Earlier this year we learned that Conan the Barbarian would be returning to Marvel Comics after years of stories published by Dark Horse. Now, Marvel has revealed the creative team that will guide the Cimmerian in his new adventures.
The publisher announced Friday that Conan the Barbarian #1, a new ongoing series starring the legendary fantasy hero created by Robert E. Howard, will be brought to us in January by the team of writer Jason Aaron (Thor, Star Wars, The Avengers), artist Mahmud Asrar (X-Men Red, Cloak and Dagger), cover artist Esad Ribic (Secret Wars, Marvel Legacy) and colorist Matt Wilson (Runaways, The Mighty Thor). That's an all-star lineup for one of the most beloved genre characters of all time, and Aaron and Asrar in particular credit Conan as a figure responsible for jump-starting their respective imaginations.
“I've literally been preparing for this job since I was 13 and discovered my first Robert E. Howard Conan paperback in a used bookstore in my little hometown of Jasper, Alabama,” Aaron said in a press release. “I devoured every Howard book I could find after that, and I've been making up Conan stories in my head ever since. Now I finally get to do that for real, alongside the amazing Mahmud Asrar. So this opportunity means an awful lot to me, and I'm cherishing every blood-splattered, spider-haunted second of it.”
“Growing up, Conan was one of the first comic books I've read. It's partly responsible in making me a lifelong comic book reader,” Asrar added. “In fact, it's the first book where I've noticed the names of the creators and that being a comic book artist was something I could do for a living. Now, years later, I get the chance to draw the book myself and do it with the amazing Jason Aaron. I couldn't be happier to tell epic new tales of the Cimmerian - to continue the legacy that will hopefully make a mark on readers, just like the original comics did for me.”
We have no idea yet what the first story Aaron and Asrar have prepared will entail, though editor Mark Basso has promised an "epic scope" for the series, and if you've read any of Aaron's years-long run with Thor you know he's well-equipped to bring the fantasy thunder (pun very much intended). We also have no idea how long this particular creative team will be attached to the series, if this is the only Conan series in the works (Marvel's press release bills this as the "first series," so who knows), or if we can expect any fun future crossovers between Conan and heroes in the main Marvel Universe. Conan vs. Deadpool is sitting right there, Marvel...
Conan the Barbarian #1 arrives in January. Check out Ribic's gorgeous first art for the series above.