Review: Unleashing Gods And Warriors In Conan The Barbarian #11 By Aaron And Asrar

by Tony Thornley
Cover by Esad Ribic

 If there’s been one constant in the life and death of Conan the Barbarian it’s been the presence (or lack thereof) of his god, Crom. But for all the times he’s uttered “by Crom” he’s never actually had it answered. All that changes in Conan the Barbarian #11.

Jason Aaron, Mahmud Asrar, Matthew Wilson, and Travis Lanham tie together Conan’s entire life in this story.

Conan has found himself reunited with family and friends, but it doesn’t take him long to realize he’s in the afterlife. He decides he has nothing else to lose and ascends into the mountain home of Crom himself. Will the gambit pay off, allowing Conan to return to Earth and face his murderers, or will it change the destiny of Conan the Barbarian forever?

After nearly a year of building up who Conan is, and what motivates him, Aaron ties it all together in a very subtle way. Without all these previous stories, this would have simply been a story of a defiant warrior confronting a god (which is a big deal, regardless), however here we see the man that Aaron has spent the last year building acting in defiance towards the being he has worshipped for years. This is Conan the thief, the warrior, the lover, the lion, and with all those traits coming together to challenge Crom himself.

Asrar and Wilson take that concept and put it beautifully on the page. We explicitly get glimpses of each of those aspects of Conan, whether its through his progression up the mountain of Crom, or through his battle with Crom. Each wrinkle, smirk and roar is built on the back of Asrar’s part year worth of the series, while Wilson makes it come to life. It’s simply hard to talk about the art in this series because it’s so good and reliably so at that.

Conan has gone to hell and back in his life. It’s clear that in his death its not much better. I can’t wait to see how the story concludes.

Conan the Barbarian #11 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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