The second issue of Dark Horse Comics' CONAN THE AVENGER manages to carry on most of the strengths from issue one. Picking up with a battle between the big Cimmerian and the witch-hunter Agara, Agara learns pretty quickly that he's no match for Conan with cold steel. So he resorts to sorcery. Then the zombies show up.
Fred Van Lente's writing was what made me enjoy issue #1 and issue
two is just as good. Van Lente's Conan doesn't take crap off of anyone,
be it sorcerers, zombies, of the workers at a local forge. You get in
Conan's face and you get dealt with.
However, Van Lente doesn't make Conan a one dimensional,
indestructible fighting machine. The Cimmerian is very glad of Agara's
help later in the story. It's important to keep Conan human and he
manages to do so. Especially in scenes where Conan still sees the ghost
of his lost love, Belit, who still seems to be looking out for Conan
from beyond the grave.
By the end of the issue, the main plot has been set in motion and
Conan and Agara have established an uneasy alliance. We also get a look
at the beastie which gave the L Sprague de Camp/Lin Carter expansion of
this story its title, The Snout in the Dark.
I'm still on the fence about the artwork. I know this is supposed to
be a young Conan, but he could use some more mass. Overall though, still