Red Sonja/Conan #1
Written by Victor Gischler
Art by Roberto Castro
Colors by Alex Guimaraes
Letters by Simon Bowland
Covers by Alex Ross, Ed Benes and Dinei Ribeiro, Roberto Castro and Dinei Ribeiro
Release Date: August 5, 2015
Cover Price: $3.99
I love all things Conan. This is an indisputable fact, my friends will testify to it. That is, until this particular comic was delivered to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the Dark Horse led Conan/Red Sonja miniseries that preceded this Dynamite attempt. But Red Sonja/Conan #1 seemed…unnatural, for lack of a better word. Or maybe I’m critiquing it overmuch.
It certainly wasn’t Roberto Castro‘s art that I found to be an issue. If anything, I think he nailed it right on the head, being quite reminiscent of the old Savage Sword of Conan oversized black and white comics I loved so much in the eighties. And the plot is fine, I found that Victor Gischler kept it interesting and I felt that it moved along at a brisk pace, encompassing a lot of information and sprinkled liberally with action and violence. The teaming up of Red Sonja and Conan to lead an army to war gives the writer a lot of room with which to work.
No, instead I think it was the dialogue that I found so distasteful in this particular issue. Not all of it, just the verbiage of the two protagonists, to be honest. Having Conan wax poetic whilst speaking to Red Sonja is just wrong. The Cimmerian that I know finds flowery speech despicable and is far more reserved in his wording and mannerisms.
This comic was all about setting the proverbial stage. We see the barbarian and she-devil with a sword taking their rightful place in the story, while at the same time the opposing forces are preparing their attack. You don’t have to have read the previous crossover series to get this one; they have almost nothing to do with one another and feature an entirely different team of writers and artists. This one may improve — it’s only the first issue — but I think Robert E. Howard would be demanding a rewrite of his character. I’ll give this a firm take it or leave it recommendation. I’ll still read them because I’m a completest and I’m holding onto the hope that it charms me the next time.
Curious to know if the reviewer’s knowledge of Conan begins and ends with Marvel & Dark Horse comics?
Comment by Bob Freeman — August 7, 2015 @ 4:43 pm
Not at all. I started with the original REH books and stories and continued reading the continuing adventures by Jordan, Perry, de Camp, Roberts, Carpenter, etc. I continuously explore any new material, being a fan of the character for more than three decades. As I stated, the dialogue is the issue with this series. Looking back into my Savage Sword comics, those stories were extremely consistent with what Howard envisioned and penned.
Comment by Waerloga69 — August 10, 2015 @ 2:01 pm
Wax poetic? Conan is an uneducated savage… with lots of worldly experience… he never talked much in the REH books.
Comment by Bill — August 17, 2015 @ 8:07 am
Precisely my point. He was always more apt to act rather than chat.
Comment by Waerloga69 — August 17, 2015 @ 1:41 pm