Writer/Artist: Esad Ribic
Letters: VC’s Travis Lanham
Conan: Exodus is intended as the story of Conan the Barbarian’s initial travels from his northern homeland of Cimmeria to the southern kingdoms of the Hyborian Age. Marvel’sConan is more times than not portrayed as a wandering warrior moving from one exotic locale to another as he engages in a series of wars, battles, gambling and countless liaisons. One constant in the tales of Conan the Barbarian is his Cimmerian heritage and his rough northern traits yet one story that has not been told is Conan’s literal exodus from the northern lands of his birth. This is where Esad Ribic’s amazingly detailed Conan: Exodus comes into the picture.
Conan: Exodus is a work of art and it is the artwork that tells the tale here. In the vein of the classic GI Joe #21 aka the Silent Issue Ribic lets his gorgeous artwork do the heavy lifting. There is a bit of dialogue toward the end of the tale but don’t count on it making any sense, unless you have a mastery of ancient Hyborian languages. Like a silent film director of a bygone age Ribic lets his gorgeous panels tell the entirety of the story and it is a beautiful story. Esad Ribic is an amazing artist and a perfect fit for any Conan story. His style is reminiscent of classic Conan cover artist Frank Frazetta with his beautifully rendered barbarian with thick muscles and a hulking presence. Ribic’s Conan shows his youthfulness in this tale, as he emerges from the northern mountains after the trials and tribulations of the savage wildlife looking for a fresh meal in the heart of a cold winter. The human inhabitants are not much kinder to Conan and the roots of what the character will be becomes very clear by the end of Conan: Exodus and is a great starting point for any new fan of Conan while also a classically stylized tale for any longtime fan. While Conan: Exodus is a quick story it’s one that a true fan of Ribic’s art and/or the character of Conan the Barbarian will go back and read again and again as it is breathtaking artwork and a truly wonderful tale.
Verdict: Conan: Exodus is not for every reader but is a Buy for any true fan of Conan the Barbarian or anyone who wants to enter the world of the Hyborian Age’s most famous barbarian.