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Conan The Barbarian #3


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#101 Aquilonia

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:50 PM

Another review to add to Zack`s:

http://www.geeksofdo...he-barbarian-3/

#102 ZackDavisson

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:12 PM

. It is very well written, it is elaborate, it resembles Conan and Howard in many aspects and I must say that up to this point this is the best issue of the three.


Very well put, Aquilonia. That is how I feel about the issue too. #3 blew me away. It isn't a strict adaptation, but Brian is doing an amazing job. There is so much there, it seems a waste of time to worry about what isn't.

#103 KG Thunder

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:48 PM

I like this issue, but can anyone tell me what's going on in the shaman's vision (second to last page)? Is that civil war garb?
Pretty strange.

#104 Officer Aggro

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:51 PM

I like this issue, but can anyone tell me what's going on in the shaman's vision (second to last page)? Is that civil war garb?
Pretty strange.


Noticed that too! I haven't read the issue yet, but I wanted to check out the artwork and was confused by what appears to be an 18th century soldier's uniform.
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#105 Aquilonia

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:52 PM

I like this issue, but can anyone tell me what's going on in the shaman's vision (second to last page)? Is that civil war garb?
Pretty strange.


I think it represents many moments, past and present, in Conan`s life. Could that bat be an image of the winged ape that will kill Belit in the future? Wow! I should stop drinking...

Edited by Aquilonia, 11 April 2012 - 10:53 PM.


#106 ZackDavisson

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:58 PM

Is that civil war garb?
Pretty strange.


Did you forget that part of the original story? Where Conan time-travels to the future and fights next to Wolverine in the Civil War? That was totally my favorite.

B)

And that winged ape is definitely Belit's killer. It couldn't be anything else.

#107 KG Thunder

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:04 PM

And that winged ape is definitely Belit's killer. It couldn't be anything else.

He looks a little scrawny, but I welcome a change from the usual gorilla-bat look we've seen so many times before. Sometimes thinner is creepier/stranger, and I really hope that scene is played more like a horror story than the usual action style of sword & sorcery comics. Conan fights so many random monsters in the comics that it sort of takes away from the truly horrific ones REH created.
Apes and snakes, apes and snakes. Conan must be sick of 'em! :D

#108 ZackDavisson

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:08 PM

And frogs! Howard loved a giant frog!

#109 johnnypt

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:08 AM

I like this issue, but can anyone tell me what's going on in the shaman's vision (second to last page)? Is that civil war garb?
Pretty strange.


I was going to mention a there's a giant WTF page in here, but you guys beat me to it!

Overall a really good issue. I noticed Belit's coloring changes during the issue as she and Conan get together to something less than stark white. I still think the mating dance could've worked no problem in here, and still can for that matter. It may mean something different done later, but it's part of the story. The opening paragraph to Chapter II gets used, but only in bits and pieces. It goes to Zack's point about it being better when they get away from Howard directly rather than using it and not quite getting it right. I'm fine with it being a different take on the story and as a story it's being done very well. The frustrating part is when the story is used, but changed when it seems just as easy to "get it right" without affecting anything. Brian's said it's all for a reason, so I'm going with that for now.

#110 Officer Aggro

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:47 AM

Could that bat be an image of the winged ape that will kill Belit in the future?


I think it was Gollum.
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#111 Ironhand

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:53 AM

OK, I've read Flower of the Black Coast #3, and I see why some people like it. In truth, there's a lot to like there. But Wood and Cloonan could have put all that in there without making a major change in the plot. Wood had plenty of room to get creative without trashing REH.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
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#112 johnnypt

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:47 PM

Oh yeah, one other clue as to what we'll be seeing somewhere down the line: N'Gora mentions a certain city with two kings beginning with A and ending with bombi.

#113 Officer Aggro

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:56 PM

Not so crazy about certain elements that were left out of the story, but overall I thought it was a great issue. Quite a love scene too. I look forward to the next installment.
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#114 monk

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 02:15 AM


I saw that. He seemed none too happy with Zacks assertion that he had completely departed from Howard (paraphrasing).


