King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon (Anglais) Broché – 13 mai 2014
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There will, hopefully, be a sequel or two as the story ends only partway through REH's novella, but I'm more impressed by this edition than anything I've seen since Barry Windsor Smith left long ago and that is high praise indeed.
Truman has been writing and adapting Conan stories for quite some time now, and with THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON, he pulls out all the stops, giving the reader a thoroughly entertaining adaptation of Howard's novel - or the first half of it, at least. Normally, I'd complain that a writer was taking 12 issues to adapt this story, but Truman's attention to detail, while maintaining a steady pace, was amazing. I've read the original novel numerous times, as well as adaptations in comic format, but that didn't matter. Truman kept my attention from the first page, and when I reached the end of the sixth chapter, I was dying to read more, even though I know exactly what happens next.
Giorello... honestly, what needs to be said? This guy was born to illustrate Conan. Especially effective is the framing sequence of the story, featuring a Conan well into his sixties: gray-haired, bearded, wrinkled, and covered with scars. Even Conan's depiction in the main story looks older than usual. The supporting characters are easily differentiated, settings are carefully rendered, and details abound - this is no rush job. Also, Giorello doesn't hold back during the more violent scenes of the story, with plenty of crushed skulls, dismemberment, and splattered blood to offend the squeamish. Of course, colorist José Villarrubia gives every scene just the right touch.
While Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord were a dream team on Conan, Truman and Giorello have more than proven themselves with the character, and I would be happy with these guys on Conan ad infinitum, especially if we could get more stories of him as king. In fact, this book got me wanting some adaptations of the non-REH novels Conan the Avenger, Conan of Aquilonia, and Conan of the Isles. While L. Sprague deCamp, Lin Carter, and Bjorn Nyberg have their share of detractors, I enjoy their contributions to the saga of King Conan and would love to see more adventures of the character at this period of his life.
What impresses me the most is not just how the writing of Tim Truman manages to convey Howard`s vision into comic format in a very convincing way. What is jaw dropping is not just Giorello`s art, which translates words into images that resembles the greatness of John Buscema. What is a delight for the eye are not just the myriad of colors Vilarrubia uses to illustrate the wonderful pages of Hour of the Dragon.
The big plus of this series is that these guys are not satisfied with giving us such a blast of a story. They really give the impression that they want to surpass every project they have conceived, leaving the idea that being great is not enough.
Hour of the Dragon has been the best release Dark Horse has put out in the last decade when it comes to Conan and I`m really pleased to be able to follow the team that in years to come will be seen as a standard by which all Conan will be measured.
Keep Hyborea coming!