Mind Capsules – Conan the Slayer #1 and Birthright #17

Conan the Slayer #1
Conan the Slayer #1

Writer – Cullen Bunn
Artist – Sergio Dávila
Colours – Michael Atiyeh
Letters – Richard Starkings & Comicraft

Conan returns in a new series courtesy of Cullen Bunn and Sergio Dávila and it finds the man in a bad way.  Despite the look of him and no matter how wounded he is, Conan has a will made of stone and iron, forged by Crom himself and what would put a normal man down is but an annoyance for one such as he.  So it is that when attacked by some Turanians, they know not what they bargained for as Conan is like a wounded lion and he will fight back if provoked.  When all is said and done, none of the Turanians live to tell any tales and after trekking a little while longer comes across a camp of Kozack Raiders and finds himself promptly captured.  Bunn is right on point with his writing with Conan sounding like he should and the series having a very grand, yet classic feel to it.  Bunn writes a lot of books per month and there was a slight worry that the story might suffer if he was stretched too thin.  Thankfully, this is actually one of the strongest works to come from him in the last few months and it shows on each and every page.  The story is a good one, if nothing remarkable as of yet and it will be interesting to see where it leads, especially with the introduction of new supporting character Mykylo, not to mention his children who seem formidable themselves.  On this quest with Bunn is Sergio Dávila who compliments his work perfectly, also drawing Conan perfectly, his classic look intact, though maybe not quite as brawny as some make him out to be.  Add to that the beautiful colours provided by Richard Starkings and Comicraft and the artwork really pops off the page making for one of the best Conan books Dark Horse has released of late.  For the moment, it seems as if Conan is haunted by recent events and yet, Mykylo sees something in him other than the obvious and thus the reason he is keeping him around instead of having him killed.  It surprises Conan a little, but he is grateful nonetheless.  Knowing how Bunn can tell both big sweeping epics and great character pieces, it looks like Conan is in good hands for the moment and whatever is in store for him, should be quite good.

4 out of 5

Birthright #17
Birthright #17

Writer – Joshua Williamson
Artist – Andrei Bressan
Colours – Adriano Lucas
Letters – Pat Brousseau

Tensions are high in the book of late, perhaps due to the fact that Mikey who came as the hunter back to Earth is now the hunted and everyone he knows and loves is now on the line with him in one form or another.  At the moment, two of the wizards he was sent to slay, Enoch and Sameal, are having a conversation about handing him over to the group of mages with the latter being his grandfather.  The fact that Mikey is an agent of Lore at the moment is not making things any easier and unknown to them; the Nevermind has exited Mikey and is now attacking Brennan and his dad.  Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan continue to put our heroes through their paces and making everything as hard as possible for them.  While there are many things going on including the battle deep below in Sameal’s fortress between Brennan and the Nevermind, Rya starting to go into labour and nobody knowing what to do, the more interesting part of everything is the conversation between Sameal and Enoch.  It is here we finally get to know more about the mysterious men and their brethren, what they did in Terrenos and why they came to Earth.  It is all a bit exciting, yet at the same time filled with tension as you know that there will be a confrontation between the two men, friends or not.  Why the two would fight over such without coming to some sort of arrangement like shipping Mikey back to Terrenos or whatever is a little strange, but such as it is, they are going to do what they have to.  Perhaps with the advent of Brennan’s magical powers, now seemingly fully realized at the end of the book, maybe it will shake things up and everything will go in a different direction.  With some spectacular artwork from Bressan once again and a storyline that continues to be as captivating as it ever was, Birthright is a must-read each and every month.

4 out of 5

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