Bunn’s take on the Barbarian is reminiscent of Mel Gibson’s historically inaccurate (albeit highly entertaining) film portrayal of Braveheart’s William Wallace. Now Conan is hardly a mindless Barbarian roaming the countryside, indiscriminately butchering defenseless sheep.
Conan’s Complex Character
Rather, in the opening scenes of chapter one, Conan allows four pursuing Turanians every opportunity to turn back and leave him alone before finally sending the hunters to meet Crom. Diving deeper into the Blood In His Wake story arc, it’s clear “The Slayer” is only one facet of Conan’s surprisingly complex character.
By the time we reach the opening pages of Conan the Slayer #5, the wily Cimmerian has talked his way out his own death sentence. He’s also battled a sea hag and her offspring, become a trusted advisor to a Kozaki Hetman, and solved a murder mystery.
The art team does an outstanding job bringing Bunn’s script to the page. Sergio Davila’s artwork and Michael Atiya’s color beautifully capture the raw emotion and gore of the action sequences. Still there is room for vulnerable moments. The Slayer never looked better. Letters by Richard Starkings pay homage to the series’ origins, using typeface to set scenes. Conan’s dialogue is delivered in angular balloons, suggesting The Destroyer not speaking his native tongue.
Conan The Slayer has broad appeal. It’s familiar enough for devotees of previous incarnations of Robert E. Howard’s brainchild, while crossing new genre boundaries. Fans of fantasy, action/adventure, mystery, and occult comics will enjoy this new series.
Conan The Slayer #5, Dark Horse Comics, Release Date November 30, 2016, Rated 14+, Written by Cullen Bunn, Art by Sergio Davila, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft, Cover by Admira Wijaya, $3.99.