Free Comic Book Day 2024 – Conan: Battle of the Black Stone

Free Comic Book Day 2024 – Conan: Battle of the Black Stone

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Rating: 4 out of 5.


“Prelude: The Staring Sigil”

James Allison sat behind his typewriter staring at a blank piece of paper loaded onto the platen. It had been almost two weeks since he wrote anything new, and the stress was beginning to wear on him. The memories had always come to him in patterns. His past lives, if you want to call them that, seemed so distant and alien. Were the visions absolute proof of reincarnation? Whatever they were, his story adaptations sold well.

A record-breaking heat wave had enveloped Lost Knob that year, and the Texas sun weighed heavily on the townsfolk. Maybe it was the radiant temperatures outside his farmhouse which aided in his writer’s block? Yes, it must be the heat, James told himself.

Then a rush of images begins pouring into his mind like an old film reel scratched and faded by tarried use. A frontier forest ladened with old growth trees. Weathered men of varying builds, devoid of the basics of coverings, all locked in a primal clash with weapons made of stone and steel.

One man seemed to control the scene with a brute rage unseen for thousands of years. A warrior? No, a slayer! The man with black hair and cold blue eyes. The obscure language the warring parties spoke was unrecognizable to James. In fact, that specific dialect faded into history one-hundred thousand years ago. One word the soldiers repeated as the battle raged, however, did strike a nerve in the Texas writer. Conan. Why did James Allison know that name?

“Across The Howardverse”

 Jeffrey Shanks provides the reader with an excellent editorial on some of Robert E. Howard’s lesser-known characters. This was a very informative history lesson, and it was well needed. A new crossover event begins this fall, with Conan sharing the stage with the likes of James Allison, Dark Agnes, Solomon Kane, El Borak, as well as Professors John Conrad and John Kirowan. This is one event all Robert E. Howard fans will want to collect.

Reviewer Notes 

This has been my favorite Free Comic Book Day 2024 release I’ve read so far this year. Titan Comics is doing an exceptional job with their take on the old Conan property, and their current releases have been upstaging all the big publishers without a doubt. What I like best about this FCBD one-shot is the set-up for a new crossover event involving several of the lesser known Robert E. Howard characters.

I’m giving ‘Conan: Battle of the Black Stone’ four out of five stars. The art, the writing, and the bonus material are all top-notch and well worth the money. I will be marking my calendar for the two event releases later this fall. Now to go research Dark Agnes De Chastillon!



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