Conan the Barbarian #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mahmud Asrar
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Travis Lanham
The death of Conan begins an all new adventure.
The Cimmerian warrior cuts a swath of destruction through the fighting pits of Maul. Tearing through gladiators, the barbarian’s feats demand high stakes bets on whether he will survive a fight with another seasoned warrior. As the two warriors square off, a mysterious woman decides to bet all her money on Conan to prevail.
It’s a bet she is in no danger of losing.
After the battle, the mystery woman offers the young Conan another test of his stamina, in the bedroom. As a reader of Conan in both comics and books, when the barbarian finds himself in the crosshairs of a mystery woman, it rarely ends well for either party.
Conan wakes to find himself strapped to an alter and being bled to call forth a demon by the witch who enchanted him. In a beautifully drawn series of panels, Conan fights hordes of the undead to escape his fate. When the story shifts to King Conan dealing with the aftermath of an invading army, the prophecy the witch gave the Cimmerian in his youth begins to come to fruition and it might mean the death of the aged barbarian.
The return of Conan to Marvel is handled expertly by the creative team on this issue. Jason Aaron doesn’t spend unnecessary time re-hashing the character’s back story. After two pages depicting the violent beginning and the melancholy final days of the warrior, Aaron shifts immediately to the brutal, traveling warrior and his life of combat. The immediacy of the story is engaging and entertaining. The classic characterization of Conan is maintained and it makes the story easy to jump into.
Mahmud Asrar’s art is stunning in this issue. There is an astounding level of detail to this book and the violence is both savage and beautiful. I was blown away with how good this book looks as well as how fun it was to read. Can’t wait to see what happens next.