July 21, 2011

Dark Horse Reviews: Conan the Barbarian: The Mask of Acheron

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Written by: Billy
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Conan the Barbarian: The Mask of Acheron
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Stuart Moore
Artist: Gabriel Guzman
64 pages, full color – $6.99

When Conan was just a boy, he saw his father get brutally beaten right in front of his eyes. He also cut off the nose of one of the savages that beat his father. This is just one reason why Conan of Cimmeria grew up to be a frightening warrior with unmatched skills. The Mask of Acheron is an ancient artifact that was used by a very scary race of magical beings known as Necromancers (or magicians) to basically take over half of the world. They ruled for quite some time, but eventually the mask was shattered to pieces by a barbarian during a battle. Khalar Zym also had a very violent past. He had to watch the woman he loved get burned at the stake for practicing the dark arts. He and his daughter watched her burn, but before she died, she put a curse on the ones responsible, and told her husband to get the mask and bring her back from the dead. He then makes it his life’s pursuit to find the pieces of the mask, but he also needs to find something else. He has to have the blood of a pureblood Acheron woman to complete the ritual and bring his beloved wife back from the depths of Hades. The only problem is that Conan wants to exact revenge on Khalar for killing his father!

So, for those of you who don’t know, this book is an adaptation of the new Conan movie coming out this Summer. It does look pretty good, and after reading this book, I’m sold. The only bummer is that I won’t be able to take my son because of the “R” rating. The book is written in the traditional Robert E. Howard form, and definitely does a good job keeping you attached to the pages. Moore spins a typical Conan tale, complete with a decapitation, bloody battles, and swooning women. The art by Gabriel Guzman is definitely more than serviceable. His close-ups on people are just OK, but his battle scenes and far away shots are very good. If you are a Conan fan or just want to get pumped up for the movie (obligatory Arnold reference), check out this book. You can’t beat the cover price, and Dark Horse added some cool extras in the back as well! RatingĀ  4/5

For all things Dark Horse, click here!

Billy Dunleavy



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