Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Post No. 575"

I got in my copy of The Savage Sword of Conan Vol 2 trade paperback yesterday (Dark Horse publications, March,2008/544 pages,B&W). This issue collects issues #11 thru 24 of the SSOC magazine, and has the cover price of $17.95, normally, and I say "normally" just because it was the last book I had under obligation to purchase from The Science-Fiction Book Club and it cost me $15.99 w/postage (and that price is the only way to go for me).

This volume lacks the luster of the preceeding one which contained much artwork by Barry (Winsor-) Smith, and in my previous review of Vol. 1, I stated that if one owned that, plus the first 24 issues (either in reprints or originals) of the Conan comic book, that would more than likely be all that you'd want around of the character in one's collection.

But, perhaps I was wrong. This volume does collect 40 pages of artwork by Gil Kane, as well as almost that much by Neal Adams and The Tribe, has a nice full color Boris Vallejo cover painting, plus spot illustrations by Vallejo, Tim Conrad, Mike Zeck and others.

I still find it a little "strange" that Dark Horse is publishing Conan these days due to the amount of years that Marvel Comics had the character, but now that they don't, DH has presented, I'm sure (although I've never read them) continually interesting tales of The Cimerian.

In fact, all that Marvel can still present of ay resemblance to a Robert E. Howard character is Red Sonja and that's merely because when that character was originally introduced they spelled her name with a "j" rather than a "y" and retained it into "The Marvel Universe". But, I'm rambling here.

This volume gives me more than my fill of Conan, as future prints will be 99% John Buscema and/or Alfredo Alcala. Not that either of them are unimpressive artists in their own right; it's just a matter of taste.

I've also been able to read issues up to #560 of the Millar/Hitch run on Marvel Comic's The Fantastic Four and am still finding that one book I still purchase from the company entertaining. Issues leading up to #560 have given us a new super-powered girlfriend for "the Torch", and introduced a super-powered team from the future that have been able to abduct "Galactus" himself (but not without tremendous loses) to use of a time machine to bring some of them back into the past to change events that would be cataclysmic in their own time. They've even been able to kidnap ol "Doc Doom" as well for this purpose.

Oh, there was one part that I thought a little cliche where Susan Storm doesn't recognize her future self and hires the woman as a babysitter for her kids, but that aside, it didn't distract me from an excellant storyline. And we finally learn the secret of Reed and Sue's female child and what powers she possesses inherited from her father. I hope that this team stays on the title for a long time.


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