The relaunched Conan The Barbarian has used each issue to explore the legendary warrior’s life and different character traits. This latest issue though explores something else entirely though, one of the most important people in the Cimmerian’s life, and the lengths he’d go for them.
Jason Aaron, Mahmud Asrar, Matthew Wilson, and Travis Lanham show us Conan at his most vulnerable, and perhaps his most frightening.
In one of the most infamous brothels in the Barachan Isles, Conan arrives with a massive purse in exchange for five of their most beautiful escorts. However, the barbarian isn’t looking for pleasure, but a crew to pull a job. As he earns the quintet’s trust, he drops his defenses, exposing his deepest feelings to them. And because of that, they might just be able to pull off the job…
In my review of the last issue, I’d mentioned that Aaron’s formula for the series had become apparent, but he immediately bucked that trend with this issue. While it does explore an important part of who Conan is, it breaks the formula set by investing the readers in his loss and pain. His companions are another big part of that, as they are all fully realized characters, which adds quite a bit of depth to a strongly plot filled story.
Asrar and Wilson as much credit for that last point if not more. Even if they weren’t speaking, they were always doing something, and their body language, design and movement all combined to tell the readers more stories than just the events in these twenty-odd pages. Wilson deserves special credit too, with absolutely stunning color work through the issue, especially in bringing the setting through life through colors of light, differences in terrain and foliage and so on. All of these factors combine to give us a visually exciting book.
The mighty Conan wasn’t so mighty in this issue, and we as readers actually understand and empathize with him better because of it. And that’s what makes it a good series.
Conan The Barbarian #7 is available now from Marvel Comics.