Kal’Ang has been defeated, but not at the hands of Conan or Red Sonja. Instead, a threat from the past emerges as the true villain. Will Conan and Red Sonja be able to overcome this threat from the past that has returned even stronger than before? How does it fare?
With Kal’Ang’s death, Red Sonja and Conan are thrown from the frying pan into the fire. However, the fire isn’t fully stoked yet and they get to listen to their rival tell the story of his survival. While this is interesting, for those who read Conan/Red Sonja it comes off as an over-the-top monologue that doesn’t really add to the character’s villainy. Instead, it makes him less formidable. He also refers to his essence in the third person.
After this painstaking monologue, Victor Gischler gets to the heart of Conan and Red Sonja and what has made this crossover so enjoyable: Conan and Red Sonja taking it to the bad guys. However, it isn’t a straight-up slug fest. Gischler adds a number of interesting layers to truly test Conan and Red Sonja.
The simplicity of how they solve these challenges puts a smile on your face as they silence the rambling, overconfident, and arrogant villain. Gischler nicely wraps up the story and brings it to a satisfying close with some pure Hollywood iconic imagery from Roberto Castro.
Castro’s artwork is what we have come to expect from him. It has very good flow that keeps the pace moving and exciting. He also gets to stretch his creative muscles with a number of different background settings, including a hellish wasteland and the outer reaches of space. The action is well-defined and clear. There are some issues with the villain’s facial proportions in some panels but these are easily overlooked.
Alex Guimaraes’ colors really accentuate the sorcery and magic. He is able to use a bright green to showcase the villain’s power. He uses this to perfection in one panel where Castro used rings to depict a concussion blast as he smacked Conan to the ground. He also does an excellent job of bringing to life a literal flaming Conan, mixing the oranges and reds of the flames with Conan’s dark hair.
Red Sonja / Conan #4 is a fun conclusion to an enjoyable mini-series. Conan and Red Sonja have to show not only their physical prowess but also their mental strength and willpower as well to defeat this new enemy. However, Gischler does make the villain a little too gimmicky with his long monologues and references to himself in the third person.
Castro’s artwork and Guimaraes’ colors bring to life the gritty yet fantastical world of Hyboria. There are some awesome creature creations and excellent use of coloring when it comes to showing the villain’s magical powers.
- Conan and Red Sonja are challenged outside their physical prowess
- The coloring was truly fantastical
- The characterization of the villain seemed a bit cheesy
- Long villain monologues
- Minor issues with the villain's facial features