Does the end of this arc continue to prove the mantle of this re-birthed franchise? Read on to find out.
The official description from Dark Horse:
A twisted religious order targets the heathens Conan and Bêlit, who flee with a relic of immeasurable value. Mad warrior monks pursue the couple across a mazelike landscape, cutting off every avenue of escape. With no other options, Bêlit looks to the mysterious item, hoping to find some salvation within.
The story at play here has certainly claimed a lot of flesh from our primary characters. We’ve seen one possessed and the other pursued by men that are consumed by madness. But thanks to the efforts of the creative team we’re given something that goes beyond the basic structure it follows, as subtle nuances give way to believable character development and plot progression.
Brian Wood pens the script and the scribe does an outstanding job delivering on every possible moment. This tale of a barbarian versus a cult requires a lot of narrative skill to allow it to become something more than the mere sum of its parts. This holds true as the author expertly weaves the elements of love, high adventure and enthralling evil into a display that’s certainly worthy of the franchise it reinvigorates. He plays with the foundations he’s buit while expanding them in ways that uplift rather than cheapen the whole of the affair. There’s also a specific scene involving dogs that should garner a grin from any devoted follower.
The art by Paul Azaceta complements the text in a way that perfectly suits this journey. I was impressed by the thick lines that gave way to sturdy yet simplistic interpretations which highlighted the core mechanics of this property. I found the artist rendition of both Conan and Bêlit to be more than up to the task, as a different sort of entry evolved from potent conflict right into a fitting conclusion.
Conan the Barbarian #21 is a great comic book, that goes beyond the mandate of the traditional adventure yarn to deliver something that’s absolutely worth your attention. Highly recommended.