Conan The Barbarian #19 begins a new arc in Marvel’s Age of Conan titled “Land of The Lotus.” It is written by Jim Zub, pencils by Cory Smith, inks by Roberto Poggi, colors by Israel Silva, and letters by VC’s Travis Lanham.
In the previous issue, Conan was drunk with power and consumed by the madness of the demon blade Tooth of The Nightstar. After finally breaking the trance and freeing himself of its corrupt influence, he begins to flee the lands in which such horrific acts were committed under the power of the blade, only to be captured and detained by soldiers.
Conan The Barbarian #19 shows our powerful Cimmerian held prisoner for eight days by the jurisdiction of the kingdom Khitai soldiers. Caged like a dog and abused by the soldiers, Conan endures the torture. He cannot prove the blade once wielded a powerful demonic spirit, and the soldiers believe him to be a thief who stole a precious weapon.
While detained, Conan is approached by a beautiful scholar named Meiwei, who wishes to know more of the Cimmerian’s story. She listens to Conan’s side of the story while also informing him of the Kingdom’s situations and why they are carrying prisoners to execution. While they are talking, the camp is ambushed by Silver apes that kill several soldiers. As one ape brings down his meteor fist toward Meiwei, Conan extends his arm through the cage to grab a spear and kills the ape, showing Meiwei that he has good intentions. Persuaded by his act of heroism, she grabs a dead guard’s keys and lets him escape, leaving with him.
Now that Conan is free and Meiwei has fled with him, they are both high-value targets that the Kingdom will be hunting at all costs.
Jim Zub, who is a walking Conan Historian, is truly the best fit for the book. With this being the beginning of a new arc, I enjoyed his pacing and ability to resolve one situation while also creating intrigue for future issues. The way he contrasts his narration and the actual dialogue Conan has is a great contrast that allows you to appreciate both properly. The interactions are organic, and nothing about this book feels out of place, which only further cements my belief that Zub is the standard for Conan writing.
Smith on pencils and Poggi’s inking is a godsend. I noticed a lot of heavier tones in this issue, which makes sense. The story takes place either in a cage or in the middle of a jungle in the rain, so the tones matched that, but also the linework and deep inky shadows on Conan really make the character stand out on the page. Coupled with the color palette that Silva used makes for an immersive and realistic experience. The bright reds surrounding the action sequences explode in contrast to the bleak greens and blacks of the rainy jungle. The letters were also very minimalist during action sequences, allowing the art to take the reins. But in the dialogue, they shine through by being clear and perfectly placed.
As always, the team behind Conan The Barbarian has crafted an experience in this issue. It’s an excellent beginning to a new arc, with resolutions of previous issues and staging the future obstacles Conan will have to overcome. Now that Conan has Meiwei alongside him, how will he manage the chaos in his life while also defending an innocent scholar? Unless there is more to her than we know! This reviewer is genuinely excited to continue this series.
Conan The Barbarian #19 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Conan The Barbarian #19
It’s an excellent beginning to a new arc, with resolutions of the previous issues and staging the future obstacles Conan will have to overcome. Now that Conan has Meiwei alongside him, how will he manage the chaos in his life while also defending an innocent scholar? Unless there is more to her than we know! This reviewer is genuinely excited to continue this series.