(King Conan cont…) Another surprise came from the artists. Penciler Tomas Giorello further outdoes himself, serving Publio’s chess set as a metaphor; and as the pieces get moved around, we see the Lion set against the Pirates and the tentacled Sea Monster. It’s a subtle interplay of quiet, small movements with big actions that builds the tension and allows for a combat even if only of words. Jose Villarrubia’s colors are always outstanding, with different kinds of magic this time out — from the ethereal green of previous issues to the violent red of the Black Hand of Set.
The letters page hints that we might have more of Truman, Giorello, and Villarrubia when Hour of the Dragon is finished. Will they stay with King Conan? Write some new adventures for him after Howard’s original series are exhausted? Who knows. All we know for now is that the adventures will continue, and that makes me very, very happy. Now bring on the Black Corsairs.
- SUPERMAN: LOIS LANE #1 – With the recent success of Superman/Wonder Woman and the Lana Lang-flagship Action Comics, you figured Lois Lane would feel a tad wee jealous. That ends now, primarily with thanks to Marguerite Bennett, who recently blessed DC Nation with a haunting one-shot of Batman: Joker’s Daughter. Interested readers finally get the chance to see Sam Lane’s Daughter kick some butt on her own, though I would have rather enjoyed the comic more had both stories been told seperately. The twin narrative structure feels clunky here, with more dialogue boxes than a Silver Age comic; and, despite the impressive pencil-punch of Emanuela Lupacchino, the current mystery’s colors often feel too disparate from the flashbacks of Lois and friend Lucy as children. Even still, it’s neat to see a book not constrained by major happenings in another ongoing (Lois’ recent coma in Superman), and if you can get by the story’s overambitious elements of danger (druglords, mutants, and monsters, oh my!), Bennett dives into the no-nonsense reporter’s psyche like no one else. Just too bad there’s too much going on outside of her pretty little head, too. 3/5.
(Flip the page for 2 more mini-reviews!)