Dark Horse have given us some wonderful tales featuring Conan over the last few years. As whether he’s been a Barbarian, an Avenger or now a Slayer, these ongoing titles have all fascinated me in one form or another. This latest one once again sees the legendary Cimmerian fighting for his life, being the sole survivor from his war band of Zuagir raiders. The odds have, however, have never stood in the way of the Cimmerian before. So why should it now? What comes from this is a truly sensational string of events, as despite there being some development choices that didn’t quite appeal to me, the series as a whole gets off to a promising start.
Cullen Bunn is the latest writer to work on Robert E. Howard‘s classic character, and if this is a sign of things to come, we should be in for a treat. Not only did he capture the raw power of Conan, but he brought with this a bold and engaging plot. Add to this some dramatic dialogue and gripping narration and we’re left with an impressive first issue. Despite this, I did find the sudden change in tempo two thirds in to be rather sudden, feeling like two separate issues. Another thing that I’ve loved about Dark Horse‘s time with the Cimmerian is the old typewriter style narration, with letterers Richard Starkings and Comicraft retaining this style throughout the comic.
Sergio Dávila handles the visual side of this latest ongoing series, and I have to say the he more than impressed. Whether it was the detailed and emotional way he portrayed Conan during the opening moments of the book, or the bloody violence that soon followed, the artist did more than enough to grab my attention. What really impressed as the comic unfolded, was the dynamic way all this flowed, with the landscape and varying character designs complementing the narrative. The raw emotion from our other characters also added extra depth and tone to the final product, and once you factor in the colours of Michael Atiyeh, there is literally nothing I can fault this book for visually.
Conan the Slayer #1 is a refreshing new direction for the Cimmerian, but one that fans will no doubt be familiar with. Being bold and bloody, the creative team more than grabbed my attention, and despite the tempo dropping dramatically later on in the issue, it should ultimately benefit the series in the long run. So make sure you pick this book up from your local comic book store come July 13th.
(8.5 / 10)