Sunday, January 30, 2011

Conan: The Road of Kings #2

My take on the second issue of Conan: The Road of Kings pretty much continues with what I said about issue one regarding the return of Roy Thomas to Conan. As I noted last time, if you liked Roy's original run on the series, and I did, then you'll probably like this, and I do.
Conan, his current squeeze, Olivia (From Iron Shadows in the Moon), and the comedy relief pirate Krimsar are in Shadizar the Wicked, trying to get together enough cash for Conan and Olivia to travel the titular Road of Kings. To this end, Conan has returned to thievery, an occupation he's lost his taste for, but a quick way to get some money. Unfortunately Krimsar turns out to be so spectacularly bad at thieving that he almost manages to get himself killed and to take Conan with him. Twice.
Roy gets a couple of Marvel Call-back bits in this one. The first is a repeat of the oft used line 'Cimmerians learn to climb before they learn to walk.' The next is a homage to Uncle Scrooge McDuck's money pit as Conan learns in this story, just a he did in Marvel's Conan the Barbarian #24, The Song of Red Sonja, that gold coins are not for diving into. (Though it seemed to work for Uncle Scrooge.) Roy's having no trouble adapting to Dark Horse's slightly more mature version of Conan the comic book character, but then it's really no more adult than many issues of Savage Sword of Conan.
Artist Mike Hawthorne turns in another solid art job. His version of the big Cimmerian is beginning to grow on me. He seems to have a good feel for fight scenes and he draws cute girls. Both are good things for a Conan book.
By the end of issue 2 it looks like Conan and Olivia are finally ready to begin treading the Road of Kings and they've also picked up what looks to be a continuing villain in the guise of Gamesh, a disfigured sell sword with one hand replaced by a knife, who looks to be held together by spit, bailing wire, and sorcery. All and all, another good issue.

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