Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Rogê Antônio
Colorist: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Artists: Geoff Shaw, Edgar Delgado
Publisher: Marvel Comics

It’s Conan with a lasersword. What more do you need?

Okay, perhaps I should clarify my points on Conan The Barbarian 2099 #1 ever so slightly, if not for other reasons than to provide at least a semblance of impartiality. I’ve been a fan of Robert E. Howard’s wandering swashbuckler for about as long as I can remember, from the original prose stories to contemporary adventures in other media, but most especially the comics. From Roy Thomas to Tim Truman, Barry Windsor-Smith to Tomas Giorello, Conan’s comics resume is a who’s who of impressive talent. Add to that my love of the of Marvel 2099 Universe, and when I heard that the Cimmerian himself was going to have a one-shot set in the dystopian cyberpunk world of Marvel’s tomorrow, I was all-in … at least until I read Fantastic Four 2099 #1. Given that that book was not at all what I wanted, I entered into this read with more than a little hesitation.

In the year 2099, Conan has become king by his own hand. As the story unfolds, we see there are enemies that even Conan’s skill with a blade can’t defeat, such as a world dying from the extreme damage of climate change. Add to this a curse bestowed upon him by Morgana Le Fay herself, and our hero may have finally met his end.

Conan The Barbarian 2099 #1 is a fun little book. On the surface, it does exactly what the cover would imply: give us a rollicking story about Conan busting heads and slicing that lasersword left and right (did I mention he has a lasersword? It’s really quite, quite great). But beneath the surface, there’s a tale about a man who slowly realizes there is nothing left to see, no more jeweled thrones of the earth to trod beneath his sandled feet. It’s a tale that has action, but also some real melancholy and pathos.

Gerry Duggan clearly knows the source material, and it shows in how Conan feels like a piece of Howard’s prose stories. Rogê Antônio‘s art has a smooth adaptability to it that allows it convey the savagery and barbarism of Conan’s world and views on the one hand, and the cyber-dystopia of 2099 on the other. The colors by Erick Arciniega pop, and VC’s Travis Lanhman’s lettering makes for a smooth read with clear voices for each character.

Conan The Barbarian 2099 #1 is definitely an upswing for this latest incarnation of the 2099 Universe. Here’s hoping there’s a follow-up featuring a clash of kings between the Cimmerian hero and a certain armor-wearing Latverian despot. Recommended.

Conan The Barbarian 2099 #1









Stacy Dooks
Stacy Dooks is a writer and assorted pop culture fanatic whose childhood fixations on the works of Jim Henson, George Lucas, and DC Comics laid the groundwork for his current status as a pop culture junkie chatterbox. He currently resides in Calgary, Alberta while he waits for his TARDIS coral to finish growing. For more of his observations on popular culture, check out The Fanboy Power Hour: http://tfph.libsyn.com/

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