Friday, March 1, 2019

Savage Sword of Conan 2019 #2 Review by SE

Savage Sword Of Conan (2019-) #2 by Gerry Duggan
S.E. rating: 3 of 5 stars

Starts off great, with Conan and his newfound buddy Suty landing on Stygian shores. A brutal landscape of "trees" leads to an encounter with pseudo-human (Darth-maul inspired) followers of Koga Thun. Conan administers the expected, titular savagery. The art is nice. This leads to a history of the area and the city of Kheshatta.

Then the comic portion stalls and becomes contrived and inconsistent. With limited pages, the information flow has to be spot on, and this issue seemed to spend/waste its precious pages after the nice beginning. More on that below in the spoiler section.

The bonus serial installment of "Shadow of Vengeance" by Scott Oden was an okay follow-up to an awesome beginning from Savage Sword Of Conan (2019-) #1. Conan is now on stage with Octavia. I appreciate the call outs to the Hyborian Age milieu but it ate two of this three-page dose. The last page did not end with the cliff-hanger I expected. Conan is slowly entering peril. I hope for a fun confrontation in the next installment.

Spoiler section...

The Koga Thun followers go from being thugs to weakling rats who reveal their master's plan to find treasure. Conan kills them and goes to the city. At this point I expected Conan to "use the map in his head" to steer him into the guarded city. But no, the scrawny Suty calms the angry guards by explaining that the towering hulk of Conan is simply a slave he wishes to sell, so the guards instantly flip to being okay with letting them in. This was a wasted page of silliness that could have been better spent on reinforcing the mind-map. 

Then we have several pages of Conan wandering into a library. It is unclear if his mind-map is steering him or if he is just goofing around. A lady he saw in a vision from Savage Sword Of Conan (2019-) #1 appears; her name is Menes. She introduces herself with a silly one-liner (she sneaks up on Conan, and he says men cannot do that... but wait...she is no man; I half expected her to say her name was Eowen.)

Whatever, Menes seems to be on their side (anti Koga Thun), so they make up a team.

It ends on a real shallow WTF. Menes, who was hiding and/or protecting the library, departs randomly from the conversation to head down stairs and open the barred door. Strange. She walks casually while asking if they brought friends. Conan strolls behind saying nothing. She opens it to be drug out by three bad guys! 

Menes was stealthy & smart enough to sneak up on Conan, but then not observant enough to sense danger when a random person knocks--why is she opening the door? Does "savage" Conan & Suty help save her from being drug out, or fight after? Nope. They hide behind the door. 

It just feels inconsistent & contrived from frame to frame. 
It is unclear how Conan and Suty have and react to any vision.

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