Graphic Novel/Comics Review

Conan: Riders of the River-Dragons

(2006) Roy Thomas, John Buscema and others, Titan Books, 12.99, trdpbk, 152pp, ISBN 1-845-76138-3

This is volume nine of the ongoing Dark Horse trade paperbacks reprinting the classic Marvel title Conan the Barbarian from the seventies. This volume contains issues 60-63, 65, and 69-71; issue 64 was a reprint and issues 66-68 are currently in limbo due to another company having the rights to the Red Sonja character at the moment, even though she appears a couple of times in this tome in single panel flashbacks. Negotiations were going on to secure the rights to publish these 'missing' issues, but I guess we won't know the success or not of this until they do or do not eventually appear... This was about the time in the original run of the title that I started to get bored with it, which is not to say that there weren't still the odd good issues. But from here on in everything seems a bit stale and same-y. This volume's 'treat' is the Val Mayerik art on the issue 69 story "The Demon Out of the Deep", based on a minor, non-Conan Robert E Howard short story. It'll be interesting to see what happens to sales from now on. Most of us are still crossing our fingers for reprints of The Savage Sword of Conan...

Tony Chester

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