Script – Fred Van Lente
Art – Ariel Olivetti
Publisher – Dark Horse Comics
Conan created by Robert E. Howard
We start issue four with Conan, Kerim Shah, and his men advancing on the black peak of Yimsha. As Shah’s men defend against the magic of the Seers, Conan and Kerim Shah push forward and force the retreat of some the acolytes of the temple. Conan suggests that they follow the cowards (Conan’s words). After an awesome panel of barbarian sword slashing bloody goodness, Conan and Kerim come upon the Master of Yimsha.
The Master, looking very much like Emperor Palpatine, turns Shah’s archer’s arrow into a deadly snake that kills the man. Their way barred by a magic barrier, Conan and Kerim find another way.
Almost immediately, Shah’s men come under the spell of the Seers and sacrifice themselves right in front of Conan and Kerim Shah. Conan, remembering what Khemsa said, smashes the magic globe in the room, effectively ending the Seers.
The two men are then greeted by the Master of Yimsha himself, who promptly uses magic to tear Kerim Shah’s heart out of his chest and flees. Conan, while giving chase comes upon the Devi Yasmin being guarded by a giant purple cobra. Conan gives the snake the old Barbarian What Have You and rescues The Devi.
Outside Conan and Yasmina discover that both of their people are fighting on the mountain. When thousands of soldiers of Vendhya show up Conan and Yasmina come up with a way to keep both their forces alive as a leftover priest of Yimsha attacks the pair in giant Vulture form. Conan quickly dispatches the shape shifting creature and rides to his men.
I hate to repeat myself in these reviews, but what else can I say when a book is this fantastic on all fronts?
The art by Ariel Olivetti is some of the most mind blowing panel work you will ever see and Fred Van Lente’s adaptation of this classic Howard material is as good as it gets! I highly recommend this to fans of Conan, the sword and sorcery genre and to fans of fantasy artwork. I can’t say enough good things about what Dark Horse and the Robert E. Howard Estate are doing with the first 2 of hopefully many Conan adaptations. Here’s hoping for more in the future!
I give Conan and the People of the Black Circle a well deserved…
5 out of 5 nerds