Conan and the People of the Black Circle Banner

A new mini-series starts here, but is it one that keeps up with the current franchise quality?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Dark Horse:

Two of the hottest names in comics—writer Fred Van Lente and artist Ariel Olivetti—reunite for a brutal Conan epic like no other!

Assassins, dark magic, and a beautiful noblewoman mean trouble for the Cimmerian barbarian unlike he’s ever seen in this full-tilt escapade through the mountains of Afghulistan!

Conan and the People of the Black Circle 1_CBy Crom this is one comic book that easily impresses.  As soon as I flipped through the pages I was amazed by the stunning content that I held between my hands.  And despite some misgivings regarding the main arc, the whole of the tale maintains the core mechanics of a true adventure yarn, as the team delivers when it counts.

The script by Fred Van Lente is solid from beginning to end.  I found the word use absolutely displayed the innate abilities of the author, as he managed to make this tale fit within the confines of the barbarian’s odysseys.  His characterization of our protagonist brought skill, as the scribe allowed the path to be set in its ways before we discovered our champion.  That said there were a few instances that felt overly wordy, as an extra abundance of dialogue and narration overburdened the pace with exposition.  That’s not to say that this failed to be an excellent journey, far from it, it just suffered some bumps and bruises.

The crown jewel of the release comes from the immaculately painted panels, done by the talented Ariel Olivetti.  The illustrator captures the ancient world with ease as a sensory overload of visually stunning pieces flood the page.  I literally have no complaints about the work done here, and I’m even willing to go further and say that if there is a reason to purchase this mini-series, then these lavishly rendered pictures might be it.

Conan and the People of the Black Circle #1 succeeds on numerous levels, as the creative team sets the stage for what should be an absolutely riveting piece of fiction.  Recommended.



I'm the Managing Editor for the site, and I've been a contributor for two years now. My main focus is reviews, comics especially, but I dabble in news and editorials with time permitting. I've been a collector for over half my life and this is my chance to stretch my fanboy legs. So relax and come with me to a place where INCREDIBLE and UNCANNY fall in line with AMAZING!