AGE OF CONAN BELIT #5

“Chapter 5: All Hail the Queen”
Writer: Tini Howard
Artists: Kate Niemczyk, Scott Hanna, Andrea Di Vito

Belit is caught in the nightmare of the Stygian priest Apheru. She is confronted by her dead father who has taken on the form of an octopus with multiple heads. Belit does overcome this and takes The Tigress to confront the priest. At Khemi she and her crew attack the city. Belit confronts the priest and manages to cut off his head. The priest’s former servants surrender and join Belit’s crew.

“Bone Whispers Episode Five”
By Michael Stackpole

Belit and N’yaga are in the arena of King Toraten. They are to fight and die but Belit doesn’t plan to be the one to die. She and N’yaga defeat a huge warrior. Then they fight and defeat the king’s personal guard. Finally a large black lion is loosed in the arena. Only the lion jumps out of the arena and kills the king. The whole city descends in chaos as the two escape.

Well the final issue was very underwhelming. I mean what the hell was the purpose. She overcomes the evil priest’s dream. Then heads off with her hipster crew and kicks the butt of the evil priest with ease. I don’t even know what the purpose of this whole story was about. As for an origin it sucked. I mean what happened to the Black Corsairs. They were cool. Instead we get this dumb hipster crew and equally dumb eunuch servants of the Stygian priest. What are the Black Corsairs not PC enough? This was very disrespectful to Howard and his creation. A very disappointing series. Hopefully the Valeria one will be handled properly.

The one bright spot was the prose story. I enjoyed it. For a short story it did its job. I know I have read some of Stackpole’s Shadowrun books so he is a competent writer. The story did end a bit abruptly and could have uses some more room to grow. On the whole it was a worthy effort and I do love these bonus prose stories.

AGE OF CONAN BELIT #4

“Chapter 4: The Oath”
Writer: Tini Howard
Artists: Kate Niemczyk and Scott Hanna

Years ago Belit’s father and N’yaga were best friends. Atrahasis is worried because Belit’s mother suffers from madness and may not live lone. He gets N’yaga to promise to look after Belit. Which is why he has come back to her now that she is a pirate captain. The ship comes on a Stygian ship and The Tigress manages to capture it. Belit decides to take the ship to Stygia and also drags along the eye of a sea-beast. She uses the eye as ballast to shoot at the Stygians. She lands and is greeted by the high priest. Later in his chambers he offers Belit employ as a privateer. Belit decides that the Stygians are not worth the effort and chokes the priest unconscious.

Later Belit plans to take The Tigress and leave her crew but N’yaga convinces her not to. So with the crew they set sail. Only the Stygian priest has awakened and uses dark sorcery and human sacrifice to Set to strike Belit down.

“Bone Whispers Episode Four”
By Michael A. Stackpole

Belit has come to Knegetalla and has an audience with it’s king Toraten. Belit offers to return treasure that was stolen by pirates. She charms the king and he takes her on a tour of his vast wealth. He shows her the Codex Osyrania.He also reveals he knows her true plan. The wine he gave her was drugged and Belit wakes to find herself in the dungeon with N’yaga. She meets her fellow prisoners of the Ibex clan. The king is a tyrant and uses his enemies for sport in the arena. Belit is sentenced to die in the games.

Well this issue had some confusing plot points. Like what the hell was the point of her visit to Stygia? Where did she get the giant sea beast eye? There was some real sloppy writing to this issue. Some of the background to Belit we get was interesting. Still I just don’t think this origin is doing the character that Howard created justice.

The novella on the other hand is competent. For a short story it does a job of telling an interesting story. Probably the highlight for this issue.

AGE OF CONAN BELIT #3

“Chapter 3: The Lesson”
Writer: Tini Howard
Artists: Kate Niemczyk and Scott Hanna

Queen Tanada of Barathan uses her occult powers to revive the dead sea monster that Belit dragged in. Belit shows that she is one bad ass chick as she cuts off the head of the monster. This impresses the queen who agrees to hire Belit’s ship. So The Tigress has a successful run of pirating all over the Hyborian world. During this time Belit grows into a young woman and increasingly gains the respect of the crew. One day at a tavern she receives a message that Queen Tanada has decided to revoke her sponsorship.

So she goes to the hipster captain and his trangender first mate to tell them the news. Soon the Kushite navy will be after them. Prisca the first mate calls out Belit to a fight. The drunk hipster captain instead decides to fight Belit but Prisca gets in the way to save him and takes the sword cut meant for him. Apparently there was a romantic relationship between them. The hipster then gets angry but ends up dead as his lover. The crew proclaim Belit captain but they must then deal with the arrival of the Kushite navy.

