Comic Book Review – Conan and the People of the Black Circle #3

Conan and the People of the Black Circle #3
Written by: Fred Van Lente
Art by: Ariel Olivetti

By Crom! I really wish it were more acceptable to toss around “By Crom!” in everyday language. I’d use it all the time. At the grocery store, on the phone at work, when scolding my kids. It’s perfect for pretty much any situation really. But I digress.

Conan and the People of the Black Circle is yet another in a long line of Dark Horse mini-series featuring our favorite Cimmerian. I’ve read a lot of Conan in my day, from all the Howard novels to most of the old Marvel series to pretty much every issue Dark Horse has produced. I can honestly say that on some level I have loved them all. And I can say the same for this series as well, even if it’s mediocre at best.

I won’t spend any time on the plot. If you’ve ever read ANY Conan at all you’ll know it will consist of the following; a beautiful woman in distress, multiple conflicting groups of local tribes and warlords, an evil sorcerer, possibly a monster and/or demon, and Conan. Van Lente does a decent enough job of adapting the original Howard story with his dialogue, although I’ve always thought Busiek writes the best modern Conan for the money. I did get a little lost with the metric ton of competing factions and minor characters though. You can gloss over nearly all of the supporting cast and not miss any of the main story. The real star of this series, however, is Olivetti’s art. I’ve always loved his stuff from the first time I saw his work on Cable. His style is absolutely perfect for Conan in every way, from his depiction of our favorite Barbarian and his growling facial expressions, the vast landscapes, the voluptuous woman, and his special effects are fantastic. Quite a bit of his work has a Frazetta-esque feel, and that is definitely a good thing.

Should you buy Conan and the People of the Black Circle? If you’ve never read any Conan before, it’s a great snapshot of what his universe is all about without throwing too much at you. If you’re a die-hard Conan fan then you’d probably only buy this for the stellar art and serviceable story. Perhaps trade waiting this one would be best.

Score 4 (out of 7) By Crom, I think it’s time for a cheeseburger.

What did you think about Conan? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a Tweet (@lanzajr26)

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Frank Lanza

The old man around these parts. X-Fan, indie-fan, lover of pretty much all things geek.

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