Saturday, March 12, 2011
Conan:The Road of Kings issue #3
Yes I know I've already posted this cover a few posts ago, but this time I'm reviewing the Comic Book. Now that three issues of Conan:The Road of Kings have hit the stands, I'm beginning to see a pattern. it seems that even though The Road of Kings has an over-arching plot, writer Roy Thomas is determined to make every issue of the series a standalone story. Obviously I've no problem with that. Might help bring in readers because even if you missed issues one and two, you still get a story with a beginning middle and end, followed by a cliff hanger. This pretty much mimics Thomas' approach during his marvel days, particularly his second run on the Savage Sword of Conan. The big story might continue over six issues, but each issue would usually have a complete story as a chapter. It certainly adds to the deja vu feeling of reading Thomas' Conan again.
This issue finds Conan and Olivia in the city of Thessalo. They're running short on traveling money, so Conan decides to see if he can get some paying work from an old "friend" Murilo, the young nobleman from the Robert E. Howard short story, Rogues in the House. Here the feeling of alternate realities gets a little heavy for me, as I first read Rogues as a Marvel Comics adaptation in the Conan the Barbarian comic book. I will always see Murilo as the curly-haired, rather foppish young dandy as illustrated by Barry Windsor Smith, so I had a little moment of disconnect when the dark Horse version showed up.
Anyway, while Conan is out looking for Murilo, a somewhat drunken Olivia gets herself tangled up with a local criminal who has a nasty habit of feeding people to a monster which lives in and underground lake. This isn't Olivia's fate, however, since the thug has decided she might be worth more alive than dead, having overheard her talking about be a princess. (This is why if you really ARE a princess, you shouldn't get drunk in seedy taverns with buxom dancing girls. I'm Just saying.)
Conan comes back and finds Olivia gone. He follows what turns out to be a false trail to the underground lake, where of course he has to rescue the aforementioned buxom dancing girl from the monster in the lake in bloody Conan style.
The artwork in this issue is Mike Hawthorne's best yet. I thought him a little shaky at first, but he's won me over at this point. All and all, a good solid issue. Thomas is still a formidable writer. His years of experience make it look easy. looking forward to the next issue.