Conan and Magik, two sword-wielding heroes with no mind for prevarication, are on a quest to acquire one of the Eyes of Agamotto (apparently there are three, each with a different function). This one is in the grasp of Sadurang, an Asgardian red dragon with a bad temper and an inconvenient location. The two of them feel like they might be a little underpowered to take on something with a challenge rating of 24, so they go recruit some help: Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, and Cain Marko, the unstoppable Juggernaut.
Despite a few challenges, Gerry Duggan's script delivers on a number of levels. First, it makes for a lot of solid character moments. The Black Knight steeps himself in irony as he takes on some domestic terrorists, doing pretty well as he brings a sword to a gunfight. Then the Juggernaut is trying to have a quiet night to himself when Conan and Magik come knocking with an offer he isn't inclined to refuse. These scenes are very effective in establishing who the characters are and their relative value for the story.
The best part here is a wonderful point where Duggan's script and the work of Patch Zircher, Java Tartaglia, and Travis Lanham come together on a pop culture reference that completely innovates the power of the Juggernaut, giving every other player a chance to fit brilliantly into a strategy. The dimly shadowed visuals are sharp and match the mood of the work well. Likewise, this has a Marvel-ized feel of a Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition vibe, with many of the known powers of the tabletop RPG threat, which is enjoyable.
The only thing that wasn't great was the story cutting off at the height of what would be the second act, like getting to the top of the roller coaster and having to get off and get back in line. That gives the next issue an opportunity to start off with a slobber knocker, but the pacing of this plot gave itself a short shrift.
It's good to see a lot of these clever elements playing along, but it's just short of greatness. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Savage Avengers #14
By Gerry Duggan, Patrick Zircher, Valerio Giangiordano
Conan leads a team of Savage Avengers against an Asgardian dragon in a quest for treasure. Get out your twenty-sided dice and roll to attack with Conan, Magik and new Savage recruits the Black Knight and Juggernaut!