I really think Brian just has a very specific definition of "faithful to the source material," and it's one many of us disagree over. Compared to the 1982 film and the cartoon, Wood might as well be Howard himself. But compared to the better Thomas, Truman and Busiek adaptations?

Like I said, I would've preferred if they just said this was a reinvention/rejigger/reimagining, or if they got Wood & Cloonan to do their own thing a la The Road of Kings. If it wasn't clear since issue one, it's crystal now with the loss of the mating dance that Wood is doing his own thing - which is fine, just don't try and say it's faithful. Again, while I would prefer a more direct adaptation, I would at least respect Wood's reimagining in the way I respect Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood. I just can't really see it as a faithful adaptation of Howard's creation when so much of it is antithetical.

I had been writing a review of CtB issue 2 detailing my misgivings as well as points of praise, but I might wait until I get issue 3.



I almost feel that Wood is wasted on this.

I don't mind his take on Conan at all, I just mind that it has to come at the expense of QotBC.

If they had been given free range on something else, it would be a monument to comics, one of those epic story arcs that everyone must take notice of. Like when Simonsen took over Thor.

This shows it's possible to give Conan great stories with oomph, generally in the spirit of Howard, and not just toss out fluffy crap like RoK and some of those vapid one offs like Weight of the Crown or Forbidden Island or whatever. Again, it just sucks that it must come on top of QotBC's authenticity, which approaches perfection as it is. I can't think of a Conan fan who doesn't count it in their top 5.
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#115 amster

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:21 PM

I received Conan #3 in the mail today, tore it open and immediately stated reading it. Once I finished it, I went back to page 1 and read it again. Overall, I was pretty blown away by it. I was initially annoyed by Conan's lack of musle-mass on a few panels, but just told myself not to get distracted by it and keep going. Overall, I think the artwork is the best so far in the series, particularly in the depiction of Belit. As with issue one, some of the images are so mind-blowing that I'm compelled to pick up the magizine and look at it again, something that for the most part I don't do with comics. I usually just read them once and file them away, picking them up occasionally for reference.

I really don't agree with Zack's opinion that this is a complete departure from REH. I thought that the first three pages, depicting life in Cimmeria, were spot on, and I think that the recent Conan film could have benefitted from such a scene. The dialogue is different from REH, but's it's mostly abbreviated, and generally makes the same point as REH while using the artwork to reinforce it. Page 5 is brilliant in this regard, particularly the 3rd panel. Page 6-8 at first brought the narrative to a screeching halt for me, and as I said earlier, I was a bit annoyed by Conan's lack of "awesomeness" on these pages. On the other hand, I love how Wood takes time to express Conan's guilt and regret over his failure to protect his friends, and N'Yaga's way of putting the situation into perspective for him. Of course, all this is just a prelude, because on page 10 Wood/Cloonan finally get to the good part, the scene that all the die-hard fans have been waiting for, the infamous mating...

Not. Okay, I promised that I would withold my final judgement about the conspicuous lack of the mating dance until I actually read the issue, and now that I have, I can honestly say that I don't miss it, because what Wood/Cloonan have done here is pretty friggin' good in its own right. I love how they begin the scene with Conan standing apart from the rest of the crew, whom we are reminded were his enemies only hours ago. Conan is clearly not feeling completely comfortable with the situation and not feeling that he fits in. Okay, some may argue that social awkwardness this is not consistent with Howard's character, however in my opinion it's how virtually anyone would feel in that situation. Moving on, I love how Belit get's dolled up for Conan on the 3rd panel, and it's she that breaks the ice rather than him. In the first two issues Belit was depicted as a merciless demon, and in a brilliant reversal they manage to humanize her as well as her crew. As I noted about issue #1, I think the more cartoonish style is really helping this story as it allows them to use visual metaphores that Busema or Giorello wouldn't be able to get away with. Sorry to disappoint, but it doesn't look like the mating dance is going to be saved for latter, since Wood uses some of Howard's phrases in the love scene, which IMO is excecellently worded and illustrated. I think the use of Howard's prose on the third panel of pg 14 is some brilliant foreshadowing.

