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King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon TPB

    Todd Jordan
    Smut is good.

  • King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon TPB

    Published by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: Apr. 23, 2014
    Writer: Timothy Truman
    Artist: Tomas Giorello
    Cover: Gerald Parel
    Purchase at Amazon

    Dark Horse comics presents its adaptation of Robert E. Howard's only Conan novel “The Hour of the Dragon”, split in half over two miniseries. The first half of the story is told in these pages, originally published in issues 1 through 6 of the comic book of the same name. The second half just started with issue #1 of King Conan: The Conqueror (review here
    and this trade paperback is released just in time so you can catch up if you missed the issues for the first half. And if you like Conan comics, this adaptation is essential reading.

    King Conan, old and scarred but by no means a pussy, is telling his story to the scribe named Pramis at the insistence of Counselor Publius before King Conan heads west, so that it may be recorded for the ages to come. The story moves back and forth between Conan reflecting his memories to Pramis and the historic story as it happened in this tale of woe. The very day Conan shares this particular tale about his second queen Zenobia is the anniversary of her death, and Conan tells Pramis of how she saved him from certain death at the hands of the 3,000 year-old and powerful magician Xaltotun. He also confesses how he fell in love with Zenobia at first sight.

    Once Conan the King gets out of the dungeon that Xaltotun throws him into, he leaves the city, but promises to come back for Zenobia and to take her out of slavery and give her freedom. Of course she won't be totally free; she'd be Conan's prize. But she doesn't know that and surely anything is better to her than being a sex slave. He soon finds an ally when he meets the witch Zelata, and she shows him some things he needs to see in a way only a witch can, and gets him on the path to find the Heart of Ahriman. The jewel holds the key to Xalotun's defeat and he means to find it.

    He gets sidetracked though, and does what any man of his fiber would do when learning of an imprisoned hot chick in a tower (the daughter of a baron in Conan's kingdom): he goes to save her. After the heroic act, he gets wind of the Heart having been stolen and sets off to take the precious stone away for those who have it. But there are many obstacles in his way and he has to fight to get what he wants: the stone, the death of the wizard, his return to the throne, and that sweet lady he left behind.

    With Tim Truman at the helm of a Conan story, be it adaptation or his own concoction, there is no doubt that it will be some of the best Conan story telling since Howard created the character. His narration is void of tedium and his dialogue seems to come effortlessly. There's no “yea prithie” is his Conan, and for that he has thanks. Tomas Giorello's artwork is some of the best Conan interiors you're likely to see. No matter how he portrays Conan, whether it's an old and reflective barbarian king, or young and battle hungry Conan the Barbarian, he draws the character as imposing, muscle bound, menacing, and powerful. The level of violence he provides should satisfy the hounds, and his monsters are wonderfully horrific. And talk about sexy women, Giorello can draw them with great success. Zenobia is a real beauty as is the baron's daughter that Conan rescues, and with Giorello's help it's easy to see why Conan let's his little Conan often control his brain. Gerald Parel provides all the painted covers to the series (other than a variant cover for issue #1 painted by Sanjulian, and included at the end), and Parel's paintings are included in this volume as chapter stops. Ma,n is it ever gorgeous stuff. It simply makes this high quality book all the more excellent. This is absolutely 100 percent recommended with no reservations. It is hands down some of the best Conan ever.
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