'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Conan the Barbarian: Issue #4 (2019) "The King in the Cage"

Welcome back! I believe the frequency of these is supposed to be every couple of weeks, so this one is a little late, published nearly a month since #3. Issue 5 is slated for April, so it looks like it has probably shifted in frequency to a monthly schedule


Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Gerardo Zaffino
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC's Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Esad Ribic

Well. I am not 100% sure what to make of this issue, and the review of it without spoilers will be difficult. We certainly see a lot of the key hallmarks of Conan. For me it doesn't feel much like a Conan tale, and it doesn't seem to fit in among the rest of the stories we have seen thus far.

We do see a new artist on this issue, Gerardo Zaffino, who's style is closer to what we are seeing in Savage Sword. It is another loose almost savage, style that I know some people will not like, especially in comparison to the previous art of this book by Asrar. All that being said, Zaffino produces some excellent drawings in this issue of "Conan the Barbarian".

Art:

Story:

Cover:

Sword & Sorcery:


My rating this month is 3.5 out of 5 Skulls of My Enemies!

This is the lowest rating I have given this book since it was released. I just felt it didn't fit into the Conan mythos as well, despite it having some solid basis of Howard canon behind it. The art is good and there are parts I really did like, but overall this issue, for me at least, wasn't as good as we have seen in the past. Perhaps this story will be more directly continued in a later issue.

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