'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

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Conan the Barbarian: Issue #3 (2019) "Cimmerians Don't Pray"

Conan day everyone! Just over a week till the first Savage Sword, but don't let that slow us down, today marks the release of Conan the Barbarian #3! This issue finds Conan trapped and at the end of his rope!

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

My initial thoughts reading this issue is that it is brutal and bloody and has plenty of opportunity to show of the savagery of our barbarian hero. And it delivers, Conan is in prime form here as he fights to free himself from capture and the executioner's axe!

As the story leads you along this month you are given a way time and time again that Conan will escape only to be tossed back into jail. You are left wondering how he will escape in the end, even though you know he will. You know he survives his days as a thief to take the throne of Aquilonia.

I would place this issues between one and two for me. I felt it had more depth than issue one and maybe not quite as good as issue two, but I will grant you issue two is probably getting some Cimmerian points for being set right after "Beyond the Black River."

This story is absent of many of the tropes we are familiar with: No wine, no women. These being absent is of course fine and fits the narrative perfectly well AND fits into the world and stories we saw REH write. This tale is set early in Conan's life while he is a thief and so places us around the time of "Tower of the Elephant", and in that tale all we see is thieving and sorcery.

What it misses in terms of your basic Sword and Sorcery tropes it makes up for in savagery. For me this issue didn't pull any punches when it came to the darkness and raw grit of the Hyborian Age, and for me at least was still an excellent Sword and Sorcery tale!

So if you are on the fence about grabbing issue 3, I recommend you keep reading. Go grab a copy and enjoy some new Conan tales!




Sword & Sorcery:

Another solid 4.5 out of 5 Skulls of My Enemies!

Marvel has shown it can publish a Conan comic, and do it staying true to the character we all love. Jason Aaron is writing a good story and Mahmud Asra is delivering some great and memorable panels for the book. The colors by Matthew Wilson are great as well adding further to the imagery. I am happy today it Conan day. I am sad I have to wait another few weeks for episode 4.

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