Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wonder Woman/Conan #6 Review and Spoilers


Murder of Crows

Written by: Gail Simone
Art by: Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan
Colours by: Wendy Broome
Letters by: Saida Temofonte
Published by: DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Approaching this final issue of Wonder Woman/Conan is a decidedly bitter-sweet experience. The series has been generally excellent and, with Marvel having reacquired the license to everyone's favourite barbarian, further adventures featuring these two characters looks rather unlikely. A shame, but let's not dwell on what may or may not be, eh? There's a city to save and crow-goddesses to defeat. Let's hope Conan can figure out what on earth he's meant to do with that mystically glowing lasso…


Well, we'll have to wait a bit first, because the issue opens in Themyscira and a somewhat glum Diana who feels very much as if she's just run away from a battle that she really shouldn't have. Her mother, of course, disagrees, but writer Gail Simone makes it crystal clear that this is one of those occasions when listening to mother is actually a bad idea. Diana swearing to Hippolyta that she won't go back to the distant Hyborean past is a jarring moment, which feels all the more so when, over the page, the city of Shamar is ringed by bestial and undead warriors, its very existence hanging in the balance.




Our as yet unidentified narrator helpfully informs us of the disposition of the Corvidae's forces before Conan appears on the title page in all his savage glory. Facing impossible odds, deserted by Diana and the other Amazons, this is the grimmest and most brutal we've seen Conan in this story so far. He slashes, slices, decapitates and generally indulges in full-blooded slaughter in a series of gloriously violent panels from Lopresti and Ryan. Our narrator, however, reminds us that, impressive though it is, it is still futile. The Corvidae's forces are simply too numerous and time is running out. It's a good job that Conan is cunning as well as vicious, then.

Cleverly, he makes the Corvidae an offer they simply can't refuse. Inveterate gamblers, they can't resist Conan's offer of a wager on the outcome of a one on one combat. Needless to say they're represented by the biggest, hardest crow warrior we've seen so far and, once again, the art team do a phenomenal job of showing just how physically mismatched Conan is. Towering over Conan and with a reach at least half as much again as Conan's, this thing is not only ugly but horribly dangerous.

Not for the first time this series, Simone reveals herself to be a master (mistress?) of pacing. Some swift mini-scenes of Artemis talking to Diana on Themyscira, and Kian (the repentant gambler who started this mess in the first place) finding unexpected reserves of courage, while a Corvidae battering ram starts to splinter the gates of the city, interrupt the fight, ratcheting up the tension that little bit further. When Conan finally figures out how to use that lasso, it's a wonderful (no pun intended – oh, alright, maybe just a little!) punch-the-air moment. But, it's not the end of things – not by a long shot.




Having determined that Conan had cheated by using the lasso, the Corvidae decide to wipe out the city despite his victory and it's then that Wonder Woman and her crack team of Amazons show up. There are so many great moments in this issue that it's difficult to pick favourites, but Diana's "Make me proud!" line is just perfect on so many levels. It's such a simple line, but it conveys Diana's authority and confidence in her sisters beautifully and I swear it gave me goosebumps.

And there's more to come. Kian has a chance to shine, the mystery of Yanna is finally cleverly solved and the Corvidae get their due. If certain aspects of this story's resolution feel a little bit rushed, I'm prepared to give Simone and the team the benefit of the doubt. There is simply so much to tie up at the end of this story and, on the whole, it's all resolved satisfactorily (including the identity of our mystery narrator) and in a hugely entertaining way. Lopresti's art maintains the high standard established earlier on in the series and Simone's script is witty, clever, warm and extremely appealing. There are plenty of emotional moments here and plenty to get excited about.

Bits and Pieces:

An excellent ending to an excellent series, this issue takes a deep breath in its first few pages before plunging headlong into a series of moments that are drenched in drama. Not only does the issue wrap up a number of mysteries and plot threads, but it also packs an emotional wallop that left this reviewer at least extremely satisfied. The art of Lopresti and Ryan is dynamic, clear and powerful, telling the story in a fluid, breathtaking manner that delivers some real heroic highs. If you're even only moderately interested in either of the two main characters, this is a series that you simply must read.


9/10


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3 comments:

  1. As always, great review, Jeremy! I really liked the resolution of the Yanna storyline; and the fact that Conan didn't mope or act bitter. It really showed character. And the reveal of the narrator was also so nicely done. Excellent series overall, with a satisfying conclusion. I can't recommend this highly enough for anyone even remotely interested in Conan, Wonder Woman, or a good comic series in general. Excellent art, pacing, dialogue and plot.
    I think 9 is a good score for this issue; I rate the series as a whole at 9.5 or 10.

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  2. Seems like Crossover Corner is closing down for a little while. Haven't seen any crossovers with different comic companies coming soon.

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    1. No, you're right. I was hoping for a follow-up Planet of the Apes/GL series, but nothing seems to be happening on that front. This one has been the best I've read so far, though.

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