Sunday, July 3, 2011

Comic Review: Conan: The Hand of Nergal

    A major visual break from the previous volumes, The Hand of Nergal shows how much difference a colorist can make.  Instead of the painterly look of the previous volume, this looks more like stills from a 70s cartoon, like Wizards or Heavy Metal.  It feels less epic, and in a lot of ways, more like the 70s comic than I like. 

    As far as the writing, it’s not bad, but didn’t wow me, either.  The story is very, very grim, and manages to wrap up several subplots that had been circling around Conan for some time, with varying degrees of satisfaction.  Another thing about this volume is there’s really not much going on.  It doesn’t say “and Other Stories” in the title, because the whole thing is the one tale of an evil wizard and a hoard of nasty undead. 

    All in all, this is the weakest volume so far.  I can say that at the time of writing this, I’m a good chunk of the way through the next volume, and things have improved quite a bit.  And I do like Giorello’s penciling.  I think it’s just the coloring that detracts from the overall look of this book.  If you’ve been reading the previous volumes, you will want to check this out because of how it wraps up a bunch of loose threads.  And honestly, a first time reader could pick this volume up without too much difficulty.  I just wouldn’t recommend it.

Conan: Volume 6: The Hand of Nergal
Author: Timothy Truman
Artist: Tomas Giorello
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
ISBN:  978-1-59582-178-2
Pages: 152

Previous Conan Reviews:

Volume 0: Born on the Battlefield
Volume 1: The Frost Giant's Daughter
Volume 2: The God in the Bowl
Volume 3: The Tower of the Elephant
Volume 4: The Hall of the Dead
Volume 5: Rogues in the House


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