and Aleksi Briclot’s cover art is always stunning.

Overall it’s a solid and worth picking up

 

 Release Date : October 19, 2011

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