'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, April 10, 2019

Savage Sword of Conan: Issue #4 (2019)

Are you feeling SAVAGE!? This week we see Savage Sword #4 hit shelves, and as always I am here to give you my first thoughts, spoiler free!


Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Ron Garney
Colorist: Richard Isanove
Letterer: VC's Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Alex Ross

Cover Price: $3.99cad

The cover is again, independent of the story. A beautiful rendering of the Cimmerian superimposed over old Savage Sword covers. Currently apart from the name we aren't seeing much similar to the old title though. At current these covers are skillfully done, but for me lack the drive to pull me into the story. I would really like to see some covers that, at least, tie tangentially into the story within the pages.

The format continues with 19 pages of Conan action, and it goes by at a very quick pace. My complaint here is that the story isn't progressed at all. We have a very minor amount of movement along the plot, which puts the action at odds with the story. The action is in abundance, but in 19 pages the story is not. Compared to what we are seeing in "The Barbarian", this is moving at a snail's pace. I have also come to the conclusion that I must simply ignore Howard canon pretty completely for this series.

I still like the interior art, and I still think it lends itself to the savage nature of this title. This issue has some beautiful interior panels that really scream "CONAN" to me.


This issue is *FULL* of Sorcery however, almost every panel has something weird in it. It may have too much to be honest, but to that end I would rather have too much than too little. The sorcery on display is fitting to the genre however, so we aren't seeing fireballs shooting off left and right, or wizards casting magic missile.

Art:

Story:

Cover:

Sword & Sorcery:


And with that, this issue lands at 3.5 skulls.

This issue doesn't necessarily do anything wrong. Conan: Check, Swords: Check, Sorcery: Check, Action: Check. Despite that I feel like we aren't seeing much progression with the story. We could go from Savage Sword 3 to Savage Sword 5, include 1 or 2 panels from 4 and be totally up to speed on the story. I certainly want action and swords and sorcery in my Conan, but I also want the story to progress a little quicker, especially given the monthly nature of the title. This may play much better in a longer format collected series. The book did scream along, and I definetely checked to see if it was the standard 19 pages long.

But don't take my word for it, run down to your local comic book store and pick up your copy today!

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