The one thing that Conan has always promised readers (and viewers, for that matter) is high adventure. Ironically, that’s the one gaping hole in this initial offering from the latest incarnation of fantasy’s favorite barbarian. It’s hinted at in droves, but there’s very little adventure to be found here. The good news, though, is that it’s definitely hinted at.
First issues can be hard to review. There’s something to be said for creating a story before slaughtering all your characters with swords. At that, Timothy Truman excels with this story. “King Conan” picks up the second half of Robert E. Howard’s “Hour of the Dragon” novel. Conan’s kingdom of Aquilonia has been overthrown, Conan is an outcast and is searching for the accursed gem he needs to reclaim his crown. Forced to turn to a man he’d be hard-pressed to call an ally, Conan finds himself one step behind others who would have the gem for themselves and one scant step ahead of those who would have HIM for themselves.
That said, there’s a lot of exposition without much meat to sink your teeth into. That may be forgivable since this issue is a setup for the rest of the miniseries. The pieces are definitely in place for this to take off, but with this slated to be a six-issue miniseries, they need to get moving.
My Take: The jury is still out. This is a solid setup to a franchise, but for a miniseries the lack of action is troubling. The art through the first few pages really does an incredible job of delivering the back story in only a few panels.