Conan the Barbarian comes with a certain plot structure and with that a certain number of expectations. Savage Sword of Conan was launched as a title with rotating creative teams, giving many creators an opportunity to make a mark on the character and give that classic Conan structure their own spin. That’s clearly what this issue is meant to do.
Gerry Duggan, Ron Garney, Richard Isanove, and Travis Lanham continue their story this issue.
Conan and his travelling companion Suty press forward in their pursuit of the treasure that he had magically discovered last issue. They cross the fear-eating death cult of Koga Thun, but Conan is unshaken by them. However, they may be much more powerful that even he could stop…
This issue is an interesting counterpoint to the core Conan series. Where Jason Aaron is spinning single issue tales throughout the character’s history, Duggan uses the space to let the plot breath a bit. He creates a fascinating threat in the cult, with an appearance of a terrifying threat, but quickly piercing through the facade to show their cowardice.
Conan himself is a larger than life presence, thanks to the work of both Duggan and Garney. The script shows a stoic man, but fills him full of wit and intelligence. Garney’s line art puts that on the page extremely well, using small changes in body language or facial expression to convey that he’s more than the angry warrior that many people assume Conan is.
Garney is a master of the art form. Beyond his character work, he does some fantastic design work, especially in his design for the cultists. His layouts draw the eye well across the page, filling a relatively slow issue with a lot of motion and action. With Isanove’s painted colors, it’s a gorgeous book, cover to cover.
On one hand, this is a very classic sort of Conan story. However, its executed extremely well, and in a way that makes it feel fresh and exciting.
Savage Sword of Conan #2 is available now from Marvel Comics.