Conan the Barbarian 2099 #1
The year is 2099 and Conan the Barbarian is a very long way from home.
The best thing about Conan is that you can tell a million different types of stories with him. They can be set in the Hyborean Age, modern times, or even the future of 2099, and they all totally work. This story works, but not quite as well as I’d hoped. I was very excited to see Conan interact with the world of 2099, but I didn’t quite get that. I saw him IN 2099, I just didn’t see him in 2099. Overall, the story is saved by it’s ending and what the future holds for the future. Since this is a one-shot, I’m not sure we’ll get to see Conan again after this, time-wise speaking, but I really hope we do because the story really heats up just when it ends.
Writer Gerry Duggan is pro who tells some pretty fantastic stories, that’s part of why I was so excited to read this book. As I stated previously, you can set Conan in any time or environment and he works, the problems mostly come in getting him into a different age. Duggan handles that task pretty easily. He makes it to 2099 just fine. The first problem comes just a few pages into the book when Conan starts acting balls-out crazy for no reason. Actually there IS a reason, but Duggan doesn’t tell the reader until a few pages after. The entertainment value of those pages would’ve been 100% more entertaining if the reader was in on it, instead we’re reading “crazy Conan” for awhile and instead of coming across funny or provocative, it comes off as sad. As if we’re reading about a Conan who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Also, I wanted to see Conan in the world of 2099. Technically I got that. But he hardly interacts at all with he world around him. He has one of two confrontations with people, but you never get to see him deal with technology or the transportation issue or anything else from 2099, which I kind of thought was the whole premise of this huge storyline.
Fortunately this is a comic book and they feature art, and the art in this book is fabulous. Artist Roge Antonio really knows his way around a page. He blends the primitive look of Conan perfectly with the sci-fi world of 2099. There are a couple of flashbacks to Conan’s rightful time, and those look amazing as well. Antonio is a very talented artist and even though he’s a been in the business for a decade, I really think that he’s hitting his stride, and I mean the stride that takes him from star to superstar. He’s starting as artist for the regular Conan series in February, and after seeing these pages, I can’t wait! In his Conan, we get more than just an anatomy class, we get a barbarian with a certain character to his body. That unique way that everyone holds themselves. The reason that when you see a dark figure coming towards you, you can always tell it’s your best friend just by the way they’re walking. Overall, a very solid artist.
Even though I harped on the writing, this book is still a lot of fun. It's a really good Conan story in a very unfamiliar setting and some really fantastic art. Worth both your time and money.
Conan the Barbarian 2099 #1: You Can Never Go Home Again
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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