I've taken a little bit of a break from reviewing Brian Wood's Conan, but after picking the book up again I thought I'd give you guys a little bit of an update as to how it's progressing.
As the setting shifts from the arid desert of the first act to Conan's home region of Cimmeria, we get a greater example of how the man we know as "Barbarian" was shaped, and how an outsider would be foolish to try to do the same thing.
Things I liked:
- Highlighting Conan's upbringing and what makes him different from Belit really allows us as readers to get an idea of what makes him tick. I'm really enjoying seeing Belit in a typical "fish out of water" scenario, much as Conan was in the first act of the book.
- On that note, taking the rogueish and free-spirited Belit and depicting her as this cautious, yet loyal lover of Conan makes her all the more interesting. While you can never truly take the rogue out of the sea-witch, so to speak, it's nice to see that her character has some depth.
- The imposter "Conan" has not reared his ugly head yet, and by doing so it builds tension towards the inevitable confrontation. Seeing the destruction he's wrought in our hero's name and learning of his tactics make us want to see that fight, but not right now - it's important that both of the protagonists be set up, plot wise, before it actually happens. By doing so, it allows those conflicts to occur without having to shoehorn in different points to disrupt the flow. Wood has done us a great service, here.
Things I didn't
- I didn't hate much in this issue; to be frank I just wish it was next month so that we'll be able to see the conflict pan out. The only quibble I have is that the conversations concerning Belit's "stranger in a strange land" deal has happened over the last two issues, and continues here.
Conan The Barbarian #8
Dark Horse Comics
The Verdict: A great book makes for an easy four out of five barbarians, and a distinct lack of action keeps it from being any higher; I have a feeling it'll break into that scoring section when we finally get some payoff, but for the setup phase of a book, this doesn't get much better.