Review – Conan The Barbarian #6 – The Argos Deception Part 3

Massimo Carnevale Cover

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

After earning his freedom, Conan and the shaman start to head towards the dock but are met by more guards who taunt the Cimmerian. Informing him that his beloved Belit has been captured by their commander who plans to have his way with her. Unable to tell if what the solider is saying is true, the news enrages him and drives the warrior into a berserker like rage, he begins to slaughter every solider including the horse’s the men ride. After dismantling the soldiers, Conan and the Shaman rush to the docks to meet up with Belit and as they ride an unsure Conan starts to wonder if life with Belit will be worth it. For as long as he’s with her, violence and trouble will always follow him, he wonders if that is the only life a pirate can live . As his mind races with these questions and doubts, the Shaman  notices a conflicted Conan, he manages to reassure the Cimmerian that Belit has chosen him. Not moving though to cast doubt that yes violence will follow, instead sharing that if he tried to get her to understand him better life my not be as troubled what he thinks it would. At the docks, Conan notices Belit is late to the ship, he also realizes what the solider said was true and without hesitation  he takes off to save Belit with a promise of bring her back no matter what.

The Argos Deception Part #3 is relatively short, as a result this is more of a synopsis, the issue is straight forward with lots of action and I mean lots of action. One of the many strong points in this issue is the writing as the narrative monologue is great, Wood makes it feel as though someone is telling the story reminiscent to the King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword monologue’s. I mentioned in the first two reviews that this Conan seems more human, struggling with new emotions he never had deal with before, the main of which are  fear and doubt. Wood navigates the fear and doubt Conan has in the beginning into his biggest strength, examples of that are best shown when he’s told Belit is captured and when he arrives to save her. In those two particular moments, Conan’s emotions are on his sleeve and you can see he’s no longer fighting for just himself.

James Harren’s work in this issue is top-notch to say the least, Harren tells the story with a cinematic feel in each panel. He really brings strong thematic scenes from the first page to the last. Harren really nailed it on this issue is all I can really say. The action sequences and the level of detail he brings to each character in their facial expressions will not go unappreciated, particularly in Conan when his fighting. You can see the emotional rage as he swings his sword and feel the depth of what he’s struggling with.

Final Thoughts: This was a very good issue it has all the right ingredients, fans and even Non-Conan fans would like this issue with how well they pulled it off. My biggest beef is that The Argos Deception adventure was too short yet again, with only 3 parts the story seems rushed and it finishes just when it was getting good although I will say I’m interested on how the next story is going to be after this improvement from Queen of the Black Coast.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date: June 13, 2012

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

 

 

 

Review – Conan The Barbarian #5 – The Argos Deception Part 2

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

Massimo Carnevale

Early morning in Messantia, Argos a visibly beaten Conan is taken form his cell and brought to the gallows, as the crowd gathers around to see the cimmerian hero hanged. A guard begings to address the crowd about the crimes Conan has committed theft, Assault, and Aggravated Murder the guard then ask’s if anyone is willing to  speak for him and at the that moment, Bêlit who is dress as a noble woman agrees to speak and convences the guard to have Conan  fight for his life in a Gladiator match against Messantia’s champion, who appears to be a giant size man. Before the match starts the guard tells Conan that when he loses to the giant size man he will make Bêlit has woman. [spoiler show=”Story Spoilers” hide=”Story Spoilers”]Conan and his opponent start to0 battle it out, he quickly realize that his speed is a advantage against the massive man and uses it effectively dodging every punch the big man throws at him, with Conan’s distraction Bêlit sneaks off to execute the plan which is to steal the city’s gold as The Black Queen races through the city alleyways she is spotted and chased by a couple of guards, she quickly notice’s them and turns into a abandoned building and attacks them. Meanwhile Conan ‘s battle with the massive man seems to be coming to a end with him on the losing end as the Man stands over Conan sword high and ready to strike but before he gives the final blow a loud explosion rangs out which grabs the attention of Conan’s opponent who for a split second looks away, with a opening to attack Conan picks up a dagger and throws it at the man striking him in the forehead he then walks over and cuts the man’s head off, now a free man Conan stands ready do defend himself against all comers—————————[/spoiler]

 Final Thoughts:  The Argos Deception Part 2 has a lot of action, which is a plus when it comes to the Conan franchise, this issue does a great job of expressing Conan’s thoughts and doubts, along with how the mind can be the biggest killer, this issue touches on that and how vulnerable it has made Conan he doesn’t seem as invincible as before, There’s one particular part where he’s at the gallows and it narrates how the situation has brought an unfamiliar feeling of fear which refreshing every once in awhile. In the end Conan The Barbarian #5 – The Argos Deception Part 2 is another solid quality issue that should satisfied fans.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date: June 13, 2012

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

 

Review – Conan The Barbarian #4 – The Argos Deception Part 1

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

Conan the Barbarian and Bêlit, Queen of the Black Coast, make a fearsome couple sailing the western ocean aboard the pirate vessel Tigress. But this is a life foreign to Conan, and he is still a young man, more used to the highlands of snow and rock than the tropical seas that Bêlit calls home. A reading of his future by the shaman N’Yaga suggests dark times ahead, but Bêlit is an irresistible force, a woman to whom Conan would readily devote his life.

Massimo Carnevale

The Argos Deception Part 1 starts with Conan still at sea with his new love Belit, and comfortable working alongside other crew members of the Tigress. One the day he sits and thinks about how his life has changed for the better since meeting his beloved Belit . As night falls upon the Argos border, N’Gora, Conan and Belit are talking about how trying to attack the port at the Messantia will be extremely difficult due to their past run ins with ship’s along that sea port. The conversation ends and a plan is laid out, Conan will act as a captured criminal since he’s wanted for his own past crimes, N’Gora will give him to Messantia guards and later on break him free as they rob the treasure of the city.

Next day Conan and company reach the Port of Messantia  in chains, as they get close to the dock’s they are met by three ships that have soldiers aboard, N’gora the proceeds to give Conan up for the bounty Messantia has put on his head. One of the guards tells N’Gora he remembers Conan killing his fellow soldiers, he threatens Conan and takes him to the dungeon. Visibly battered and bruised Conan is thrown in a dungeon until night falls, Conan again in chains starts to think, in a dream like state he envisions himself walking in the cold snow and begins to wonder to himself.  Did he make a  bad decision trusting Belit and N’Gora? Will they leave him there to die? More and more he starts to think maybe he’s losing his mind, as he continues to walk in the snow the ground gives in and he falls through some ice and into water which causes him to wake up. Just as it happens the door opens and a guard tells him he has a visitor who turns out to be Belit in disguise…

Final Thoughts: Conan The Barbarian : The Argos Deception looks to be more interesting than Queen Of The Black Coast storyline which I though was a let down especially the last 2 Issues. The Argos Deception continues Conan’s adventure with the Black Queen Belit and her crew, The Argos Deception part 1 focuses more on how Conan is slowly losing his warriors mentality since joining Belit’s crew, her influence has changed him to point where he depends on her heavily. Even putting his life in her hands in so many cases. Artist James Harren is the new artist for this issue and hopefully he will continue for the future as his artwork is reminiscent of the Road of Kings style which i think fits Conan perfectly. Overall I can say I’m curious to see how Wood is going to play this story out it has the potential of becoming a great read.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date: May 16, 2012

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