King Conan is a fine enough Conan comic, I suppose. Timothy Truman has the lingo down, Tomás Giorello and José Villarrubia do well on the art. It’s moody while still appropriately classical.
But it’s just a Conan comic. It’s a pretty one, in line with the other pretty Dark Horse Conan comics, lots of romanticism and heroism. I love how Conan’s not necessarily a good guy but he’s a moral one, which goes far.
The problem’s Truman’s plotting. He’s adapting a novel, presumably faithfully, but he’s done little to make it a dynamic reading experience in the comic book form. There’s a very nice double-page spread and some of the panels are well-done, but the narrative doesn’t compel.
The bookends might be part of the problem. Truman’s playing dangers to Conan without winking at the idea he might get killed. No one has a stake in anything here.
The Black Hand of Set; writer, Timothy Truman; artist, Tomás Giorello; colorist, José Villarrubia; letterer, Richard Starkings; editors, Everett Patterson and Philip R. Simon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.