Wonder Woman & Conan #1
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Inks: Matt Ryan
Colors: Wendy Broome
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Covers: Darick Robertson & Tony Avina; Liam Sharp & Laura Martin
Editor: Kristy Quinn; Jim Chadwick
Publisher: DC Comics & Dark Horse Comics
A long time ago Conan and Yanna (Diana) met at a great council where both were there as seconds to their people’s representatives. The encounter left quite the impression on Conan, though whether it did the same for Diana remains to be seen…
Thus begins Wonder Woman and Conan #1, a collaborative effort between DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics that brings together these two icons for…reasons? Let me be frank, I’ve never been a huge Conan fan (despite Sense 8’s best efforts), so I was already going into this comic with trepidation. When written well, Conan is a highly complex, badass, subversive character who actually has a lot to say. However, when poorly written he has a tendency to fall into a bunch of misogyny tropes I’m not really a fan of. Unfortunately, most of my exposure to the character has been the latter, not the former, but I was willing to give this crossover a try because of Gail Simone’s involvement.
Well, I wish I could report that this made me want to pick up issue two, but it really doesn’t. With a plot that’s been done a million times before,* and done better besides, this story falls into a lot of the pitfalls that I feared it would: Diana in chains, Conan the poor decision maker, star crossed love, it’s all so…boring. The only thing to truly spark my interest is the involvement of the Corvidae, as anytime a member of that particular family of birds shows up things get a bit chaotic.
Despite not having that great of a storyline, the artwork is simply outstanding, with Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, Wendy Broome and Saida Temofonte bringing their collective A-game so that this book looks like the perfect meld of the two very different styles Wonder Woman and Conan employ. There’s a sumptuousness to the book that is hard to pull off in a world of such brutality, yet pull it off they do.
Overall this book is great to look at, but there’s not much going on under the surface. 3 Arenas out of 5.
*Seriously go watch Xena: Warrior Princess – When Fates Collide for this story done right.