Sunday, February 10, 2019

Conan the Barbarian #3 - Review By SE

Conan The Barbarian (2019-) #3 by Jason Aaron
S.E. rating: 4 of 5 stars

Conan The Barbarian (2019-) #3: In this third installment, we have Conan at a third location and adventure. We also have a third installment of John C. Hocking's "Black Starlight" novelette, itself an entirely different story taking place somewhere near Stygia. More on Marvel's ADHD issue below.

No.3 pays homage to Conan being crucified on a giant tree. Previous classic scenes include:
1) The "Tree of Death", in the second chapter in A Witch Shall Be Born (Weird Tales, 1934)… in Khauran (Koth, Zamora, Shem surround this small country)
2) The "Tree of Woe" from the Conan the Barbarian 1982 movie) occurring in … Eastern Lands, sentenced by Thulsa Doom

Here in Conan #3 2019, he is in Nemedia, in then mining town region, hung up to die on the giant, ancient Red Tree (on Red Tree Hill), sentenced for thieving

Most of the story emphasizes Conan's unique abilities (huge size, quick thinking) to work his way out of a terrible fate; a chance, and unnecessary, lightning strike detracted from Conan’s ability to solve his own problems. The primary antagonist introduced in #1 was the Crimson Witch and her minion children; they appear again, this time for 2 pages (in No.2 it was ~1page). I'm hoping No.4 allots them more emphasis.

On the Black Starlight front, John C. Hocking dishes out another chunk of Conan and his mysterious travels to Stygia with the emerald lotus. This story starts to take shape now, so I am interested in seeing what his mission/goal is really about.

Marvel's ADHD: Marvel's Conan the Barbarian is done well, but with the frenetic coverage of location and times in just three installments, plus a disconnected story attached, the apparent lack of focus is a concern.

But wait there is more! Marvel is releasing two more Conan comics, very soon to overlap with this series:
2) The Savage Sword of Conan
3) AND... The Age of Conan
- AND there is another pastiche novelette to be placed in The Savage Sword (penned by Scott Oden).
- Let us assume that The Age of Conan has a story too... that would mean that Marvel is giving readers ~6 separate Conan yarns nearly simultaneously, the first two of which is jumping across geographies and time. I only hope that there is some sort of coherent theme across these.

Review of No. 2,
Review of No.1

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