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Review – Conan the Barbarian #9 (Marvel Comics)

Conan the Barbarian #9 (Marvel Comics) cover art (detail) by Esad Ribic
Conan the Barbarian #9
Overall
8.7/10
8.7/10
  • Writing - 8.6/10
    8.6/10
  • Art - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • Overall - 8.7/10
    8.7/10
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Summary

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Maturity Rating: Teen+
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 4, 2019

Conan is trapped in some underground cavern or tunnel system. What is more disturbing is, every beast and monster he has slain seems to be coming back to exact their revenge!

 

Kill or Be Killed in Conan the Barbarian #9

Sometimes you just want some good monster-slaying action, so we are checking back in with everyone’s favorite Cimmerian warrior in Conan the Barbarian #9. Still on the road “The Life and Death of Conan”, we find the brute Conan trapped in some underground cavern or tunnel system. There he finds people from all across the globe trapped like him. What is more disturbing, it seems every beast and monster Conan has slain across the years has come back for revenge. Can Conan spill their blood once again and escape this underground cavern, or will this be his grave? 

Writing

Conan the Barbarian #9  (Marvel Comics) cover art by Esad Ribic
Conan the Barbarian #9 (Marvel Comics) cover art by Esad Ribic

Jason Aaron is taking his sweet time with his “The Life and Death of Conan” story that he introduced back in the first issue, with the whole Crimson Witch and the Death God Razazel thing. Basically the more Conan battles and “cheats death” the more potent his blood is to raise the death god. So, we basically are getting a bunch of one-shot type stories that all have a slight connection to the whole death god thing that will be coming to a head what seems like pretty soon. 

And you know what? I really dig Aaron’s approach to the story like this. It is more episodic than serial and I personally like that a lot more. Each issue does build upon each other slightly. But you can jump into Conan the Barbarian #9 and just enjoy the issue for what it is, but also understand that there is a bigger plot boiling in the background. It makes the issue and story more fun for me and works extremely well for this series.

Conan the Barbarian #9 itself is, again, another exciting adventure. I mean, how can you not enjoy watching Conan slay his way through countless beasts? Aaron catches the theme and story of Conan so well. His words immediately transport you into this “Hyborian Age” straight from the beginning. It is hard not to get transported into this world straight from the recap page.

Art

I love, love, love me some Mahmud Asrar art and he continues to shine in Conan the Barbarian #9. I mean, when the book says Conan fights beast from his past and you know Conan has fought some crazy creatures and Asrar is going to draw those creatures, how are you not going to pick it up? He delivers splendidly well on all those monsters.

Asrar has the perfect style for Conan. It is slightly cartoony/animated yet realistic and rough all at the same time. He has a unique eye for detail and catches great slight characterizations that add tremendously to the story. He also catches movement and energy well. There always seems to be a bit of “buzz” or “dynamism” that Asrar delivers on the pages.

Matthew Wilson has coloring duty on Conan the Barbarian #9. This issue, you don’t appreciate the brilliance of Wilson until the end. As most of the issue takes place underground, you get lulled into this dark, drab look for the issue. It is not until the last few pages with shots from the outside world that Matthew Wilson’s coloring technique shines, and you go back and look at the underground pages with much more appreciation for his work.

Conclusion

If you have been following along with this series then it is no surprise that Conan the Barbarian #9 is another excellent issue. If you haven’t, then this is a great place to jump on board. Jason Aaron makes it incredibly easy to jump right into this series and enjoy. You can go back and read the other eight issues to get more in-depth about the “Life and Death of Conan” ongoing plot, or you can just continue on from here. Heck, you can just grab this issue for some Conan action and adventure and enjoy as a one-shot! You won’t be disappointed, as the art team shines with some wonderful visuals throughout.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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