Conan The Slayer #7
Released by: Dark Horse Comics
Released on: March 22nd, 2017.
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by: Sergio Davila
Purchase From Amazon
“Conan has killed the traitor Kyrylo, murderer of his own father, the Kozak hetman. But Conan could not save young Taraslan, Kyrylo’s brother and inheritor of their father’s mantle. Left vulnerable and leaderless, the Kozaks are attacked by Turanian assassins under cover of darkness during Taraslan’s funeral. As Taraslan’s body burns, the Kozak camp becomes a battlefield. Conan fights savagely alongside the Kozaks and finally faces the leader of the assassins. Suddenly, a figure rises from the flames—impossibly, it is the blazing spirit of Taraslan, who takes vengeance upon the enemy leader, burning the Turanian to cinders before disappearing back into the fire. Seeing their former leader’s intervention as an endorsement of Conan, the Kozaks acclaim the Cimmerian as their new hetman!”
This issue begins at the remote island of Xapur. Though uninhabited, the island contains ruins of a prehistoric kingdom dating back long before Hyborian rule. The island rarely has visitors, but on this night things are a bit different. The pirates of Vilayet are here, waiting for Conan, the new leader of the Kozaks, so that they can discuss their mutual problem – Turan. The leader of these pirates is Sorella, his men are called The Reavers. He’s chosen this cursed island as a meeting place because there is no one here to listen in as they talk of killing the Turanians.
Elsewhere, a ship sails across the Vilayet Sea, wind filling its purple sails. It’s a supply ship, a trader’s vessel, one that was very familiar with this route – but when a ship with no markings and no lanterns approached, they knew they were done for. Sorella’s archers make short work of the sailors as Conan watches from the pirate ship’s bow. These Turanians aren’t going down without a fight though, and Conan himself gets involved in the melee when it’s time to board. The scuffle takes him into the hull where he discovers the ship’s cargo – a massive ape, now freed by Conan and looking to exact revenge on those who caged it in the first place, and anyone else it comes into contact with for that matter!
This seventh issue takes the storyline in a new direction, bringing Conan out into the land of pirates. He’s been there before, of course, but not yet in this storyline at least. Now the de facto leader of what’s left of the Kozakis, we’ll see how long his alliance with Sorella and his motley crew can last. For this issue, it certainly seems to be mutually beneficial but anyone even remotely familiar with our barbarian’s exploits knows that these things have an uncanny way of changing over time. For now, it’s interesting. The opening scene where Conan and his men meet Sorella and the others has a good mix of suspense and even some effective humor. Once things get afloat in the sea, however, it’s all about the action and on that level the issue delivers. Throwing a giant monkey into the mix was an odd choice on Bunn’s part, but somehow it works even if it doesn’t sound like it should.
The artwork, handled in this issue by Sergio Davila, scores high marks. There’s a lot of great detail in each panel and the way that the ruins are illustrated in the opening pages is impressive as well. The action scenes flow nicely and thankfully the mighty ape never comes across as cartoonish but instead as an actual threat. Michael Atiyeh’s coloring work is spot on and helps bring the pencils to vibrant life. This issue also contains an ‘Adventures Of Two Gun Bob’ one pager and an impressive cover piece.