By Tim Truman (story), Tomas Giorelo & Richard Corben (art), and Jose Villarrubia (colors)

The story of Connacht and the two orphaned boys continues as the trio tirelessly journeys out of hostile territory and into more friendly kingdoms. Here, they encounter a threat that could not only hamper their travel, but end their lives as well. To tell any more would spoil the story’s climax (though I’ll admit it’s a bit predictable). What did surprise me, however, is that the story of Connacht concludes this issue. And it wraps up quite nicely, leaving Conan once again on his own.

There’s some excellent art in this issue by Tomas Giorelo who works on Conan’s story and Richard Corben on Connacht’s story. Because this is Connacht’s story, a bulk of the work is done by Corben who  draws heavily on mood to get the story across. Colorist Jose Villarrubia’s colors effortlessly evoke emotions out of the reader and out of Corben’s artwork. There’s a genuine feeling of dread during the night time sequences that jumps off the pages. Unfortunately, some of this eeriness is lost when the story is thrusted into a fight scene that’s clumsily orchestrated. Villarrubia does his best to save it, but there’s a couple of panels that come out a bit awkward.

Tm Truman is settling in nicely with this new run. Connacht’s story definitely took me off-guard when first introduced, but seeing it completed makes a lot of sense. I give Truman and Dark Horse credit because it’s quite unorthodox to have a new series do little with its main character for the first two issues. But Connacht’s story touches on two important pieces of criteria: it sets the tone for the entire series, and gives the reader insight into Conan’s ancestry. This is not the fun-filled, jovial adventures (and sometimes creepy) adventures that Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord brought us five years ago. Conan’s world is colder, more brutal, and mature. It’ll be great to see how these series of tales unravel. (Grade: B)

– J. Montes