Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Gerardo Zaffino, Gary Brown, Matthew Wilson, VC’s Travis Lanham, and Esad Ribic
Release Date: July 31st, 2019
“The Life & Death of Conan” continues as Conan returns home in this week’s all-new CONAN THE BARBARIAN #8 by Jason Aaron. But things aren’t exactly as he remembers them. Is he that out of touch or is he falling right into the trap of the wizard THOTH-AMON?! By CROM, let’s dive into this one and find out!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
This week’s issue of CONAN THE BARBARIAN showed a truly poetic style that really enhanced the overall story tremendously. Jason Aaron’s design of the issue from start to finish was beautifully well written and detailed. Each page had so much heart and compassion for the characters elevating this issue to new heights. This reviewer could genuinely feel the care Aaron had for the Cimmerian, the story, and the years of history associated with the character.
Aaron’s elaborated so vividly on each and every trinket Conan brought back to his family, which added the empathy that this reviewer has never seen in a Conan comic before. The love this Hyborian Barbarian showed for his people was so incredibly authentic, real, and totally unexpected. Normally, Conan slashes, destroys, and manages a way out of trouble with his sheer willpower. However, this issue showed a side of the Cimmerian that really lured this reviewer deeper into the story, developed new sides of the character, and grabbed my attention until the very end.
This fan simply adored the family dynamic throughout the entire comic. The assumption was that Conan would run each and every one of his people through, except of course his Grandmother. However, there were even moments where this reviewer thought he’d have no choice but to kill all his people. But, Aaron thoroughly explained each strategy, where Conan received the gifts from, how they would be used, and their cost. Additionally, each tactic made sense within the story, which is oftentimes overlooked by many writers.
Aaron not only understands Conan the Barbarian but he also understands the premise of writing a great story. Did readers get any closer to understanding what the Crimson Witch wants and why she so desperately wants to kill Conan? No! Did readers actually get any answers to the overarching plot of the series to date? No! However, Aaron still told a story that contributed to the overall narrative, explained the nuances of the issue with great detail, and told an amazing minor story that will lead to the entire plot eventually. Aaron once again shows comic fans how to write a long story well, which many current writers seem to have a difficult time doing right now. Ultimately, readers want to feel like there was always a plan in place and that the story isn’t created on the fly. Aaron’s stories always feel well designed, thought out, and easy to follow.
Aaron lays out a masterful issue once again and shows a side of Conan that this reviewer has never seen before. The intricate detail and family dynamic sets this issue apart from the rest of his run. Conan fans, or fans interested in dipping their toe into the Cimmerian’s icy cold water, could read this issue as a stand-alone and get a taste of what both the Barbarian and Aaron have to offer. This reviewer highly recommends the issue for every comic fan and hopes anyone at least semi-interested in the Hyborian Barbarian will give this week’s issue a shot. Pick this one up and let me know what you think! It really was amazing.