March 6, 2011

Dark Horse Reviews: Conan: Road of Kings #3

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Written by: Billy
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Conan: Road of Kings #3
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Mike Hawthorne (cover by Doug Wheatley)

When we last saw Conan, he and his partner had just barely survived being attacked by some strange beast. They were trying to steal the treasure of a certain rich man, but didn’t get more than a few coins. The princess, Olivia, has been trying to coerce Conan into helping her get back to her father, the King of Ophir….

As a few drunken fools fight over a piece of gold, most of the men at the bar are watching the “dancer” do her thing. While they are watching, a pick-pocket is looting some money from the pockets of the rich. Suddenly, a fight breaks out, and when the creeps try to escape the door seems to be bolted. As the door finally seems to be opening, we see Conan on the other side of it. He tells the dancer to keep an eye on the young girl, as he is going into the city to check out other avenues for their money troubles. As Conan is searching the city for a friend, his young companion who’s getting drunk starts spouting off about their adventure, and who she is. The peasants laugh at her, but the dancer seems to have heard of some of the things she’s talking about. The dancer goes back to an inner chamber, and there she tells her boss (pimp?) that she’s discovered a treasure that can buy her from her bondage. He agrees to help subdue the girl, so the two of them start to descend into the depths of the basement. Once down there, the beast that dwells below the water surfaces and causes havoc. The boss, Fharos, then goes upstairs and wakes the princess. He tells her that he will be taking her to her father’s, and that everything will go as planned. This leaves a returning Conan the chance to fight a beast that resembles an ancient dinosaur!

Once again, Roy Thomas is doing a great job at telling a tale of fantasy, and Hawthorne’s artwork is great again, too. I can tell you one thing for sure – Hawthorne knows how to draw a stripper! I think this may be a good time to talk about the fact that there are two Conan books running simultaneously. Both are great and have different agendas anyway, so nobody should get annoyed, they’re both from different time periods in Conan’s life. I’m anxious to see if Conan and his girl can face that being alone, or at least try to, then maybe the Road of Kings won’t lead to ruin.

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Billy Dunleavy



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