By Alex Vazquez
King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel TPB collects all four issues of the masterful adaption of Robert E. Howard’s short story. Once again Tomas Giorello, Timothy Truman, and Jose Villarrubia combine their talents to bring us a comic for the ages.
Truman once again takes REH’s original story and expands upon it beautifully. Any self respecting Conan fan will tell you that the original story was narrated by some unknown, omniscient character. (I think of actor Mako’s voice, thanks to the 80’s flick). This time around the tale is told in the first person, by the Cimmerian himself. Truman’s bold take on the story works, and serves to add another dimension to the events.
The artwork is perfection. Tomas Giorello can do no wrong with the world of Hyboria. I find his detailed and kinetic style perfectly suited for REH’s pseudo-historical tales. I especially love Giroello’s pale inks, which gives the pages a ‘pulpy’ look. Oh, and the splash pages are exquisite and poster worthy.
I’ve stated before that the drawings in these books work perfectly well in black and white. That being said, Villarrubia comes along and makes me happy that they’re not. His tones are vibrant in the right spots but appropriately drab all around, complementing the faded inks.
We’re also treated to a few ‘special features’ in this TPB, such as: chapter divider pages featuring artwork from Derrick Robertson, an art gallery, and an insightful introduction from Timothy Truman (which pays off at the end of the story).
This is a great package that should be in any Conan fan’s collection. Read, enjoy, and dream of the days of high adventure.
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