Tag Archives: conan the avenger

Review: Conan The Avenger #16

conan1Conan is one of those characters that almost everybody has heard in some form or another. Created by Robert Howard for the pulp magazines in 1932, Conan has appeared in almost every medium possible since then, including comics from numerous different publishers over the past decade. Currently the rights to publish Conan stories belong to Dark Horse Comics, and Conan The Avenger #16 marks the beginning of a new story arc entitled Blood Oasis.

Although this is the 16th issue in the current series, it is the opening chapter of a new story; couple that with the in built knowledge of Conan the Barbarian that almost every person seems to have – even if it’s only that he’s a bad ass who walks around killing things – and the brief, but informative recap page, and we’ve got a good jumping on point for new readers.

But just because Conan The Avenger #16 provides an entry point to readers interested in the series does that mean should you bother picking this comic up?

Fred Van Lente has written a good opening chapter to Blood Oasis, and while there isn’t anything ground breaking about the issue, it does give us a solid opening; Conan, having escaped certain death is now traversing the desert with his companion Natala attempting to reach an oasis in the south. Brian Ching‘s art work is solid conveying the facial and physical expressions of the characters with an effortless charm, he is also well suited to the empty environs of the story’s setting, with his art effortlessly capturing the feeling of emptiness as Conan and Natala face off against the desert.  Micheal Atiyah‘s colouring skills add some pop to the pages, and the colouring really shines on some of the later pages.

Conan is a character that threatens a deadly violence whenever his blade is drawn. He’s been one of, if not the most familiar sword and sorcery characters for many of us for decades, and if you’re looking to start reading Conan comic books, then Conan The Avenger #16 is as good a place as you’ll find to jump into the action packed ongoing series. You’ll find the start of a story arc, a character that you don’t need to know his deepest darkest secrets in order to follow, and a solid comic book that offers the start of a story arc, a character that you don’t need to know his deepest darkest secrets in order to follow, and a solid comic book that’s easy to enjoy.

Script: Fred Van Lente Art: Brian Ching Colours: Micheal Atiyeh
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Rasputin07_CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.


Southern Bastards #10 (Image Comics) – One of the, if not the, best comic out there right now. It’s usually a slow burn, but each issue has more character insights than many comics have in a year. This Southern noir is fantastic on every level.

Captain Canuck #3 (Chapter House Publishing) – Some times you want your heroes to lose the gritty aspect, and just be heroes. This series gets back to that courtesy of some talented Canadian creators. Fun action, that’s entertaining and loses the cynicism of today’s superhero comics.

Invisible Republic #5 (Image Comics) – An amazing series that definitely doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It involves a reporter digging into the revolutionaries that took over a planet, and digs up a bit of dirt. An amazing focus on history being used as propaganda.

Princeless: Be Yourself #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) – The new series hasn’t missed a beat and continues the fun fantasy adventure with a bit of girl power mixed in.

Rasputin #7 (Image Comics) – The first arc focusing on the historical figure was interesting. Flash forward 100 years, and not only is he alive, he’s also advising a Presidential candidate. Now you have my undivided attention.



Top Pick: Hacktivist Vol. 2 #1 (BOOM! Studios) –  The second series dealing with the group of hackers follows on the plot from the first series, and tries to answer some unresolved questions.

Batgirl Annual #3 (DC Comics) – Kind of a catch-all for Batgirl, as she faces off against Helena Bertinelli, a former Batgirl (from No Man’s Land) and Dick Grayson (her pre-new 52 romantic interest).  Throw in a visit to Gotham Academy and this sounds pretty fun.

He-Man: Eternity War #8 (DC Comics) – There has been no missteps in this entire series as the creative team has pushed the envelope of what defines the core group of characters.  This is not your childhood’s He-Man.

Jem and the Holograms #5 (IDW Publishing) – This series has been nothing but fun since its launch.  It doesn’t look likely to stop any time soon either.  One can only hope that the suggested food fight from the cover gets realized inside.

