Friday, December 25, 2015

Conan: Wolves Beyond the Border Issue #1

   Back in the day, the day being the 1970s, Roy Thomas was the only man I wanted to see writing Conan pastiches. Roy had done a fantastic job adapting most of Robert E. Howard's original Conan tales for Marvel Comics CONAN THE BARBARIAN  and SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN, but he also seemed to grasp the essence of the character, so that when he wrote new Conan tales, they felt more like REH than any of the folks writing prose Conan pastiches. Roy GOT Conan.
   Since then there haven't been many writers whose work on Conan really felt like REH to me, but the guy who came the closest was Timothy Truman. Many people know Truman more for his drawing than writing, and he is indeed a talented and versatile artist, but on Conan he's written more than he's drawn.
   Like me, Truman discovered Conan when he was just a kid and has been a fan ever since. I've enjoyed his adaptations of the Howard material, usually working with artist Tomas Giorello. They've turned out some work that can stand beside the best of Marvel run.
   And now they're doing a new four-issue series. WOLVES BEYOND THE BORDER, based on some unfinished fragments by REH, from which Truman is extrapolating a new tale. This one finds Conan late in life, the aging king of Aquilonia, seeking a final adventure from which he doesn't plan to return. A chance meeting with a former soldier carrying an arcane artifact will plunge the Cimmerian into a new adventure filled with swords and dark sorcery. Truman does a great job drawing the reader in. And Tomas Giorello, to me, is the modern equivalent of Big John Buscema. And if you know how I feel about Buscema, you know what a compliment that is.
 As you can probably tell, I was very very taken with the first issue and I can't wait for the second. Seriously, if you've been pushed away from the Dark Horse Conan comics by lackluster art and writing, come back for this one. I think it's going to be something special.

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