By Alex Vazquez
I’ll have to admit it’s been a while since I’ve read an American comic book. If there was ever a comic to bring me back into the fold. I couldn’t think of any subject matter better than Conan the Barbarian. I’ve read The Phoenix on the Sword as written by the man himself, Robert E. Howard, and this first issue hits the mark with tone.
Our writer, Timothy Truman, accurately captures the characterizations from the source material. In addition to that, he expands the scope of the narrative a bit. This is evident from the first page, but I’m pleased to find that this approach doesn’t step on the toes of the original, if anything enhances it a bit.
Tomas Giorello’s artwork brings me back to the pages of Marvel’s Savage Sword of Conan, albeit in color. His appropriately hatchy line work isn’t lost in said colors either. On that note, Jose Villarrubia’s wonderfully drab colors serve to express the melancholia and paranoia that permeates the story.
This book would look just as amazing in black and white; the colors are almost the icing on the cake and the splash pages are epic. The story is broken up into four issues. Overall, nothing big transpires in this first issue. By the end you can surmise who the true villain is. I look forward to the upcoming issues when things start to ramp up story wise. Until then, enjoy this love letter to the very story that introduced us to Robert E. Howard’s barbarian, thief, general, and king.
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