Lazarus #18 (Image Comics) – Lazarus goes to Duluth to win the war, as different plot lines begin to intersect.



Top Pick: Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight: Trade Paperback Vol 3: Slay Ride and Blood Lagoon (Dark Horse) – “Books like ‘Grindhouse’ were the reason the Comics Code was invented.” – creator Alex De Campi.

That’s a promise and a warning. De Campi absolutely delivers on grindhouse cinema gratification in comic book form– even better, it comes from a frankly female perspective on the genre. This series is messed up in all the RIGHT ways.

Each trade contains self-contained story arcs so you can pick up volume 3 even if you’ve never read the series before. In Volume 3 my entirely fictional girlfriend, Deputy Garcia is back with her motorcycle and eyepatch. I can’t wait!

Series creator Alex de Campi is our podcast guest next week!

Batgirl Annual #3 (DC Comics) – Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher art by Bengal, David Lafuente, Mingjue Helen Chen, Ming Doyle…. Look at that list of awesome writers and artists! Not only do we get Babs catching up with Dick Grayson but we also see her meet with Batwoman and the Gotham Academy kids! These are all of my favorite things in one place! It is a standalone story you can read even if you aren’t reading the new Batgirl series. But after reading this I’m sure you’ll want to.

Phoebe Gloeckner: Diary of a Teenage Girl (North Atlantic Books) – Considered one of the best graphic novels of last decade it’s probably time that you (and I) finally read it! Plus there’s a movie of it coming out soon and you don’t want to be called a “poser”, right? The book is a combination of prose and illustration reads like autobiography. The press release calls it “a dark story of sex and drugs in the life of a 1970s teenage girl.” You should read Sean T Collins review because I can’t do it justice till I read the book.

1602 Witch Hunter Angela #2 (Marvel) – This is the funniest series in Secret Wars and the prettiest too. Last issue we met Shakespeare, Marlowe and King James (Logan Howlett aka Wolverine) and other Faustians (aka people with superpowers). This issue Angela and Sera will meet “Ye Olde Guardians of the Galaxy.”


Mr. H

Top Pick: Thors #2 (Marvel Comics) – The case is heating up as the murder mystery of the Gods continues. Blood, Hammers, and Justice shalt be served!

Daredevil #17 (Marvel Comics) – The last days of The Man Without Fear? Could be. This creative team has been white hot so I know Matt is in good hands, but I want to see the payoff.

Red Sonja Vol.2 #17 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Red hot chick swinging a sword, as usual all over this one. The 1973 one shot gave me a rejuvenation for this title. Hope the momentum doesn’t wane.

Superman #42 (DC Comics) – I am actually enjoying the prelude to the “Truth” storyline a lot more than the actual crossover. I’m interested to see just what it was that made Lois out Clark’s ID to the world? This intrepid reporter needs some answers. By Rao, I need them now!

TMNT Ongoing #48 (IDW Publishing) – The Stockman Swarm, The Shredder and Karai all move in for the kill. How could this not be good?



Top Pick: Thors #2 (Marvel) – the first issue of this story was fantastic; a crime story following the ‘police’ of Battleworld, the Thors.  Law and Order meets Asgardian officers, working on the orders of Lord Doom to keep the peace, and the foundation of Battleworld, in one piece.  Excited for what happens next.

Top Pick: X-Men ’92 #2 (Marvel) – the first issue totally brought me back to Saturday mornings, watching Marvel’s merry mutants as most of us remember them, complete with colourful costumes and Wolverine and Cyclops sniping at each other.  I am looking forward to see more from Cassandra Nova and what her rehabilitation facility for mutants is really all about.

1602 Witch Hunter Angela #2 (Marvel) – This was a very interesting first issue, following Angela hunting ‘witchbreed’, which turns out to be mutants.  The second issue puts Angela on the path to see dire omens not come to pass, and also introduces use to “Ye olde Guardians of the Galaxy”.  Looking forward to this.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #8 (Marvel) – I am a huge fan of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tv show, and just as big a fan of the comic book treatment of the show.  It’s fun to see the tv agents paired up with various heroes from the Marvel universe an work together to solve the problem of the issue.  This issue has Agent May and Mockingbird setting out to kick some ass….sign me up!


