By Tim Truman (writer), Tomàs Giorello, Richard Corben (artists), Jose Villarrubia (colors)
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this relaunch of sorts, but so far, it’s pretty good. If you read the #0 issue that came out last month, you’ll find a minor connection between that story and this one. Conan’s still up in the northern territories and he’s got more “dwarven” like vermin to deal with. The first few pages seem to go through the motions of obligatory violence and set up before making a sharp left turn.
The surprise here is that there isn’t much of a Conan story in this issue at all! Instead, we’re taken aback a couple of generations with Conan’s grandfather, Connacht. The story centers around Connacht’s journey to the north and his rescuing of two young boys from being sacrificed (or just killed) by a deranged cult. The art for this flashback by Richard Corben is very cinematic in nature, and his strong use of blacks (matched with Jose Villarrubia’s colors), paints a haunting haunting tale. I found myself being completely absorbed into the story and the art played a huge role in making that happen. So much did I enjoy this tale, that I actually forgot that I was reading a book about Conan.
Now, if Dark Horse wants to end this series now and just make a book about Connacht, I’m all for it. It’s great to have something completely different, yet somewhat familiar. Nothing against Conan mainstay artist, Tomas Giorello, who has the Conan formula down to a science, but the “non-Conan” art and story was far superior. It’s a bit of a risk to stray from the main character in the first issue, but Tim Truman gets high marks for pulling it off. I’m sure this is all just a primer for Conan’s tale up north, but damn if it isn’t fun to read. And the best part is Connacht’s story isn’t over yet.
In the end, part of me was yearning for a strong Conan debut, and its a little disappointing that we don’t get one. But on the other hand, we an excellent story marking the debut of Conan’s grandfather. So, take it as you will. Me? I know the Conan stories will come. In the meantime, I’m going to sit back and get lost in Connacht’s adventure. (Grade: A-)
– J. Montes
A Second Opinion
Thanks to this new series, I finally feel comfortable jumping into a Conan ongoing. I have read issues of Conan stories here and there, but never felt I had a grasp on the larger picture of things. The last Dark Horse run was pretty far along when I became interested in it, so I figured I would just wait until I found a clear jump-on point. The Conan the Cimmerian series is that point. Issue #0 did a nice job setting the story up and I looked forward to what the debut issue would have to offer.
While it wasn’t really what I was expecting, I have very few complaints about this first issue. Having Conan merely there to set the stage for another character could have easily rubbed me the wrong way considering that this is the first time I’ve jumped into a Conan series, but Connacht’s story is so compelling that I hardly cared about the change. Jason pretty much nailed it all with his review, so let me just say that this would be a great place for anyone interested in Conan to jump on.
While you won’t get much Conan, trust me when I say that Connacht is still very much worth reading about. (Grade A-)
– Kyle Posluszny