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- Publié sur Amazon.com
Under the title KING CONAN, Tim Truman and Tomás Giorello have been adapting stories of the barbarian adventurer after he had taken the throne of Aquilonia. It's been a great read from volume 1, and KING CONAN VOLUME 3: THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON is no exception. You've read this type of Conan story many times before, even if you haven't read *this* particular one: Conan is captured by his enemies and faces certain death; however, a beautiful girl frees him, enabling Conan to crush said enemies. It's a standard outline for numerous Conan stories, both in comics and in prose. The difference here is that The Hour of The Dragon was written by Conan's creator, Robert E. Howard. What's more, it's the only novel-length original Conan, later published under the title Conan the Conqueror. In the story, Conan's kingdom of Aquilonia is threatened by conspirators who are backed by the sorcery of the resurrected Xaltotun, high priest of Set. With his army defeated, Conan is locked away in a Nemedian prison while his predecessor's heir claims the throne. Aided by the loyal harem girl Zenobia, Conan escapes, fleeing back to Aquilonia with the intent of reclaiming his throne, no matter how many people he has to kill to do it.
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.