June 5, 2011

Dark Horse Reviews: King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel #4 & Conan: Road of Kings #5

King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel #4 (of 4)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Timothy Truman
Artist: Tomás Giorello (cover by Darick Robertson and Richard Clark)

In this, the final issue, we see King Conan and a scribe recounting the adventure that shows us how Conan nearly lost his kingdom of Aquilonia. Conan did have the assistance of Pelias the sorcerer, though, and it pays off. As the evil wizard Tsotha, and Strabonus are nearing King Conan’s castle walls, they catch a glimpse of something in the clouds. At first, they and the Aquilonians inside the castle dismiss it as the smoke and light playing tricks on their eyes, but as a winged beast descends on the castle tower, the traitor who was inside helping Strabonus and Tsotha plot against Conan shakes in fear of what he sees. King Conan has returned on a dragon of sorts, and quickly dispatches the traitor and his lackeys. This begins a battle of epic proportions that includes more blood and guts than Gettysburg.

This last issue ties up all the loose ends, and leaves things open for more possibly to come in the adventures of King Conan. Truman and Giorello really make a great team for this genre, and hopefully they’ll keep things rolling for a while longer. The ending of the book was really cool, and although I won’t spoil it for you, rest assured that the creator of Conan, Robert E. Howard himself, lends a hand.

Conan: Road of Kings #5
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Mike Hawthorne (cover by Doug Wheatley)

Last issue left off with Conan trying to escape the clutches of King Kennak and his army of followers. Conan makes his way to a steep embankment where two guards think that no one will try to escape. Well, no one except Conan probably would, but being a Cimmerian, he has an advantage that these people do not. He is used to climbing mountains ten times the size of these, so when he surprises the guards, they truly can’t believe it. After threatening the guards with death, Conan learns of Olivia’s fate, and decides to make a hasty retreat to the desert as the king’s army starts to close in on him. Conan makes a desperate leap across a gorge, but the king’s men do not follow. For a moment Conan is puzzled, but then remembers a tale he had heard years earlier about this region. The legend tells of a giant worm that devours gold and anyone wearing it. Back at the kingdom of Olivia’s father, King of Ophir, she and her captor are standing in front of the king, but his response to her return is less than cordial. Olivia can’t understand why her father has rebuked her, but then sees her father’s new wife speaking with a wizard and begins to understand what has been going on while she was away.

This was another great issue visually, and Roy Thomas definitely delivers with more of your typical Conan action. Mike Hawthorne really is adept at drawing this type of scenery (location and scantily clad women), and is definitely someone I consider right up there with today’s heavy hitters in the industry. Definitely jump on board with Road of Kings if you’re in the mood for action and adventure!

Billy Dunleavy


One Comment

  1. […] of the Cimmerian, from Timothy Truman and Tomas Giorello! This team previously worked together on Conan: The Scarlet Citadel, and also Conan the Cimmerian, as well. In this story, we revisit just how Conan became King of […]

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