The Archives: Conan, Vol. 0: Born on the Battlefield

This is a great example of how a book can be much better in trade than in single issues. I have always loved Conan as a character and I was very excited when I heard about the new Dark Horse book. I stayed on the book for quite a while, but I bailed near the end of the series. It was just too annoying for my brain to have to keep up with all these different stories. This was one of them. This trade collects issues 0, 8, 15, 23, 32, 45, and 46. I just can’t remember what happened in a story I read a year ago can you? Recently though, after reading issue 0 of the new Conan series, I was Conan inspired again. I picked up all the trades of the series and am having a blast!

This story comes to you from the brilliance of Kurt Busiek and Greg Ruth. I loved this story! I recently read Greg Pak’s Skaar Son of Hulk. I complained because there was a young Skaar introduced, and then by the end of the issue he was an adult. I thought Pak missed out on a lot of good storytelling opportunities like what is included in this book for example! This book presents the early days of Conan. From being a child to being a teenager.

This covers certain important early events in the barbarian’s life which are entertaining and at times emotional. I’m not usually a big coming of age fan, but I guess it’s awesome when it’s Conan style! Greg Ruth’s art is very stylized and I could see some people disliking it for its obscurity. But I thought it was an interesting look at Conan. I guess he usually draws horror stories which makes a lot of sense when you see it, but I thought he drew a fine Conan. And let’s not forget the masterful writing of Busiek. Who makes us love and hate characters we are barely familiar with. This book provided so many emotional ties and action scenes for the perfect blend that should be tasted when reading any sword and sandal type book. Man I loved this!

*****

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