Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: KING CONAN: The Hour of the Dragon #3

KING CONAN: THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON #3 (#11 in the series)
DARK HORSE COMICS – @DarkHorseComics

WRITER: Timothy Truman
ART: Tomás Giorello
COLORS: José Villarrubia
LETTERS: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
COVER: Gerald Parel
EDITOR: Philip R. Simon
28pp, Colors, $3.50 U.S. (July 2013)

Adapts the novel by Robert E. Howard
The Hour of the Dragon Part 3 of 6: “Zenobia”

Originally serialized in the pulp magazine, Weird Tales, from 1935 to 1936, The Hour of the Dragon (also known as Conan the Conqueror), is the only novel Robert E. Howard wrote starring his signature character, Conan the Cimmerian.

Dark Horse Comics is adapting The Hour of the Dragon into comics as two six-issue miniseries.  The first is King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon, and the second will be entitled King Conan: The Conqueror.

King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon is written by Timothy Truman and drawn by Tomás Giorello, already acclaimed for the Conan comics they have produced together over the last several years.  They are joined by their stellar collaborators, José Villarrubia on colors and Richard Starkings & Comicraft on letters.

In The Hour of the Dragon, an aged King Conan recounts to the young scribe, Pramis, the tale of how he met his wife, the late Queen Zenobia.  At that time, Conan was King of Aquilonia, but a small band of conspirators against him revive Xaltotun, an ancient sorcerer.  The wizard uses his magic to help the army of Nemedia nearly destroy the army of Aquilonia.  But the king is not dead.

King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon #3 opens in the bowels of the dungeons of King Tarascus’ castle.  There, Conan faces a man-eating gray ape; once again Zenobia, who freed him from his cell, comes to the rescue.  Meanwhile, Tarascus plots against the very creature that brought him victory over Conan – the wizard Xaltotun.  Little does he know that a free Conan is probably as dangerous as Zaltotun’s sorcery.

There is nothing new to say about King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon.  It was damn good to begin with, and this third issue is also... damn good

Writer Timothy Truman and artist Tomás Giorello are telling a story in bold masculine strokes with relentlessly muscular scenes, delivered in an unapologetically bloody visual language.  Yet with José Villarrubia’s colors, it all looks like a fantastic jeweled tapestry.  King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon is the best Conan comic book from the best Conan comic book publisher.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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