Gerardo Zaffino is a big improvement over his predecessors in the new 'Conan the Barbarian' series. I don't think his work is ingenious--it is not Frazetta nor John Buscema--but it shines with obvious and genuine inspiration. Much more then what can be said about the predecessors's work, which looked like simply completing a given task and drawing and delivering few pages on deadline.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #4 Conan the Barbarian #5 welcomes Gerardo Zaffino on as Jason Aaron tells a tale of the earliest years of Conan’s reign as king of Aquilonia. Having fought his way to the throne, Conan finds himself chafing at his gilded cage. The boredom and confinement reach the point that it makes him physically ill. The story takes an unexpected turn into The Dark Knight Returns territory when Conan decides to self-medicate with fits of late-night vigilantism. Zaffino’s artwork has a worn look to it and his inks, along with Matthew Wilson’s colors, made for dark visuals heavy with shadows. Up to a point, it almost seems like the shadows are being overused at the expense of seeing real emotion form Conan’s face. A stunning and well-placed splash page makes it clear it was all about holding back for the right moment. This is by far the most unconventional Conan story that Aaron has told and the best issue of the new series to date. -- Jamie Lovett
I was very disappointed, so I take back what I previously said based on just seeing couple of pages (I thought I'll like the style, but even that was disappointing when I saw the whole issue). The whole issue is just ridiculous.