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Conan: Book of Thoth (Conan (Dark Horse Unnumbered)) Paperback – December 26, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Robert E. Howard's memorable villain finally gets an origin story of his own in this volume, which collects a four-issue miniseries of the same name. Thoth is a beggar "in the blighted city of Memphia," his morals slowly eroded by an abusive father and harsh life on the streets. When his friend Amon receives an invitation to apprentice in the house of the kindly priest of Ibis, Thoth kills Amon and takes his place in the priest's home. Busiek (Astro City, JLA/Avengers) and the legendary Wein (Swamp Thing) do a fine job telescoping a lifetime's worth of sinister plotting and backstabbing into relatively few pages. Narration is well-executed and evocative ("a new wind did waft through Memphia, thin and dry though it was") and the narrator's identity, revealed at the end, is a nice twist. There is much blood shed in the book, but most of it is implied; only a few scenes contain graphic violence, although virtually every page bears at least one image that is genuinely terrifying or haunting. Liberal use of shadows and wiry outlines in Kelley's solid but moody art give shape to a world where even the agents of light do not seem entirely trustworthy. (Dec.)
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The comic tells the tale of the rise of Thoth-Amon. Sadly, it’s a mostly boring tale and doesn’t feel very attached to Thoth-Amon lore or the world of Conan. I was hoping for a tale about Thoth-Amon finding the Serpent Ring of Set and then using its dark power to rise to infamy. That’s kind of the story being told here, but rather than being dark and insidious, it feels more boring with occasional Dungeons and Dragons spellcasting. There is literally no mention of the servant of the ring, the demon from The Phoenix on the Sword, which would have been awesome to see and made perfect sense. There are also no children of Set from the God in the Bowl. Even an Akivasha cameo would have fit better than what is here. Instead we get a Thoth-Amon with a split personality who is obsessed with ancient Acheron. The timelines don’t seem to fit at all with what we see in the Conan stories, and of all people Xaltotun makes a strange appearance.
Worse than the boring story is the bland artwork. Characters are mostly indistinguishable from one another and never look the same from one panel to the next. There is literally almost no background detail. It’s bland from start to finish. It’s worse than bland, it’s just simply hard to look at. It’s almost annoying.
*Conclusion:* I find it hard to even give this book 1 D&D version of Thoth-Amon out of 5. I pretty much hated this story by the end. I definitely hated the art by the end.
Most recent customer reviews
Terrible art, terrible colouring but with art this bad could you colour it well? Hmm...
Kelly Jones - where do I start.Read more