Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CONAN - QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST by Wood/Cloonan/Herren

CONAN - QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST. [VOLUME 13] collects some of the recent comic book adventures of the Robert E. Howard barbarian, these ones by writer Brian Wood, with Becky Cloonan drawing the first half and James Harren drawing the rest. I'm a dabbler in the whole Conan thing, getting the urge to read something every few years, and this one looked interesting. Generally I like my Conan in the "John Buscema inked by Ernie Chan" school, so this artwork definitely took some getting used to. Cloonan was just growing on me by the time her story was over.  Still not sure it works completely, but I'd like to see her style on a more traditional Conan story (one not set mostly on boats, that is). Harren had more typical Conan stuff to illustrate, and did fine with it. I didn't care for Wood's writing as much. As I understand it, the first half is a pretty direct adaptation of the first part of the Howard story of the title, while the second half is an original story filling in the period before the end of the story, which will be adapted later (and which I'm pretty sure I've read in the Buscema/Chan version in a previous dabble into Conan, in Marvel's CONAN #100). That first half is okay, but unclear at points. The original half, that didn't really read like any Conan I'm familiar with. There's some weird and infeasible robbery and escape plan, and then some generally implausible plot twists. Not very satisfying at all. Hopefully my next foray into Conan (which will probably be the long-delayed, still unscheduled GROO/CONAN crossover) is more enjoyable.

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