Fully immersed in the stage of Conan the barbarian that Christopher Priest carried out together with Val Semeiks, it is time to celebrate the two hundred copies of the American collection, resolving the saga of the Soul Eater. Panini Comics brings out the dictionary of the thousand ways to die at the hands of Conan for such a great occasion.
Winged horse, imposing helmet, tremendous sword
An enemy like the Soul Eater becomes a serious rival when it takes all your wits and strength to bring him to his knees, when you need the help of those friends who are always ready to offer you their arms and also their lives. But what makes it extremely dangerous is that you need the fundamental support of someone you would never turn to unless it was an exceptional situation, the necessary collaboration of one of your worst adversaries, the sorcerer Thulsa Doom, yes, the same one who served as an antagonist of Conan the barbarian in the first of his films, played by James Earl Jones, an enemy who had first had King Kull of Atlantis as a nemesis.
This saga lasted for a large number of episodes of the series, coming from the previous volume of this compilation, which Panini is bringing us in great luxury. His final outcome had to be tremendous, so much so that a special number to close the story was not enough, two had to be used, Annual # 12 USA and episode 200 of Conan the Barbarian. If something could not be missing from this meeting of great events, it was to add more fuel to the fire and during this climax we are going to have a very special guest, a red-haired Hyrkania fighter, Red Sonja.
Life beyond the ephemeris
Concluding with such a round number makes you wonder how to continue later. Priest (then still James C. Owsley) had no problem being a continuationist and then facing the consequence of bringing Thulsa Doom back to the world of the living. A three-issue story that ended up closing that argument, shortly before embarking on another well-remembered short cycle, the one known as the Heku Trilogy, which happened just after Sonja and Conan parted ways with him. Priest embarks the Cimmerian on an adventure set in the easternmost part of the Hyborian Age map with more than one layer of reading about the relationship between parents and children and about the wisdom that experience brings to the path of each.
The closure of pending plots even reaches what happened with the dark horse of the Soul Eater. It shows that they did not stitch without thread. In these issues from the second half of the eighties of the 20th century, the scriptwriter was allowed to flow a lot, to the point of enriching the world of Conan the barbarian with something more than stories full of blood and monsters, sagas in which it dragged the presence of interesting secondary characters such as Anneka and Kaleb, who provided a background to some epic adventures, without forgetting the girl Solaise and her “cat”, Sedrick.
About a hundred pages of extras
Val Semeiks’s illustrations provide us with a clean and effective drawing, detailed when necessary and imbued with movement in all circumstances. It’s hard to pin down scenes in which Conan slashes his way with his sword appearing out of nowhere, surprising unsuspecting guards or facing off against abyssal beasts. The earth trembles, the water crackles… there is no moment of reproach for Semeiks, not even drawing animals. He may not be as commercial as other cartoonists, but his work in Conan, to which he contributed a dose of his own creation in the plots, is more than remarkable.
As an epilogue to this volume of more than six hundred pages we have almost one hundred pages of extras where we find material from the The Official Handbook of the Conan Universe, as well as reproductions of The Hyborian Report, a publication carried out by the North American Conan Fan Club. We also have some covers of the previous compilations of this material by Marvel. As a note to highlight, in this voluminous volume we have Andy Kubert’s first work for Marvel, inked by his brother Adam, Conan the Barbarian #201, where we can already appreciate that he was going to be a star, although youthful mistakes can still be blamed on him. .
Marvel Omnibus. Conan the Barbarian: The Original Marvel Stage 8
Title: : Marvel Omnibus. Conan the Barbarian: The Original Marvel Stage 8
URL : Milcomics
Author : Christopher Priest, Adam Blaustein, Vince Giarrano, Val Semeiks, Alan Zelenetz, Andy Kubert, and Mark Bright
Format : Paperback
Publication date : 2023-05-18
ISBN : 9788411504157
Description : In the late 1980s, cartoonist Val Semeiks took the reins on Conan The Barbarian, injecting a powerful new energy into the series. Semeiks’ job was a force multiplier for Christopher Priest’s second half of the stage. Together, they created one of the greatest Conan epics of all time, leading up to Conan The Barbarian #200 USA, with the showdown against the Soul Eater. Plus Thulsa Doom, the return of Red Sonja, the critically acclaimed “Heku Trilogy” and Andy Kubert’s early work. This is one Omnibus you won’t want to miss! By Chrom!
Jesus Salvador Gomez
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