Comic Review: King Conan: The Phoenix & The Sword #3
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King Conan: The Phoenix & The Sword #3
Script by Timothy Truman
Art by Tomas Giorello
Colors by Jose Villarrubia
Letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Cover by Andrew Robinson
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 28, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

After years of reading Conan comics, I suddenly realized that you either love Conan or you don’t love Conan. Right now Dark Horse is publishing Conan the Barbarian by Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan. That book is for people who don’t love Conan. But, King Conan: The Phoenix & The Sword is for people like me, who love Conan.

King Conan: The Phoenix & The Sword #3, simply put, is a really FUN issue. First off, I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but writer Timothy Truman includes a lot of nods to the early ’90s Conan the Adventurer cartoon series, from names of places to a little nod to a certain cartoon sidekick Phoenix. The beautiful part is that it fits totally into the story, which, on its own merits, is very cool.

The story is narrated by OLD King Conan and focuses on a younger older Conan….if that makes any sense. Trust me, it does in the context of the story. This issue’s got everything that it should have. Swords, sorcery, monsters, evil wizards, thungs, come to think of it, the only thing this issue doesn’t have is a hot babe. But, I can forgive the creative team that… this time! Another thing that I like about this is that we get rewarded by Tim Truman by some actual payoff for longtime readers. He’s wrapping up some story threads started by Kurt Busiek from Dark Horse‘s first Conan issue. Story-wise, this gets a solid A!!

Art wise, it gets the same A grade. Artist Tomas Giorello is a fantastic choice for this book. He combines lavish, realistic art with great renderings of super human feats and some VERY strange magic. They all fit seamlessly on the page. This issue is chock-full of fantastic double-page spreads, and I’m not sure if it was Giorello’s decision or editorial’s, but whomever is responsible deserves accolades. There’s some great page layouts and the whole issue flows very smoothly. Great, classic Conan art!

As I said, THIS is Dark Horse’s Conan comic for people who love Conan. It’s got everything that hardcore fans want and love about the barbarian that we all know and love. So, while you can enjoy Conan the Barbarian on a totally different level, it’s nice to know that you can grab something familiar with King Conan: The Phoenix & The Sword. And that it delivers in spades!!!

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