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August 17, 2011

Dark Horse Reviews: Conan: Island of No Return #1 & 2

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Written by: Billy
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Conan: Island of No Return #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Bart Sears (cover by Michael Kutsche)

This much anticipated series from Top Cow ace Ron Marz (Magdalena, Artifacts), and veteran artist Bart Sears (Justice League Europe, Turok) is here! In this first issue, we see the typical Conan story (and that’s a good thing) where he’s on the run, and being chased down by the King’s guards. Why, you ask? Well, it seems that Conan and the King’s wife were found in a compromising position (yes, that kind), and the King isn’t taking it very well. After a couple of brawls, Conan decides descretion is the better part of valor, and hides. While hiding, Conan is surprised that there are two other occupants in the barn he’s hiding in. Two voluptuous women, to be exact, and after exchanging pleasantries, they ask Conan to join them on an adventure where the stakes are high, but so is the reward. They later tell Conan a tale of an island off the coast of Zingara that houses a temple built by a prince, and supposedly is chocked full of treasures fit for a king. Oh, and did I forget to tell you that the island is haunted?

Conan: Island of No Return #2
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Bart Sears (cover by Stjepan Sejic)

Before I get into the meat of the story, I have to let you know that I have a huge man-crush on Stjepan Sejic, the cover artist. Now that that’s out of the way, we can move forward to issue #2, and the scene is set with some smugglers trying to gain access to the palace thought to be full of treasure. Once they are inside, they see a woman that they believe to be dead, or, better yet, undead. She speaks to them about death briefly, and it’s enough to scare the bejesus out of them, and send them running back to wherever they came from. The next thing you see is the mighty hand of Conan picking up a torch dropped by one of the smugglers. Conan then reveals it was a ruse by him and the two thieving vixens he’s now partnered with, and not some dead woman that scared off the smugglers. After some searching and sexual innuendo, Conan and his partners come upon a room filled with gold and jewels. They start to sift through it thinking that this is going to set them up for life, but as they do, a tentacle creeps towards them quietly.

Wow, I can’t even begin to say enough about how cool this series is. The first issue does start off very cliché, but the artwork definitely helps carry it through. Sears does a more than serviceable job with Conan and the two female thieves. Yes they’re typical with the big eyes and cleavage, but it’s not over the top (for Conan). I mean, can you have a Conan series without a decapitation? Not in my opinion. In issue two, Marz really picks up the pace and keeps you guessing on what the two sisters are up to until the very end. Marz certainly delivers an action packed ending to this two-part story. Rating 3.5/5

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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3 Comments



  1. This was a great mini and the best thing about it was that I got to see some cool Bart Sears artwork!


  2. Billy

    That Sejic cover is just amazing. Sears did a solid job on the interiors as well. Marz was good too (as usual). Good 2 issue arc!



  3. I loved the opening scene to the first issue. You gotta give Marz credit, he knows how to kick off a series!



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