April 24, 2013

Dark Horse Reviews: Conan The Barbarian #15

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Written by: Billy
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Conan The Barbarian #15
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Andrea Mutti (cover by Massimo Carnevale)
Colors: Dave Stewart

In this last installment of the “Woman on the Wall” story line, Conan is faced with an enemy that he’s never faced before or will ever face again. An army, no, a sorcerer, not even close. He’d prefer a giant snake or a witch, rather than be where he is right now. He’s in the castle, a prisoner, but injured, so not in the dungeon. He speaks with another in there, and then after busting out and torturing a guard for some information, he realizes why Bêlit has come to this place in the middle of the desert. Many years ago, her mother was bought and given her freedom by an heir of this land, and the two had a child together. That little girls name was Bêlit. And now, her father is overjoyed to see her home again, and she must decide between her father and her lover.

This was certainly the most emotional issue of Conan that Wood has written. Up until this point, he’s done a superb job at showing the reader a side of Conan previously unexplored for the most part. This issue went far beyond that, though. For the first time, you really get a sense of sorrow and simply a broken heart for Conan by issue’s end. No action, no brutal fight scenes, just Conan, his lover, and a tough ending that will be hard to swallow.

There’s a new artist on this issue, and Andrea Mutti fits in perfectly. You can really see why Dark Horse makes the picks that they do, especially when it comes to the artwork. When a book is already at its fifteenth issue, it’s not easy to jump aboard and not rock the boat slightly. Mutti did a fine job of staying consistent and being on point with everything. Characters, backgrounds, you name it. As usual, Massimo Carnevale is on cover duty, and this one is very nice. Seeing the action on the cover and not much inside is a little disappointing, but by book’s end you will have forgotten all about it. You also get Dave Stewart to keep things chugging along artistically, because his colors are always fantastic! Rating 5/5

Billy Dunleavy



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