Steven Attewell

Batgirl #42 (DC Comics) – despite not being remotely in the target demographic for this book, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of this series’ exploration of fame and identity.

Conan the Avenger #16 (Dark Horse) – Dark Horse’s Conan run has been one of the most consistently enjoyable comics for me in recent years (with the exception of that odd bit where Belit went to Cimmeria), so if given an option I’ll always pick one up.

Copperhead #9 (Image Comics) – Read the first trade of this unusual space-western/single-mom comic and really enjoyed the strange little world that Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski have thrown together, so I’ll keep following this story.

Rasputin #7 (Image Comics) – A really strange little gem, this series posits a revisionist history of the infamous Russian mystic in which Grigori Rasputin’s powers not only are quite real and extend to genuine resurrection and clairvoyancy, but he’s also secretly a prince in communion with the forces of Russian folklore.

Southern Bastards #10 (Image Comics) – having really enjoyed Scalped, I eagerly anticipated Jason Aaron’s new series. Took me a while to get into the first trade – something about the way Jason Latour draws mouths threw me off until I got used to it – but the second trade’s revelation of Coach Boss’ backstory was mesmerizing and made this a must-read for me.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Outcast01_CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in. Below are ten suggestions of comics, graphic novels, or trade paperbacks you should spend some extra time checking out.

Pick of the Week: Outcast #1 (Skybound/Image Comics) – Kyle Barnes has been plagued by demonic possession all his life and now he needs answers. Unfortunately, what he uncovers along the way could bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it. A double sized first issue from Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta.

All-New Ultimates #4 (Marvel) – Contributor Andrew has been going back and forth on whether to jump into this ensemble cast of first and second string heroes and he just so happens to pick the swimsuit special…

Conan The Avenger #3 (Dark Horse) – Fred Van Lente and Brian Ching have yet to let up on their Avenger series. They’ve taken a slightly smaller, but no less barbaric, Conan and effortlessly shown his transition from drunkard to witch hunter to mercenary.

King Conan The Conqueror #5 (Dark Horse) – For our second Conan pick of the week, it has to be Tim Truman’s nearly-finished, exceptional Conqueror adaptation. In a classic Conan piece, he shows an aged King of Aquilonia tell the story of his rise to the throne to an incredulous scribe.

Letter 44 #7 (Oni Press) – Charles Soule’s masterful mix of politics and science fiction has been a hell of a ride so far, and few writers are able to pack in so much in every single issue.

The Midas Flesh #7 (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – The fantastic series has hit it out of the park with each and every issue. Though it might have a cartoonish look, the subject is pretty heavy. Such a fantastic series and amazing start for BOOM! Box.

Ms. Marvel #5 (Marvel) – Easily one of the best debuts of the year and absolutely one of the best new characters to debut in some time. Hopefully the new Ms. Marvel has a hell of a shelf-life.

Saga #20 (Image Comics) – Did you read the last issue!? That last page alone makes this a buy.

Savage Hulk #1 (Marvel) – We’re suckers for first issues, and this looks like a fun read. Writer/artist Alan Davis is a one-man-band on this series…definitely worth a look.

Trees #2 (Image Comics) – Warren Ellis is hit and miss, and this series is an absolute hit. The first issue was a fantastic debut, and we expect no less from the second.

Review: Conan the Avenger #1 (Shadows Over Kush Part One)

24691Wired recently published a fantastic article about which X-Men comics to read after seeing this weekend’s blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past. It is a highly recommended piece, because breaking into comics can be a daunting task (the DC Universe has multiple earths). It got me thinking about the Conan universe though, and I realized that Dark Horse Comics does an exceptional job of allowing new readers into the Cimmerian’s world. By publishing shorter runs, adapting fan-favorite novels, and mixing in new material, Dark Horse makes breaking and entering relatively painless.

