'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

Corrupt Cliffs

Corrupt Cliffs
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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Conan the Barbarian: Issue #6 (2019) "The Sole Survivor"

After a slight break Conan is BACK with issue 6 of The Barbarian! This time out story is in Turan, one of my favorite settings!

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

Cover Price: $3.99

Another great cover from Esar Ribic on the front of this book. Even if you are not a fan of the book itself, the covers have been glorious. Unlike Savage Sword they generally tie into the story a little. This one does tie in, but it's on the over-arching Crimson Witch story line. I would have loved a glorious cover depicting Turan, I'll count it as a missed opportunity in my books.

More of Mahmud Asrar's Conan colored by Matthew Wilson cover these pages of Barbarian. I feel Conan is little more wiry and perhaps younger than in a few of the other books drawn by Mahmud, although I can't put my finger on why exactly. Don't take that to mean he is drawn small, he is still an impressive force of nature, and I still quite enjoy Mahmud's take on our Cimmerian hero.

There are a couple of things that I would have loved to have seen in this issue that aren't present, one is on Mr. Asrar's side and one is on Jason Aaron's side. They are both setting related. Although Mamhud did an excellent job with the dressing for Turan, but he missed an aspect that would have added a lot for me personally.

When they are camped out in yurts, we get a few shots of them from outside and inside and the internal structure is that of a light, square, framework. Yurts are built with a lattice work not unlike a folding wooden baby gate. Now it's possible he has a much stronger knowledge of these mobile homes than I give him credit for and has opted for a very early implementation of them. I do think that would be an incorrect assumption about Turan though.

The second problem is Jason Aaron's use of the term "Great Commander". What a great time to use a cool Persian-esque title to add flavor to the story. He uses king as well, but I feel like using a term like Great Commander, is 90% the way to giving it the flavor of Turan.

With all that being said, I did like this issue. I recognize I am pulling straws with the couple of points I bring up about the setting, but as I said this is one of my favorite settings as it and Hyrkania mirror some of my real life interests. This issue is full of Conan crushing his enemies and being an exceptional war leader. This is a definite plus.

The issue ends tieing back into the overarching story of the Crimson Witch and her quest to take Conan's warrior infused blood. However in the main narrative this story does lack any real sorcery, even if it does have plenty of swords and at least one awesome Conan being Conan moment.

I am still enjoying the story and the art in this title and I look forward to more of it!




Sword & Sorcery:

My rating this month is 4 out of 5 Skulls of My Enemies!

Another solid issue and story about the Cimmerian. Loving the one-shot nature of these stories and how much they are managing to fit into a few short pages.

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