January 24, 2013

Dark Horse Reviews: Conan The Barbarian #12

Conan The Barbarian #12
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Declan Shalvey (cover by Massimo Carnevale)
Colors: Dave Stewart

To say that Conan would do anything for Bêlit is an understatement. That being said, even he has his limits. He seems to be close to his right now, with the crew of the Tigress all but dead from some mysterious disease, and the love of his life hanging on by a thread, as well. All this has Conan ready to erupt in a cyclone of violence, and that my friends is a path you do not want to be in. Conan finds a local woman that uses herbal remedies to cure disease, and her daughter swears she can cure the crew and Conan’s lover. She does, but then a huge brawl breaks out when the city learns of the Tigress’s location, and Conan and his woman then learn about loss.

Brian Wood is killing it on this book. No joke. He’s taken a character that usually just swings a sword around killing at will with no other purpose than he wants a fight sometimes and given him a real reason, a more everyday, human reason to fight. This issue also touched on a very emotional subject, but mentioning that would spoil a fantastic issue. You still get your fill of Conan and his shipmates cutting a path off destruction through some guys, but in the end, Wood’s new direction for this savage from Cimmeria is the driving force behind the greatness of this book.

Declan Shalvey is a guy that doesn’t seem to get any respect, but if you check out his stuff, you’ll be impressed. He’s done a bunch of stuff, but this book is one of his best, no doubt. How long his tenure will be, who knows, but enjoy his work while you can, because he’s great. The cover by Massimo Carnevale is right on the money, too. His portrayal of Conan with an almost dead Bêlit in his arms is quite riveting. Colorist extraordinaire Dave Stewart rounds out the artistic duties on this book, and as usual he’s the icing on the top of the cake! Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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