King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel #2
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Timothy Truman
Artist: Tomas Giorello (cover by Darick Robertson and Dave Stewart)
Conan has been many things in his lifetime – barbarian, thief, man-whore, etc. At this point, he’s King Conan for several reasons, but the most glaring is because of his voracity in combat. He now sits on the throne of Aquilonia and is retelling some of his most heroic moments to a scribe who wishes to preserve them for ages to come. The highlights of this particular adventure are very exciting from a standpoint of action, for sure. We see Conan in the clutches of Tsotha, who was a wizard that helped lay a trap for Conan. Once Conan is thrown into the pit, the fun just begins for Conan, and also there’s a surprise guest!
Truman is good at laying out enough to make you want to keep reading, and even threw out a surprise guest appearance (one you won’t know, though, unless you read a lot of Conan). He knows how to make Conan “sound” exactly like he should at this point in his life. He is a weathered warrior that now must be more regal than rough. Giorello has a bit of a rough edge to his artwork, but it works perfectly with this title. The dungeon scenes were fantastic, and looked very creepy! I really like his style for a fantasy book like this. I will recommend reading Dark Horse’s Savage Sword of Conan vol. 1 before you get too far into some of these Conan limited series that Dark Horse is pumping out. It will give you valuable information when reading a story such as this one. There is a conversation between Conan and the surprise guest, and as I said earlier, you won’t really understand the significance without knowing the history.
Overall a good issue that ends with a peculiar, but engaging scene that will keep me reading for sure. The artwork alone on that final panel is enough to get a “wow” from me every time I look at it. Definitely pick this up if you enjoy a lot of the familiar beastly dungeon dwelling enemies of Conan!
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