Script: Timothy Truman
Artist: Tomas Giorello
Color Artist: Jose Villarrubia
Publisher: Dark Horse
King Conan: The Hour Of The Dragon seems to be one of those rare books that come along every once in awhile that everyone seems to rave about. The thing that sets it apart from most of those books is that, at least in my opinion, King Conan deserves that level of praise.
The series is the first, that I am aware of, that is an Officially Licensed adaptation of an original Robert E. Howard Conan story. With a script by Timothy Truman that blends beautifully with artist Tomas Giorello and color artist Jose Villarrubia’s brilliant panel layout and amazing action packed artwork as well as Richard Starking & Comicraft’s appropriate lettering, King Conan does not disappoint in bringing Howard’s incredible story to life.
Issue 3 continues the story with a dialogue box in the words of older King Conan telling his scribe, Pramis the tale of how he met his wife Zenobia. The first page is action packed from the jump, with Conan and his future wife tangling with a man-eating gray ape in the dungeon of King Tarascus. The ape and Conan struggle as Zenobia is thrown aside in the melee. The next few pages display an intense and suspenseful battle between Conan and the ape as the older Conan’s dialogue boxes give us a play by play of the action.
Conan realizing that the ape is stronger and faster than he imagined is nearly losing the battle when Zenobia comes to the aid of the barbarian king for the second time in the story by stabbing the ape with a shard of bone, distracting the beast long enough for Conan to turn the battle in his favor. As Conan and Zenobia make their escape, we switch to the sleep chamber of Xaltotun, the resurrected wizard that helped Tarascus decimate Conan’s army and take him captive. The dialogue boxes switch to Zenobia’s voice at this point as she is explaining to Conan that Tarascus does not truly trust the wizard and has secretly returned to his castle to steal the ancient jewel he believes to be the source of Xaltotun’s power while the wizard trips out on lotus from Stygia. We then see a panel of Tarascus’ thief stealing the sacred jewel as Xaltotun sleeps. Conan realizes he may have underestimated Tarascus’ intelligence.
As Zenobia urges Conan to hurry along her pre-planned escape route, Conan hears the voices of men coming from a nearby room and can’t resist peeking in. As he suspects Tarascus is back and plotting with his men. Conan hulks out and goes in for the kill, chaos ensues and Conan is forced to flee the scene.
Will Conan make his way out? Is Zenobia playing both sides? Or is she some part of Tarascus’ twisted plans? Do yourself a favor and pick up King Conan: The Hour Of The Dragon part 3 and find out! In my opinion King Conan is THE best Conan comic ever made and one of the best comic series in general that I have read in a long time. That’s why I am giving it my highest possible recommendation and my highest possible score.
5 out of 5 nerds