Comic Review: Conan the Barbarian #10
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Conan the Barbarian #10
Script by Brian Wood
Art by Declan Shalvey
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Cover by Massimo Carnevale
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 14, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

Conan the Barbarian #10 is one of the strangest Conan comics I’ve ever read. It reveals a whole different level of the Conan character that I’ve never seen before. And that is, complacency. Something that’s rarely if EVER seen in a Conan comic. I’ll be honest, it was a little unsettling to see Conan the Barbarian…happy.

Writer Brian Wood continues his excellent run on this title with the first chapter in a new storyline, titled “The Death.” We find Conan happily living on a pirate ship with his love, Belit, going from port to port, raiding other ships, and basically carrying on a pirate’s business as usual. What’s odd is that for the first time, we see a calm, satisfied Conan, one who’s not out for revenge or on a hell-bent quest for revenge, a mystic artifact, or a rescue mission. It’s a little odd to see him in this mood, but it totally works, and is a pleasant surprise. And just because Conan is “happy” it doesn’t mean he’s turned into a softy. When the swords come out, he’s still the badass barbarian that we all know and love. This issue has some great surprises, as well as a heavy dose of mystery and character development.

Declan Shalvey turns in a fantastic issue here. I’m really liking him on this title. His style is a little reminiscent of Becky Cloonan’s first issues of this series, full of mood and no over the top He-Man like bodies for Conan and the rest of his crew. There’s some REALLY great pages with almost no dialogue and Shalvey moves the story along at a great pace with these pages. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent job that Dave Stewart does in coloring this book. He really brings the right mood and shadows to these pages. Without him, it would be noticeably less enjoyable.

A great issue and a great jumping-on point for new readers. It’s easily accessible for anyone to pick up this issue and enjoy it. It’s a great book from first page to last, and, while not your typical Conan tale, it’s got something for everyone and is instantly recognizable as a Conan tale. Here’s to a long run for Brian Wood on this title!

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