Conan the Barbarian #18 Review

The culmination of this drug induced dream is here, but does the final act deliver something that’s worthwhile?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Dark Horse:

While under the mind-altering influences of the potent yellow lotus, Conan and Bêlit relive their most disturbing memories and begin to question their future together, as they plum the dark depths of their own souls.

There’s been many interpretations of our title character but never before has he been shown a destiny such as this.  Our hero is a brutal thug with a sense of honor, wit and more importantly intelligence and all of these aspects come into play as this sordid act reaches its ultimate conclusion.

The script by Brian Wood wastes little to no time getting right into the thick of it, as our hero goes through the final throws of a life that could very well be his own.  I have to admit this entire saga felt a bit off from the start, and I often found myself pondering the wisdom behind this interlude.  Well after this issue I’m proud to say I was wrong to question it.  The author uses the moment and context to yield depth to our barbarian while also giving him something he’s never had before: a home worth fighting for.

Davide Gianfelice handles the art and I was instantly impressed with the body of work on display.  From the individual characters to the unique environments I found every inch of this comic book to be just as layered as the script called for it if not more so.  As I flipped through these pages I quickly discovered that I literally had zero complaints.  The illustrator delivered pencils that were stiff at a glance while retaining a kinetic motion, in the end birthing a striking vision from the first panel on.

Conan the Barbarian #18 is one of the best books I’ve read as the creative team delivers unto their audience something special.  Not only do they end the arc right they give it enough weight for our hero to learn and grow.  Highly recommended.

4.5/5

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