King Conan: The Conqueror #4 (Comics Review)

One of Dark Horse’s most recent Conan series is King Conan: The Conqueror, which follows on directly from King Conan: The Hour of The Dragon and is the comics adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s Conan novel The Hour of The Dragon. In the first three issues of The Conqueror, this series has quickly catapulted to the top of my monthly reading list, in part because of the excellent story by Timothy Truman, but also because of the wonderful artwork by Tomás Giorello and José Villarrubia. They really get what it means to produce a true-to-heart Conan story.

King Conan: The Conqueror #4 was released this week and it picks up from where the previous issue left off, with Conan meeting Akivasha, one of the earliest femme fatales in comics apparently from what I am told, for the first time. There are two halves to the story, with the first involving Akivasha, and the second involving Conan’s quest to kill Thutothmes , a Stygian priest who possesses an object that is very dear to Conan. Truman, Giorello and Villarrubia are absolutely in their element in this issue, and they turn up yet another great King Conan comic.

There are almost no scenes in this issue in which we see the aged King Conan relating his adventures to his scribe Pramis this time. This has been something that I’ve enjoyed seeing in this series and it is lamentable that we don’t experience that this month. And that’s largely because this moments have provided quite a bit of fun and amusement before, such as when King Conan pissed on his own memorial and laughed while doing so. One of the best moments in the entire series I think.

With Akivasha, we see how she attempts to seduce and turn Conan away from his quest. She offers him a lot of enticement but Conan, such as he is, isn’t taken in her by her wiles despite her every trick and cheat. The back and forth between the two of them is mostly handled by Akivasha herself, with Conan getting little in the way of dialogue, and that provided a nice change of pace from how things are usually with Conan. This appears to be their first meeting as welly so it is fraught with an additional feeling of tension, because the clock is still ticking while Conan is caught up with that original femme fatale of comics (one of many it appears).

The second half deals with Conan’s fight against Thutothmes and is absolutely stellar since this half also contains the most intense sword-work that we’ve seen so far in this series as Conan lets loose in the Stygian temple dedicated to Set. There are a lot of earlier plotlines that come to a head in this issue, and that was the big turning point, because now we are beginning to see what the bigger picture has been all about here, and it is quite the experience. Conan and mayhem and slaughter go well in hand and that’s what you can expect from this issue once you move past the character development elements of the first half.

Given the way that this story is developing, I’m really interested to see how things develop further, now that there are only two more issues to go in this mini-series before The Hour of The Dragon comes to an end in this format. All the setup in this issue, and the revelations really pave the way for something major, and that what I really want to see and hopefully that is exactly what we are going to get next month.

Where the art is concerned, I once again have no complaints because, in a word, it is absolutely fantastic right from the get go when we see Akivasha and Conan together in the deepest catacombs of the Stygian temple that is home to Set. Lots of different types of scenes for the artists, Giorello and Villarrubia, to work with, whether they involve Conan delving deeper into the temple or his big fight against Thutothmes, which also involves a rather surprising twist that ties into the very first isuse.

For my money’s worth, King Conan: The Conqueror #4 is an absolute must read.

Rating: 9.5/10

More King Conan: The Conqueror: #1, #2, #3.

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Posted on May 30, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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