Conan and Red Sonja are the chocolate and peanut butter of the sword-and-sorcery genre. Wait, no. Now that I write that down, it seems like swords and sorcery would probably be the chocolate and peanut butter of the sword-and-sorcery genre, but you get the idea: They're two characters who tend to go really well together, which makes sense given that they're both characters that have more or less defined the genre since they were created -- particularly in comics.
That's why it shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone that Conan Red Sonja #1, despite a somewhat annoyingly un-punctuated title, reads like it came together effortlessly. Written by Jim Zub and Gail Simone, with art by Dan Panosian and Dave Stewart, the first issue breezes through the mandatory fight before the inevitable team-up in a way that's actually pretty engaging, setting up an adventure that seems every bit as exciting as the two characters deserve. And also just full of belts.
Evil sorcery is a problem for the people of a certain age undreamt of, and apparently it's gotten so bad that one Hyborian hero is no longer enough to stop them. That's why in January, we're getting a team-up in the form of Conan/Red Sonja, in which a pretty fantastic creative team of Gail Simone, Jim Zub and Dan Panosian are teaming up the two heroes to stop -- you guessed it -- evil sorcery.
Even in the world of comics, where crossovers happen all the time involving heroes blundering into each other's books and causing all kinds of trouble, it's rare for a character to team up with their own parody. I mean, I've seen Superman hang out with Bugs Bunny before, but seeing someone in pitched battle against a character created pretty directly to make fun of them? It doesn't happen often.
And yet, next month, that's exactly what's going to happen in Conan vs. Groo, where the world's most famous barbarian ends up battling against the world's most obliviously destructive barbarian, in a crossover Dark Horse bills as featuring "three swords, two barbarians, one brain.
Q: Chris, what Conan comic is best in life? -- @chudleycannons
A: Folks, I am going to be 100% real with you for a second here: I love Conan the Barbarian. It's in my blood -- long before I was born, Conan was my parents' favorite comic, and while I wouldn't really call my mom and dad "geeks" in the traditional sense, they were definitely people who were really stoked about buying Marvel Magazines with Frank Frazetta art on the cover so they could read about dudes in loincloths chopping each other up with broadswords. These were, I remind you, the people who raised me, which probably explains a lot.
But while I might've been hardwired into loving the character, I didn't really get into reading it myself until I was an adult, and I can tell you that as far as I'm concerned, there is a clear, no-contest winner as far as the best Conan story. It's not even close. It's the one where Conan gets into a fistfight with a gorilla that thinks it's a wizard.
You'd think NCIS: Los Angeles star Chris O'Donnell would want to forget his time as the not-really-a-Boy Wonder after the dismal reception his last movie in the role, Batman and Robin received (though we here at ComicsAlliance have a real soft spot for it). Yet O'Donnell still has the costume he wore in the 1997 film, he said in a recent interview on Conan. Hear it from the man himself in the clip below (skip to about 1:24 to get to the Batman talk).
In what may simply be a loving tribute to one of the most popular shows on TV or a very subtle commentary on Jay Leno's last episode as host of The Tonight Show, Conan O'Brien got in full zombie makeup Thursday night to commemorate the premiere of the second half The Walking Dead's fourth season on AMC.
Check out the Conan video, which led into an interview with TWD cast members including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, Steven Yeun and Melissa McBride, after the jump.
Most creators would probably consider a con to be successful if they had one big project announced. This weekend at NYCC, Fred Van Lente, who's already had a big year with G.I. Joe, Brain Boy and Archer &Armstrong, managed to land himself two. Not only will he be part of Dynamite's Gold Key relaunch as the writer of Magnus: Robot Fighter, he'll also be taking over Dark Horse's Conan the Barbarian at #26.
I sat down with Van Lente at NYCC's Artist's Alley to find out more about these projects, as well as why G.I. Joe #3 is the best single issue of the year -- and why he's leaving that book after #11.
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