‘Conan the Slayer #1’ Comic Review
Written by Cullen Bunn; Art by Sergio Davila; Coloring by Michael Atiyah; Lettering by Richard Starking & Comicraft
Okay, let’s start with an admission. I have very little experience in the ways of Conan. I’ve seen the movies and watched the animated nineties show as a kid. I was merely aware of the Marvel comic and have not actually read them never mind the original source novels. So it was with a somewhat open mind that I took my first plunge into Conan’s comic book adventures with issue one of Conan The Slayer.
From the get go we’re in at the deep end, as is Conan himself. Our first glimpse of the titular Cimmerian is struggling through the rocky wasteland in the aftermath of a huge bloody battle. Injured and being pursued, you might think him vulnerable. That would be a mistake. One of the defining traits of Conan is the violence and it doesn’t disappoint here. This is a brutal comic and as it should be.
The story is a very simple one. Conan is being pursued and takes refuge in a village. The village chieftain takes it upon himself to defend this stranger. Despite it’s simplicity, it’s very well told and Cullen Bunn’s narration is similar in style to a descriptive novel and gives some insight into what Conan is experiencing. Bunn’s dialogue is fantastic, especially with Conan being all bravado. It’s actually quite humorous with him dishing out threats while hardly in the position to do so.
Sergio Davila’s artwork truly captures the brutality of the combat with Michael Atiyah’s colors complementing it perfectly. What I really like about Davila’s line work is that he makes Conan look strong without going over the top. It’s a trap that a lot of artists fall into by making their heroes look to riled up. Conan avoids this and gives a believable looking character.
Overall this is a great book and the simplicity of the plot works in it’s favor allowing the narration and the visuals to be the focus. My first foray into Conan comics was a definite success and it’s thanks to the team working on this series.