Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Mahmud Asrar, Gerardo Zaffino, and more
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Series: Vol. 1 (Issues 1-6) Vol. 2 (Issues 7-12)
Conan’s travels have brought him to the far reaches of the unknown, from his birthplace in Cimmeria to the kingdom of Aquilonia and all in between. As his fighting prowess allows him to carve his way through life, so too does it attract the forces of death! Come join Jason Aaron as he takes you through ”The Life and Death of Conan”.
Readers, Conan the Barbarian by Jason Aaron is well thought out, diagnosed perfectly, and spans across the life of the great Cimmerian Conan. If this is your first rodeo with this buckin’ bronco, you’ve come to the right series. This series is the perfect place for anyone interested in Conan to jump on board. Now, I cannot speak from the perspective of a longtime Conan the Barbarian fan but I can speak from someone who’s read this entire series AND as someone who has personally reviewed over half of the series. This is the run that made me want to read more Conan. And after reading many other back issues of a variety of Conan the Barbarian titles, Aaron does a phenomenal job painting his Conan in a similar fashion as the same sullen-eyed barbarian from yesteryear. Aaron finds a way to balance his new interpretation well by paying homage to what has come before him throughout each and every installment.
Jason Aaron captures the voice of the great Cimmerian perfectly and establishes a series that’s continuously exhilarating while exploring Conan’s past, future, and the developing force behind power and pride. He makes Conan extremely compelling and provides more twists and turns than a five-year-old with a sheet cake. Aaron throws new and old readers alike into this realm with a heavy dose of exposition at the beginning of the series, however, he plows open the flood gates with thrilling action and adventure towards the end of issue one and never turns back throughout almost every issue of this series.
At times, the story appeared to be skimming over the overarching theme of Conan’s death. Each issue was focusing more on his life, his trials, and how the Crimson Witch has always been there in some capacity lurking in the shadows. Thus, I found myself screaming for the fireworks factory towards issues 7 and 8. Regardless readers, you need to hang in there because issues 10, 11, and 12 are ridiculously unbelievable and some of the best comic writing I’ve seen in years. My, hands down, personal favorite issue, and possibly my favorite issue of Conan EVER, is issue 11. I won’t spoil it for readers BUT it very well could be in my top 15 favorite single issues of ANY character of all time!
To fans of Jason Aaron’s, you’ll experience hints of Odinson sprinkled throughout the issues and even a sense of “worthiness” within the character. Nevertheless, as someone who absolutely adores his THOR run, I didn’t mind it at all. Furthermore, readers will develop a sense that these issues have a vibe of one-shots with the ending tying together the overall story. This schematic and almost cinematic, breakdown of the titles isn’t far off and actually makes the series easy to hop in on at any moment to catch up. That said, the issues still blend together nicely making the puzzle fit together before the series concludes. The ending wasn’t exactly what I expected BUT it makes sense and is still pretty epic.
Now, as well-written as this story was, the art is what sets this series apart making it some next level $&@&! Mahmud Asrar’s art, who was on a majority of the series, creates striking and albeit breathtaking art that’s no doubt poster-worthy. His illustrations were savage and brutal yet eloquently magnificent at the same time. Asrar’s drawings are quite astonishing and will mesmerize readers throwing them deeper and deeper into the anecdote. His art is visually stunning while honoring Jason Aaron’s writing flawlessly. Together, these two are quite the unstoppable force. And truthfully, without Asrar, this series would still be good BUT not legendary.
By Crom, Jason Aaron’s twelve issue run is like a greatest hits of Conan epic adventures that would make past writers and creators of Conan Novellas so proud. Sure, this story may be a bit unique and bizarre but it’s totally worth the read. Conan the Barbarian by Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar is an excellent fantasy with otherworldly mysticism set to seduce new comic fans with ease. It’s an eye-opening series that should be used to get new readers introduced to Conan above anything else AND it’s not over. Aaron has a follow-up series on the horizon, which should pump up any and all Conan fans. Most important of all, readers will not want to put these two trades down, which at the end of the day is how you really know that you’re reading a great story. HERE to help us out while also getting your hands on this fantastic series. If this series has piqued your interest in other Conan titles, click HERE to snag a copy of a variety of trades, graphic novels, and digital issues. Lastly, feel free to visit my online Comic Shop on Amazon called THE COMIC BOOK DISPATCH HERE to see so many other amazing titles, trades, and digital issues that you MUST READ, especially without new releases on the horizon. Thanks for the read and for Crom’s sake, go grab a copy!
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