Conan the Barbarian has been around for decades, the first and best-known of the barbarian hero characters.
Dark Horse has the rights to his comic book adventures right now from the looks of things, explaining why they published Conan and the Songs of the Dead.
Besides the fact that this is a very adult tale (there’s a topless female Djinn floating around at one point), and Conan seems inclined to make jokes (something that might seem out of character for him), this was largely a fun, if standard, Conan story. Conan is making his way through the desert one day when he encounters a friend, a talkative pirate-adventurer named Alvazar, buried up to his neck for the crime of theft. Conan comes to find Alvazar is part of a quest for a wizard, one that the wizard did not inform Alvazar enough about, but it could bring the two of them a good deal of gold, so Conan decides to get involved.
Or not. Conan and Alvazar both don’t care much for the wizard’s ways, and both would just assume avoid everything, but they keep getting sucked in. The two have a good chemistry, and I like the humor here, even though Conan might not normally be a joker type, he tends towards insulting Alvazar as his primary method of getting a joke in, and I am fine with that.
All told, it may not have been a particularly noteworthy story were it not for the creators behind it. Writer Joe R. Lansdale can create a hell of a good story, and artist Tim Truman does some great work here. Their contributions lift the story a bit to get it eight out of ten inverted rat people.
By the by, this is the second month in a row when I got a book that had really bad binding. This one wasn’t really attached to its cover.
NEXT BOOK: Oh, this looks sad. It’s the comic book adaptation of Rogue One. Not new adventures with the characters from that movie. A retelling of the movie. Oh well. Marvel books tend to act as tie ins to other stuff anyway and there is a new Star Wars movie out right now…