Savage Sword of Conan 1 by Max Von Fafner Cover cropped
(Image Source: Titan Comics / Max Von Fafner)

Comic Review: Savage Sword of Conan #1 Continues a Proud Legacy

Titan Comics and Heroic Signatures set sales records and won the hearts of fans and critics with their Conan the Barbarian revival. That revival continues with their publication of the first issue of Savage Sword of Conan. Indeed, this magazine may be the single greatest work produced with the Conan license in recent memory.

The introduction by Roy Thomas sets the stage for what is to come perfectly. Thomas details the history of how the original Savage Sword of Conan came into being. The magazine, which offered more mature adaptations of the writings of Robert E. Howard than the monthly comics, was a huge hit for Marvel. It ran for a respectable 235 issues, cementing its status in the annals of Sword and Sorcery literature. (Unsurprisingly, Thomas has been asked back to write more tales of Conan in future issues.)

The lion’s share of Savage Sword of Conan #1 is devoted to a sprawling Conan tale by writer John Arcudi and artist Max Von Fafner. Here we see an older Conan, now a general leading his own mercenary company. Only the promise of gold keeps Conan and his followers following a would-be king on the road to conquest. However, Conan also takes an interest in a comely engineer who is well-protected by his employer’s twin bodyguards.

(Image Source: Titan Comics / Max Von Fafner)

Savage Sword of Conan Honors Original Series

Fans of the original Savage Sword of Conan will have no complaints about this revival. The stories and artwork are both as vivid and visceral as one would expect. Max Von Fafner does not shy away from showing bare bodies and the blood flows freely in the many action sequences.

However, while the book is largely devoted to Conan, there is more to recommend it. The backup story, written and drawn by Patch Zircher, sets up a new adventure for Solomon Kane. There is also a short Conan story, where current Conan the Barbarian author Jim Zub proves as skilled at writing pure prose as he is spinning comic stories.

In short, if you are a fan of fantasy, mature comics, and high adventure, you should quest to your comic book store and procure a copy of Savage Sword of Conan #1. This is sure to be the start of something special, and you will curse the gods should you miss out on this one.

Grade: 5/5

Savage Sword of Conan #1 arrives in comic shops everywhere on February 28, 2024.


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