This month’s issue of Conan: Road of Kings has both its hits and misses. Unfortunately, it goes to extremes. When it hits, it hits hard and when it misses, it misses big. Part of me will always give this book the benefit of the doubt, because it’s Roy Thomas writing Conan, and you can’t really get much better than that, right?
Legendary Conan writer Roy Thomas handles Conan: Road of Kings #10, I feel, as if he really wasn’t sure where it was going when he started writing it. As a result, there is a LOT of politics involved in this issue, and they stand out like a sore thumb. Kind of like the endless scenes in the Star Wars prequels that take place in the Galactic Senate. About 30 seconds into them, you just want to roll your eyes and yell “WHO CARES?!?!?!?”. I got the same feeling from the political “intrigue” in this issue.
BUT, for every scene of confusing politics, there’s an equally awesome scene of Conan in action — killing things, battling monsters, saving innocent lives, and basically being a barbarian. So, if you’re looking for an all-out action issue of Conan, this isn’t the one, but if you plow through the pages of Aquilonian politics, you WILL be rewarded with some pretty great action scenes.
Artist Dan Panosian is quickly growing on me. I was a BIG fan of Mike Hawthorne, and was disappointed when he left, but Panosian is quickly becoming an artist whose work I look forward to seeing every month. He has definitely found his Cimmerian “groove” and delivers great stuff, making even the “talking head” pages interesting. Also of note in this issue are Dan Jackson‘s colors, which are, in a word, spectacular. Dark Horse has found a really great art team for this book, and I hope to see them stick around for awhile.
Overall, this was an average issue of Conan. Nothing great, but nothing horrible, either. This is the last chapter of the current storyline, so a lot of plot threads are wrapped up and there’s a definite ending to the story. If you’ve been reading, you’ll want to pick this up, but if you haven’t, wait until next issue.