Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar, Matthew Wilson, VC’s Travis Lanham, and Esad Ribic
Release Date: November 20th, 2019
As Conan shuffles off this mortal coil, he stands face to face with his God, Crom, in this week’s all-new CONAN THE BARBARIAN #11 by Jason Aaron. But Crom does not care for the fate of some weak mortal… unless Conan makes him! Let’s dive into this issue to see if Crom truly cares about our Cimmerian King.
Readers, this issue was truly one of a kind. Often times, comic fans gaze at covers and get conned into thinking that one thing will happen when it actually doesn’t occur in the narrative at all. So, at first glance, it transpires from the cover that Conan is literally going to challenge Crom. Next, comic enthusiasts scan through the previews and solicits to get a small taste of what the issue will be about. In this case, it specifically declared that Conan was going to stand ”face to face” with Crom. Therefore, again this reviewer still couldn’t imagine that Conan was actually going to take on his God. Maybe this was some sort of sorcery or mystical trial? Maybe Crom simply assembled beings to fight for him? Either way, this reader did not expect Crom, the God who cares nothing for his people would actually care enough to battle Conan. Boy was this reviewer wrong!
This issue was outrageous. Jason Aaron has truly outdone himself and has possibly created my favorite Conan issue of his run, if not out of any Conan issue this critic has ever read. Now, maybe Conan has done this before BUT he fought Crom for $&@$ sake! This wasn’t a dream or a premonition. Conan withstood the supernatural being that he cursed day in and day out for his entire life. This reader was incredibly shocked, awestruck, and astonishingly amazed to see this throw down unfold before my very eyes AND would put this fight in my top 10 all-time. Fans of action, adventure, or just fictional battles will fall in love with this issue.
As for this specific tale, Jason Aaron finally nails the driving heart and passion for the grizzly Cimmerian. Aaron focuses on Conan’s tenacity, vigor, love, and respect for humanity. Conan lives in the moment and will always stand for those in need regardless of his personal circumstances, which Aaron shows every step of the way as Conan relentlessly treks the mountain to unravel what‘s going on. He’s ambitious, loyal to a cause, kind, and won’t stand for ignorance, terror tactics, and arrogance, which Aaron amplifies during each stubbornly unyielding attack on Crom. Sure, the issue focused on one thing: Conan verse Crom. However, Aaron used this fight to truly exacerbate the reader’s attention to the fine minutia that makes Conan’s character so outstanding. Aaron finally cranks a home run and takes the character of Conan out of the park!
And if the above wasn’t enough to sell new and old readers to take a peek, Mahmud Asrar’s illustrations should simply be the peanut butter icing on the chocolate cake. Asrar’s art is so incredibly vibrant and extensive that it will draw readers into the heart of the narrative and lock them into the story until the remarkable splash page that ends the issue. Asrar’s art is violently stimulating yet polished and smooth with a clear overtone that practically smacks the reader in the face and hypnotizes them throughout the entire narrative. Furthermore, this reviewer adored the additions to the story that Matthew Wilson’s colors and Travis Lanham lettering brought specifically to Crom. Together with Asrar, this creative team made Crom into this gargantuan mountain of a God (literally) that would make any man cower in their boots… except for Conan of course. Conan fans, Aaron may have written his best story to date however, this art team really upped its game and broke through the glass ceiling. If this creative team is reading this review, let me be the first to thank them for an unbelievably impressive issue.
Jason Aaron not only magnifies Conan the Barbarian’s characteristics wonderfully but he also builds an overly entertaining story that this reader has never seen before in a Conan narrative. The issue is fast-paced, enjoyable, and actually helps make the overarching story feel more complete. Aaron writes a tale that’s easy to follow, fascinating, and fits thematically within his story as well as the character development of the Hyborian-born Cimmerian. And if you’re searching for more, Asrar and his art team add that extra flavor making this one of the best Conan issues this reviewer has ever read. Conan and comic fans alike need to read this tale. If it’s your first time reading a Conan issue, you very well may be hooked after reading this one. Pick this issue up and thank me later. It will totally be worth every penny!