THE CIMMERIAN: RED NAILS #1 Review - Conan Unleashed
• Various (Cover Artists) • Ablaze (Publisher)
• Get it Now from Green Brain Comics
I'm a fan of Conan The Barbarian. I love the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie from the early '80s but I'm not as familiar with the comics aside from an adventure here and there. Nothing has ever grabbed me as the movie did.
I'm assuming Cimmerian: Red Nails is being pulled out of the public domain as the character is currently being published by Marvel Comics across multiple books. I'm not sure if the trend will continue but "The Cimmerian" is probably the best Conan comic I've read in decades.
The story seems pretty organic for the character. Conan is on a mission to Darfar, a heavily forested area populated with strange creatures. Along the way, he meets a fellow warrior Valera. They banter back and forth a bit but are cut short by a Dragon's approach.
The comic covers a lot of ground quickly but never feels like it's rushing things. Lore is established and the action sequences are varied and dynamic. The fight with the dragon is amazing and establish Conan as more than just a brutish warrior. He's cunning, brave as well as an excellent strategist. The locales are also varied. The comic starts in a forest before ending up in a city populated by savages.
The scenario isn't deep but seems true to Robert E. Howard's vision for the character. This take on Conan also feels definitive. Valeria also works as a companion and I could totally see a spinoff series spotlighting her. She looks great and seems just as competent as Conan. You know she'll eventually fall for the barbarian's charm but he'll have to work for it.
Oliver and Didier's art is simply gorgeous. The colors are lush and the varied locales work to make the comic feel a lot bigger than it actually is. The structure also keeps the issue interesting. Nothing is ever boring and new elements are introduced on every page. This version is very different from the Conan currently being published by Conan and is closer to the magazines that were published in the '70s and '80s. The only thing missing from the comic was a stray boob, but you know it's coming.
If you're a fan of the character or just want something different than Marvel books this publishing, Red Nails is definitely worth your time. Conan is a pulp hero so there is only so much you can do with him but with that knowledge going in this book is a lot of fun and can't miss fantasy adventure.
Bonus: Conan (2007) - Cutscene Movie