By Alex Vazquez
This trade collects the first six issues of Conan: Road of Kings. To the delight of many fans, it marks legendary writer Roy Thomas’ return to the Hyborian age. For those of you well versed in said mythos, this story takes place after the events of “Iron Shadow’s in the Moon”.
Mr. Thomas is in top form, masterfully spinning all the tropes one expects from a Conan tale; buxom damsels, hideous beasts, blood-drenched sword-play, foul sorcery, and chamber full of treasure. Throughout this story arc we are treated to Conan the pirate, thief, lover, and waaait for it…barbarian. It’s a satisfying journey that spans the Vilayet Sea, the back alleys of Shadizar, and the gilded city of Aurolla.
Regrettably, I can’t speak as highly about the artwork. While serviceable, it’s a bit too angular, lacking the more realistic style I’ve come to expect from such legendary artists as Frank Frazetta and Barry Smith. An unfair comparison to say the least, but it just suits the tone of the world, I feel.
The colors don’t do much to salvage the visuals either. There isn’t much variation in tone, adding to what I feel is a slightly ‘cartoonish’ look (for lack of a better term). If you don’t mind your barbarians looking like something from Cartoon Network, then you’re in for a solid Conan story that’ll suit your savage tastes.
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