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Conan the Husband
Age of Conan Hyborian Adventures by Joshua Dysart
© 2014 James LaFond
FEB/9/14
2006, Darkhorse, 16 pages
This is a complex comic that flows well, like a novelette with two story lines. Half of the story involves a poor peasant boy wondering when his father is going to return. Finally his father returns as a zombie belonging to a sorcerer’s army.
The main story thread is about Conan being married to Zenobia, the slave girl he promoted to queen because she aided him when he was a captive. The artists, however, seem to be making the case that Conan made her queen because she looks like a Jenifer Lopez-Angelina Jolie hybrid. It soon becomes clear to any of us fantasizing about being a monogamous Conan with a smoking hot pile-an-army-of-heads-at-her-feet kind of babe that even barbarian kings get nagged and henpecked.
The cover has Conan sitting on a throne while Zenobia kneels beside him on an animal skin rug. If there ever was a world like that sign me up for reverse reincarnation.
The Conan depicted in this is 44 years old and putting on some weight. He is also hard and dark looking with a broken nose and a grumbling disposition. We get to see him negotiating over wine with some fat pig of a civilized king. Then, word comes that two traitors are being held in the dungeon. They beg Conan for mercy, and he gives it to them, by ordering his guards to arm them and saying, “Look into my eyes and know from the beginning that you plotted against a mountain.”
Then it’s on. With blood on his hands, and feeling like a real barbarian again, he returns to Zenobia. Meanwhile a horrid black magic army heads for his kingdom’s border.
My test with Conan comics like this [pastiches that are not original stories, but use original material], is, would Howard have liked them?
I think he would have loved Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. Darkhorse really gets the flavor of Robert E. Howard’s work, especially Conan.
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