'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, June 26, 2019

Conan the Barbarian: Issue #7 (2019) "Barbarian Love"

Another Wednesday morning relaxing before work with a black cup of coffee and the newest issue of Conan the Barbarian! That's right, The Barbarian is back after a little bit of a break!


Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC's Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Esar Ribic

Cover Price: $3.99

It is no secret that I have liked Mahmud's run on this book. This issue is no exception. As before we have some lovely art colored by Matt Wilson, sprinkled with a few epic images of Conan kicking ass. We have had this formula all the way back to #1 with Conan fighting in the pit. I have yet to grow weary of flipping the page to find a full page of the Cimmerian doing what he does best.

Esad's cover is likewise exceptional and in the flavor of the story, which is a win for me. I feel the cover helps to bring the reader initially into the story, so having one that is part of that story is critical to me. I would be remiss to not mention that several people in the social media world have commented on Conan's face in this cover looks like either a caveman, a troll, or something similar. I do agree this isn't my favorite rendering of our hero, but certainly not trollish, but I can see where they get neanderthal from.

I feel the story is a little out of canon timeline wise, but can't directly address why without leaving spoilers. In addition this is another tale without anything weird in it. It is simply a basic story of Conan plotting and executing revenge.

I know some people will dislike this story for various reasons, I didn't dislike it. It moved at a fairly steady pace, although they could have added some weirdness and cut out the aspects that place it out of timeline for me and had a story I loved a lot more. Either way in this new line of comics with basic non-weird stuff in it, it is a fine issue.

Art:

Story:

Cover:

Sword & Sorcery:


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

This issue had many of the hallmarks of Conan: strong women, swordplay, and treasure. It was lacking anything to fill the sorcery aspect of the genre (I feel like a broken record here), but overall told a decently fun story if somewhat out of Howard canon for me. I'll note that being out of the timeline isn't the end of the world. Howard's timeline isn't set in stone and there are many many plausible reasons that stories might not all fit together neatly.

If you liked this article then don't forget to subscribe to get the next exciting installment on pulp gaming both Sci-Fi and Fantasy!

If you have questions or comments don't forget to hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube or Instagram!

Make sure you don't miss a single post and subscribe by e-mail today!

If you need to check out any of these great games stop on by DriveThruRPG and pick something up through my affiliate link to help support the blog!

Till next time, don't forget to Keep it Weird!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Savage Sword of Conan: Issue #6 (2019)

It has been *QUITE* awhile since the last Savage Sword was released AND quite awhile since I have made a post. The last issue of Savage Sword saw the end of the initial story arc, and so I was quite looking forward to see where we went with this new issue to see where we went with this title.

Writer: Meredith Finch
Artist: Luke Ross
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: VC's Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: David Finch & Frank D'Armata

Cover Price: $3.99

The cover this time is more like a standard cover and not a call back to the original Savage Swords. As beautiful as Alex Ross's covers were I never really felt they fit the book. This one is more in line with what we are seeing on the cover of "Barbarian", where it feels like the artist is given a basic story outline and they compose their idea, which is similar to what we see in the pages but still quite different. For me this is a pretty large improvement

This issue contains 20 pages of Conan goodness for the reader to take in. The style of interior art we see from Luke Ross is much cleaner than we saw from the original 5 books. This will make some people happy, for others it will just be different.


We are lacking anything really weird, something I think is fairly central to such a pivotal Sword and Sorcery character. That doesn't make the story bad, it simply means, for me at least, that it is missing a key element of S&S

Enough Talk, let us see how many skulls!

Art:

Story:

Cover:

Sword & Sorcery:


And with that, this issue lands at 4 skulls.

Despite the lack of "Sorcery", this issue has a simple enough story with a LOT of "Sword", so I have a hard time judging it too harshly. It checks a lot of boxes in terms of it being a fairly fun, quick romp in a story that fits into the the Hyborian Age.

Unlike the previous 5 issues, this Savage Sword is much more stand alone. Perhaps we will see a mix of stand alone and longer story arcs within the pages of the SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN!

If you have been on the fence with Savage Sword or have decided it wasn't for you, perhaps you should check out this issue and see if the new team working on it is more to your taste.



If you liked this article then don't forget to subscribe to get the next exciting installment on pulp gaming both Sci-Fi and Fantasy!

If you have questions or comments don't forget to hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube or Instagram!

Make sure you don't miss a single post and subscribe by e-mail today!

If you need to check out any of these great games stop on by DriveThruRPG and pick something up through my affiliate link to help support the blog!

Till next time, don't forget to Keep it Weird!