As for the rest of the issue, I'm not completely sold on Conan's magic mushroom trip. The confederate soldier with the Kafiyah is bizzarre (is Conan having some sort of vision of a future incarnation, like James Allison?). More satisfying are the bottom two panels, Belit's piecing gaze into Conan's soul (imo the best individual panel in the entire issue) juxtaposed with The Horror of the Jungle. "The urge of creation and the urge of death". Mind-blowing.

Did I leave anything out? Conan's male bonding with N'Gora was cool. I chuckled at his remark about Conan's prowess with a bow. On a more negative note, I'm totally not sold on the idea of Conan simply giving commands while Belit slumbers.

Conan agreed. He generally agreed to her plans. Hers was the mind that directed their raids, his the arm that carried out her ideas. It mattered little to him where they sailed or whom they fought, so long as they sailed and fought. He found the life good.

After taking the time to establish the point that Belit was a brilliant tactician who also happens to know the geography intimately, it just seems like a needless departure on Wood's part. I get that Conan has a score to settle in Argos, but why not just run it by Belit first?

All and all, there's much more to like than dislike about this issue. I hope Cloonan is on board to finish the saga when the final chapters of the original story are adapted. Now that the first chapter is completed, I think it's far superior overall to Thomas/Buscema's Conan the Barbarian #58.

Edit: I forgot to mention Belit's remark on pg 11 that she's descended from a warrior culture. As I said previously, I hope Wood see's fit to show off her prowess with a sword in future issues. Oh, and I'm okay with belit's backstory (so far), but let's not go all "origin story" with her as Roy Thomas did. Some things are better left a mystery.

Edited by amster, 14 April 2012 - 08:29 PM.

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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#116 amster

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:36 PM

Hallo All,

I don't mind what all of you say, but I like Issue 3. It's great!


Indeed it is.
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#117 emerald

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 01:30 AM

It was pretty good.

I really got the feeling that I was reading a splinter of a longer work. This is to be expected I know, but it's really strong here with the whole issue basically devoted to character interplay. Can anybody recall another issue of a Conan comic that featured no conflict whatsoever? (don't count the wolf in the tangental flashback opening)
The dialogue between characters was solid, believable and appropriate as pastiche expansion of QOTBC.
The love scene was atmospheric, well-rendered, and (again) unlike anything we have ever seen in any other Conan comic to date.

Mr. Wood may not like having it pointed out to him, but Zack is right. This is a radical re-imagining of REH's Conan. Belit's mating dance, as depicted by Howard, simply would not have fit into this version of QOTBC. This alone signals, very clearly to my mind, that we are seeing a revisionist, re-interpretation of REH's classic story.

I have mixed emotions about this. But the story-telling and art are good enough that I want to see what happens, where the tale goes and what Wood brings to it.

#118 Arcadian

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:11 AM

I've not read #3 yet, but I've long thought that one should give a series three issues to make up one's mind on whether to keep buying it.

Skimming these comments, but not too closely (I wouldn't want to know what happens next, though I vaguealy recall Belit marries, settles down and gives birth to a line of Marvel superhoeroes); I feel more engaged in this storyline than many that have passed. Who is Conan at this point in time ? Who is Belit?

No, I don't think this is one of my top five favorite Conan stories from REH (though its close), it is one of the most significant. Bring on the controversy and fresh readers.

#119 Dave the Rage

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:15 PM

I'm holding judgement on it, because my crappy comic shop is messing my orders up!! :) Time to go digital again me thinks, at last I'll get them in time?
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#120 amster

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:01 PM

I'm holding judgement on it, because my crappy comic shop is messing my orders up!! :) Time to go digital again me thinks, at last I'll get them in time?


mycomicshop.com (Lonestar Comics) only charges $1.50 to ship standard comics to my house, which is less than what I would spend in gas these days for a trip to the comic store.

http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Posted Image
Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--