Saturday, February 04, 2012

Crom, Count the Dead!

Still reading my way through the Chuck Dixon run on Marvel's Savage Sword of Conan. I noticed that Dixon coined his own battle cry/catch phrase for Conan, "Crom Count the Dead!" It doesn't pop up in every issue that Dixon scripted, but it does show up in a lot of them. Having read about a dozen of Dixon's stories so far, my initial take on them has been strengthened. Dixon's Conan is gritty and usually is pursuing work as a sell sword. This gives Dixon a chance to surround Conan with fellow mercs, which makes for some interesting characters.
In later years, Dixon would become one of my absolute favorite comics writers when he was working on DC titles such as Robin and Green Arrow. He was already showing strong storytelling skills on these Conan tales. As I noted before, his take on Conan seemed to be pseudo-historical adventure+magic+monsters=sword & sorcery, and while this was also the approach Conan's creator Robert E. Howard used, Dixon makes no attempt at writing like REH. His Conan is his Conan. Plotwise Dixon tells all kinds of stories, from a King Kong like adventure featuring a Tyrannosaurus to a Seven Samurai inspired tale where Conan and his fellow mercs defend a village against bandits, A nice, evil twist on this story is that in the previous harvest season, the bandits blinded most of the adults in the village, leaving the children to guide them in the fields.
No matter what the stories hold though, there is lots of action, including many massive battles and plenty of chances for Crom to count the dead. Fun stuff.

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