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Conan the Barbarian #10 (2023) review

Jim Zub's The Age Unconquered part 2: Far Shores and Fearless Men continues.

We are still stuck in the Thurian Age aka the Pre-Cataclysmic Age. 

The King of Valusia, Kull is having a vivid nightmare. Friendly large wild cats are asking his young savage self (last seen in Exile of Atlantis) to join the hunt.

The lion wants a naked Kull (no leopard-skin loincloth for this dude) to return to his old village of the Sea-Mountain tribe... now debased by a spire made of BLACK STONE.

Kull bypasses the spectres of the dead villagers and enters the tapering BLACK STONE structure.

Kull sees his future selves and chieftain Brule, the Spear-Slayer in a hall of mirrors (last seen in The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune).

Kull ages into a living corpse, but before dying he reaches the BLACK STONE, but it will not yield its secrets.

The BLACK STONE self destructs, this kills the Atlantean King, peeling the flesh from his frame. The BLACK STONE tower explodes. 

The capital of Valusia, the city of Valusia nicknamed the City of Wonders... also explodes.

Kull wakes from his Terminator 2: Judgment Day-like dream and grabs his Chief Councillor, Tu.

Tu reminds Kull that he was attacked by Conan and Brule last issue.

Conan and Brule are soon to be executed.

Chained in Kull's dungeon Brule fears that this could be his end, Conan remains optimistic and thinks of ways to escape.

Kull enters the cell and apologizes for acting crazy.

Conan and Brule follow Kull back upstairs. Brule remarks that the influence of the Black Stone is spreading.

Kull posits that the Black Stone must be the sole source of his temporary madness and bad dreams.

Kull vows to find the Black Stone and destroy it.

Kull's crown and responsibilities leave Conan cold. Kull is the one actually imprisoned, whereas Conan is the one who is truly free.

Kull's bad dream clearly advised him to go back home to Atlantis.

A mighty Royal galley gets prepared.

Conan's last time on a ship was with his beloved Queen of the Black Coast, Bêlit.

Brule reminds Conan that he doesn't have to go on this adventure. Conan remains all in.

Kull gives The Red Slayers (royal bodyguards) the option to opt out from this suicide mission. They all stay by his side.

Conan is impressed by their loyalty to their lord. 

Conan notices one of the Red Slayer archers, she notices him too.

Conan goes below deck and sees slave rowers powering the ship.

Conan spars with the Red Slayers to stay sharp.

Like Cupid, the Red Slayer archer shoots an arrow at Conan. 

Kull is impressed with Conan's martial skills and his ability to make fast friends.

Brule mentions that Conan does not belong in their time.

The celibate Kull has no time to search for a Queen, meanwhile Conan beds the Red Slayer archer, but he still has Bêlit on the brain.

Deadite Pirates attack the ship, the Red Slayer archer hands Conan a sword. Even the slaves defend the ship, 2 Red Slayer guards perish and are buried at sea.

The days drudge (not dirge) on and our heroes eventually reach land, i.e., the Atlantean coast.

Kull senses eyes on him, the king leads his crew forever forward towards his old village of the Sea-Mountain tribe.

Brule thinks that Kull is going cuckoo once again.

Kull finds his people (who exiled him)... long dead, his village disfigured by a giant earth fissure, the BLACK STONE spire from his dream missing.

Will our heroes find madness within the depths? À suivre.

What I did like:

Strong female characters (the Red Slayer archers) finally appear!

A nice interview with artist: Roberto de la Torre.

Valka, god of fertility and growth mentioned.

Topaz Throne mentioned. 

Kull sleeps wearing jewelled bracers. I do the very same thing.

Alex Horley's Mike Ploog homage cover for upcoming issue 11 is plugged.

An advert for Conan: City of the Dead by John C. Hocking.

What I did not like:

No advert for The Heroic Legends Short Fiction Program.

The Red Slayer archer doesn't have a name. That's sexist. 

The Red Slayer archers should be wearing archery chest guards.

The Red Slayer archers do not appear on any of the variant covers. 

4 variant covers, and not one features a woman! Embarrassing.

Conan doesn't mention his past dealings with Deadites. Not important at all.

Needed more Yogah of Yag aka Yag-Kosha the elephant man.

Conan's animal magnetism is irresistible to most women. Hilarious. 

Boris Vallejo's Savage Sword of Conan #10 cover painting is cropped, flipped and not credited in archaeologist Jeffrey Shanks's essay.

I give it an 8/10. Heroic Signatures, when are we getting a The Black Hole (1979) vs Conan maxi-series? Maximilian vs the Cimmerian! V.I.N.CENT. vs Thulsa Doom! Drop everything and Call Bob Iger right now!

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