Conan Road of Kings #12
Written by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Script by Roy Thomas
Pencils by Mike Hawthorne
Inks by John Lucas
Colors by Dan Jackson
Letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Cover by Aleksi Briclot
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: January 18, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50
All good things must come to an end and Conan Road of Kings #12 is no exception. For the past year, we’ve had the good fortune of reading this great title, but sadly, this is the last issue. Now, Conan is not going away, it’s got another series with a different creative team coming up, and if they do half as good as this one, it’ll be amazing!
Writer Roy Thomas wraps up a great story that has been a true journey for Conan the Barbarian. In classic storytelling, the hero is different than from when he started out. What I liked about this series (and this issue) is that, while there is a VERY healthy amount of swordplay and violence, there’s also a great deal of character development. Conan has gone through many adventures and life lessons on this road of kings, and at the end of the story, he’s ready for the next step in the adventure that is his life. Thomas makes sure there’s plenty of standard Conan hallmarks and that’s a great treat for the audience. Well done, Roy Thomas. You haven’t missed a beat!
Oh, Mike Hawthorne. The tortures you’ve endured, sir. Having been blasted on the message boards and by Conan fandom in general, Hawthorne has gone above and beyond and outdone himself with this series. I will miss him greatly on Conan. One of the things that I don’t think I’ve mentioned before about Hawthorne is his ability to draw deaths by sword without falling into the current gross out fad of over the top hyper-detailed dismemberment and disembowelment. That kind of work takes me right out of the book, and that’s something that Hawthorne has never done. Whether intentional or not, he’s done a fantastic job making things violent, but never gory. Also, Hawthorne has a great talent for creating emotions with a single drawing of a character’s face. That, combined with just plain old spectacular art, has made this series a treat to look at. I hope you come back to Conan one day, Mike!
A great ending to a great series. And on a strange note, this issue is surprisingly new-reader accessible. This issue is a covert one-and-done story built as the final chapter of a great series. A very big thank you to the whole creative team to a perfect ending to an extraordinary series!!