Writer Fred Van Lente and artist Brian Ching‘s new series Conan the Avenger: Shadows Over Kush is no exception. We find a slightly slimmer, but equally brooding, Conan in Shumballa drowning his sorrows of a lost love in the bottom of a goblet. While almost at rock bottom (literally), he meets a Witch Hunter, Agara, hellbent on finding the soul responsible for hexing the birth of a noblewoman. Agara’s trail to the evildoer mistakenly leads to Conan…a battle indubitably ensues.

While I’ve become accustomed to Timothy Truman and Tomas Giorello‘s gold standard, this new pair is a welcomed addition to the Conan family. Van Lente takes Robert E. Howard‘s nearly century-old unpublished work, and brings a broken Conan back from the edge. Couple a haunted barbarian with Ching’s gritty sketches, and the path to Kush will undoubtedly be paved in glory and bodies. Not to get ahead of myself, and cover art aside (underwhelming for a new series), but Part Two equally matches the strength of the debut issue. It becomes evident that Conan and Agara’s quarrel  is against a more sinister force.

Are there two sets of X-Men in the same time period? Which Robin is this? Unraveling the Marvel and DC worlds can be paralyzing, even for the most ardent fans. Fear not, if you are looking for a compelling script, vivid illustrations, and a perfect starting point…Conan the Avenger is it.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Brian Ching
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

BUNKER-3Each week hundreds of comics are released and flood stores shelves. That’s a lot to go over and choose what’s worthy of your dollars. Well don’t worry! The Graphic Policy team is here to help you narrow down what comics to pick up each week. Check out below for our top ten this week (and believe me, it could have easily been a top 25 there are that many good comics coming out).

Top Pick: The Bunker #3 (Oni Press) – Joshua Hale Fialkov’s and Joe Infurnari’s mystery comic had a hell of an ending in its second issue. There’s no other comic that has us glued to it awaiting the next chapter. The story of friends who find out they bring about the apocalypse, and if their decision as to how to proceed is gripping, and trippy at the same time. This series is going to explode beyond the comics page, and I expect eventually it’ll become a hit beyond the comic market, it’s that good. Get on board now, while you can find issues (if you can)!
24 #1 (IDW Publishing) – Jack is back! Before the hit show returns to Fox this May, get caught up with Jack’s adventures in comic form.

Conan the Avenger #1 (Dark Horse) – Fred Van Lente takes up the reigns of Conan after Brian Woods’ epic run. With the love of his life dead and the warrior dead inside, where does Conan go from here?

Elektra #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s All-New Marvel NOW! initiative has been bringing the awesome, especially when its come to its female led series. We expect no less from this debut issue that focuses in on the deadly assassin.

Evil Empire #2 (BOOM! Studios) – How does a society slide into evil? This series from Max Bemis attempts to answer that question. That ending of the first issue was amazing, and this second issue should be just as shocking.

Justice League United #0 (DC Comics) – Jeff Lemire takes the reigns of what was the Justice League International and moves them North. Lemire is an amazing storyteller and what he does with this team should be impressive. DC has been rocky lately, but this series will likely be one everyone is talking about.

Letter 44 #6 (Oni Press) – I’m pretty sure every week has a release from writer Charles Soule right now. This creator-owned series follows two stories, a President who has learned that alien life might exist and a possible threat by them exists in space, as well as the astronauts investigating that threat. It’s political sci-fi and it is awesome.

The Midas Flesh #5 (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – BOOM! has been kicking ass lately and this series is an example of that. From their BOOM! Box imprint, this sci-fi adventure stars a diverse cast attempting to stop an evil empire by finding an ultimate weapon.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #28 (IDW Publishing) – The Dawn of the Autobots debuted last week, and this is the second chapter of the post Dark Cybertron Transformers world. No fan of Transformers should miss this one.

The Walking Dead #126 (Image Comics/Skybound) – This is it! After the shocking conclusion of last issue, how does All Out War conclude? We’ll find out here!