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Conan and Red Sonja: The Age of Innocence #1

    Todd Jordan
    Smut is good.

  • Conan and Red Sonja #1

    Published by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: Jan. 14, 2014
    Writers: Gail Simone and Jim Zub
    Artist: Dan Panosian
    Cover Artist: Dan Panosian
    Purchase at Amazon

    Red Sonja catches an animal fight in the city of Koth and seeks to teach the beast master running the show, named Kalayah, a lesson he won't forget. But her real reason for being in Koth is for a jewel, and the asshole making the animals kill one another for sport is just her way into the castle to get that jewel. But she's not alone in her quest for the prize, as a familiar giant of a Cimmerian is barking up that same tree. Leaving an important corpse behind while running off with the prize, the two make their escape together and the king is none too happy about any of it.

    Before long one of the two thieves tries to make away with the box containing the treasure, and that results in a battle to the death…until they call a truce. The two strangers (yeah, they don't know each other in this tale) open the box, which turns out to be a bit of a Pandora fiasco, but they don't realize just to what extent of trouble the contents of that box will cause. Not even when someone tells them so. Bah! Whatever; Conan is not concerned with it anymore. He will be, as will Sonja, and possibly all of creation.

    Two characters from two comic publishers team up for this four-issue mini-series, and it's written by two people. The art smartly stays with one artist, so the consistency of the art keeps the story from shifting the mood or being a distraction. That said, Panosian's style has a rushed feel to it, and although detailed and with certainly some nice moments, it doesn't stand out as anything more than competent comic artwork. It takes a back seat to the quality of the writing talent, but that's actually a good thing, as it gives a great balance that makes for a really enjoyable book. It's always frustrating to read a comic with a great story but way too stylistic visuals that overshadow the writing talent.

    And you need not know anything about Conan or Red Sonja to be able to keep up, as there is no history between them in this story and no years of continuity to consider. There're little tidbits here and there of characters quirks and such for those who can't get enough of either or both warriors, but nothing to make those new to the fold scratch their heads in confusion (except that Conan looks like he has a mullet). This one looks to be a good sword-and-sandal duet between characters that take no crap and can stand by their boasting and at just one issue in this looks to be a fun series.

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