Wonder Woman/Conan #6 // Review
This is it, the grand finale of this epic six issue crossover. Writer Gail Simone and her creative team featuring artist Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan on inks and Wendy Broome on colors go out with a bang. They are continuing the trend at DC of seemingly bizarre crossovers with Hannah Barbera and other properties, that have continued to surprise and delight readers, with epic storytelling and incredible artwork and colors. Hopefully this trend will continue exploring unique combinations, and introduce Conan to a whole new generation of comic readers.
The last issue saw Diana rescued by the Amazons and returned to her own time, leaving Conan behind to face insurmountable odds. An army of crow monsters and undead soldiers is being lead by the Corvidae, the shapeshifting witches that have been plaguing the two warriors since the first issue, and they are ready to march on and destroy the city of Shamar. The witches seem to be intertwined in the fates of both Conan and Diana. Gail Simone has superbly built these mysterious and cryptic figures into truly terrifying monsters. The Corvidae have always given the sense that they had bigger plans, however Simone crafted them very cunningly as to not let on too much. Diana has been forbidden to return to Conan’s time by her mother, Queen Hippolyta; however, Diana argues that the upcoming war Conan faces is her responsibility as well. Simone is easily able to showcase Diana’s sense of honor and duty, as Diana argues that Conan saved her life and she owes him as much. This sense of duty and honor has been a throughline for the whole series for both characters, with each saving the others life, and seeing Conan’s quest to the end. This bond forged in the heat of battle by these two warriors, has been a shining light through this mini series. Simone has once again shown how an incredible writer can carry a story with two characters who have been around for many years and still breathe new life into them.
Simone is joined once again by Aaron Lopresti on pencils, who unleashes hell upon the pages of this issue. There are numerous battle scenes throughout that go into such bloody detail, it would be a shame to see them in someone else’s hands. Lopresti delivers all of the heart-pounding action, sweat-drenched bodies, and cold, hard steel that fans of the swords and sorcery genre have come to love. The action intensifies during the climax when the town of Shamar joins Conan and the returning amazons to fight off the Corvidae army and overthrow a merciless slave owner. Lopresti is able to load the pages with action and a litany of different characters without it seeming overcrowded or lacking of detail.
Adding the final details to Lopresti’s artwork is Matt Ryan on inks. “Bold” and “beautiful” are just a few of the words that come to mind when viewing Ryan’s work. His attention to detail, especially in the battle scenes, really make the pages pop to life. Scars, cuts and bruises are all wonderfully detailed, and helps give the sense of just how dangerous a world this really is.
Rounding out the team is Wendy Broome on colors. Broome does an excellent job of painting a contrast between the two worlds of Hyboria and Themyscira. The city of Shamar looks to be overcrowded, grimy and worn. Themyscira is clean, bright and noble. Broome really shines in the battle scenes, where there is blood and gore aplenty. Viscous black blood oozing from the wounds of the Corvidae army, while crimson liquid flying from slashes to the chest of Conan; it all looks fantastic.
The team behind this book has created something special and lasting in only six issues. They have shown that Conan is still as popular as ever, and can hold his own with the giants of the comic book world. It seems crazy that it took so long to get Wonder Woman and Conan together, as it made so much sense. With this series, the team of Simone, Lopresti, Ryan and Broome have made Conan available to a new wave of readers who may be picking up a Wonder Woman title for the first time since the blockbuster movie. With the success that DC has had with these crossovers, it will be interesting to see where they go next. Another trip to the world of swords and sorcery may not be a bad idea at all.