We are starting a new tradition here at Bounding Into Comics, where we will choose a panel every day from the numerous comics that come out every week to highlight.
The first panel we will feature in our new tradition comes from Marvel’s brand new Conan The Barbarian written by Jason Aaron with art work by Mahmud Asrar and colors by Matthew Wilson.
This panel showcases Mahmud Asrar’s artwork as he showcases a savage Conan’s brute strength as a single slash with his sword is able to behead two of his opponents in the Fighting Pits of the Maul.
Not only does this panel showcase Conan’s brute strength and savagery, but it also sets the tone for what Marvel, Jason Aaron, and Mahmud Asrar plan for the future of Conan. They plan on telling the story of how Conan will die. It’s a bold move given Marvel just reacquired the license and this is the very first Conan story from Marvel since obtaining the license.
I really like this panel because there’s not just the heavy action taking place in the foreground, but there’s plenty of small stories being told in the background. Just look up at the crowd cheering on Conan’s savagery in the pits. You can see a man with what appears to be a money bag most likely placing a bigger bet on Conan.
One man looks like he got splashed with the blood of Conan’s victim and is trying to wipe it from his face. Another looks to celebrate Conan’s kills with a headless fish in his hand.
These characters bring to life Conan’s world. It’s vivid imagery that allows you to almost hear the carousing and drunken shouting of the crowd. But it doesn’t just draw you into the panel. You can see there is a history to these character’s as well. There is a man with a cut off arm. It makes you wonder whether or not he once found himself in the pits? How did he lose his arm? Why is he attending this gladiatorial match? Is he there by choice, or he could he have been forced to come?
The colors really bring the action alive. I love the different shades of red, that almost feel like the blood rushing through Conan’s veins as his adrenaline and heartbeat quickens. You can feel his fury. Not only do the different shades of red give you insight into Conan’s emotional and physical state, but it also paints the pit in blood. This isn’t the first contest in this pit and it won’t be the last. Plenty have come before Conan and his opponents and more are likely to come after them. Death and blood sport are a constant here.
Did you check out Conan The Barbarian #1? What was your favorite panel from the issue? What was your favorite comic book panel from this week?