“Bone Whispers Episode Three”
By Michael A. Stackpole

Belit buries the treasure she took from the Knefetallian ship. She wants to use it to reveal if the ruler of the island has the Codex Osyrania. Then she gets on a boat and with N’yaga and two of her men set sail for the capital city. She finds that the king knew she was coming and expecting her. He also warns her that her life is at an end.

So Belit finally grows up. Not surprising that she has no problem of taking the captaincy from the ineffective hipster captain and his transgender first mate. Not really sure what a hipster or for that matter a whole ship crewed by hipsters is doing in the Hyborian age. Some of the plot seems a bit convoluted with her and this kooky agreement to hunt sea monsters. But I have to admit I do have in interest in how this ends. Plus the artwork is good and Belit looks quite sexy.

The short story is also keeping my interest. The writer paints a vivid picture of this mysterious city on the island. It ends on a cryptic note so I’m also interested on how this ends.

AGE OF CONAN BELIT #2

“Chapter 2 The Mad Quest”
Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Kate Niemczyk

A sea monster is attacking the ships. Belit takes action and jumps to the Tigress. She has the crew man the catapults and start firing. This drives the beast off but it wrecks the hipster captain’s ship. Belit basically than takes over the Tigress. She has a plan and also takes action by altering the maps so the hipster travels back to the place where the sea monster was first encountered. Hipster captain is angry but when he hears Belit’s plan decides to go with it.

So the sea monster comes but they pour oil into the sea and set it on fire which kills the monster. Then they drag the corpse to the city of Barathan. Belit offers it’s queen that they can kill sea monsters for a price. The queen shows that they can control the creatures by summoning one.

“Bone Whisperers Episode Two”
By Michael Stackpole

N’yaga tells Belit that they must go to the island of Knefetalla. He can’t use the bones to pinpoint where the Codex is for fear of alerting others of their intentions. Belit comes up with having N’yaga pinpoint a location that will point them in the right direction. He does this and it is in open waters. They go there and find a ship and capture it. It was a ship that stole treasure from Knefetalla so they are on the right path.

Well Belit is showing that even as a young girl she is a leader. She already seems to be in charge and the prissy hipster captain and his androgynous first mate have already lost control of the situation. So far she has shown that she knows what she is doing. Although her scheme to get hired to kill monsters has run into a snag.

The prose story is proving to be a well done story. Its well written and exciting with vivid fight scenes and a plot that fits well into three pages of story.

AGE OF CONAN BELIT #1

“Chapter 1: The Lost Verses”
Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Kate Niemczyk

In Asgulin a port city in Shem the dread pirate admiral Atrahasis is looking for his young daughter Belit. She is girl who dreams of being a pirate herself and slaying a sea monster. Soon Atrahasis is taken by some men. They are debt collectors and take Atrahasis out to a sandbar to die. Belit goes to her father who doesn’t want any help but talks to his daughter throughout the day. As night approaches he doesn’t want it to end this way so Belit puts him out of his misery.

She goes back and finds her father’s fleet being plundered. She is captured by slavers who are stealing the flagship Tigress. Later the ship is captured by another pirate ship with a hipster crew and Belit is freed. Belit joins the crew and wants the Tigress for herself. She also continues to search for a sea monster which shows up at the end.

“Bone Whispers Episode One”
By Michael Stackpole

N’yaga is in his village when he is visited by Belit. He throws the bones to tell her future and sees her fate entwined with a black maned lion. Belit is there because she is looking for the Codex Osyrania. The Codex is a magical book that reveals all the treasure that has ever been hidden. N’yaga warns against the Codex for he was given it my Belit’s father to safeguard it. He also tells that the captain he served took it to buy back his ship he lost in gambling. Yet he also saw in the bones that he was destined to go with Belit to retrieve the Codex for he knows where it is.

So Marvel is doing a series that highlight the characters from Conan’s world. This first one is Belit who was Conan’s first love. She is one of my favorites in the Conan universe and I loved the old Marvel stories from Roy Thomas. Now Marvel has decided to ignore his origin and create a new one. Personally I like Roy’s better but this does have potential. The Belit here is more the classic albino that Howard originally envisioned. She has the same drive and fighting spirit that Belit should have. The only thing that perplexes me is why the hipster pirate crew?

Marvel has also decide to include as a bonus in all their new Conan series a prose novella. I love that idea. So far the Belit novella has started off with an interesting idea. Looking forward to both stories.