Writer: Jim Zub
Art: Patrick Zircher, Java Tartaglia, VC’s Travis Lanham, and Marco Checchetto
Release Date: September 18th, 2019
The chips are down, and Conan will have to play his best hand… the one holding good Brythunian steel in this week’s all-new SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #9 by Jim Zub. The Demon’s Den takes its debts seriously, and it will take everything Conan’s got if he is to emerge from the Debtor’s Lounge alive. Let’s plunge into this week’s installment to see how this Crom-believing Cimmerian survives the pit!
An issue that begins like a scene from RETURN OF THE JEDI eventually takes a spirited and mystical twist that this reviewer truly didn’t see coming. Jim Zub dealt the cards to a narrative and bluffed his way to an interesting ending that revealed the true villain pulling all the strings, as well as the true purpose of the story. Zub’s fast-paced, beastly showdown was such an exciting read that began by introducing a new gambling side to our marvelous barbarian but ended the arc with the classically, brutal, Hyborian Cimmerian that we’ve all grown to love and admire. The story arc has been such a unique look at Conan while taking him on a journey that was completely unexpected and rewarding for newer Conan readers like myself.
Patch Zircher led this dynamic, full-frontal, artistic onslaught with a splash page followed by a two-page spread that was so immensely intricate and riveting. Readers will feel like they’re in the pit with Conan fighting this grotesque beast every step of the way. Furthermore, Java Tartaglia’s colors expressed the dark, chaotic tone of the narrative which drove readers’ attention throughout the anecdote and helped pack the punch needed in a Conan comic. Lastly, the stunningly bright, emerald greens flourished across multiple pages while the subtle serpent images flashed across panels foreshadowing the surprising twist leaving this review even more shocked at the issues reveal.
Zub and Zircher are at their best in this issue… dare I call them ZZ Top?! Readers will quickly enjoy an entertaining anecdote that steals their attention from page one and locks them in until the very end. The issue is well-paced, easy to follow, and emphasizes the true characteristics of the great, Crom-fearing, Cimmerian. Together, ZZ Top creates a vigorous, natural story that was brilliantly sharp and captivating. Pick this issue up for an exciting tale and while you’re at it, add it to your pull list!