The Freebooters is a lively, character-driven graphic narrative set in a fantastic, ancient milieu that superficially bears resemblance to a world that will be familiar to longtime Windsor-Smith fans who remember his work on another famous warrior. The infamously bizarre city of Shahariza may seem an unlikely venue from which to save the world from the ruin of ultimate evil, but it is home to Axus the Great — the legendary Freebooter and hero to the known world. When poet and seer Aran's visions are revealed to fortell of the second-coming of a fire demon, Axus remains blissfully ignorant of the gathering threat of catastrophe, preferring to indulge his mid-life crisis (this is not your father's barbarian) rather than act like a hero. By the end, destinies of hero and villain cross in unexpected ways. While similarities with Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian are obvious given Windsor-Smith's history with the character (he made Conan a household name for Marvel Comics in the early 1970s and his visual style inspired the Arnold Schwarzenegger film as much as Howard's original novels), The Freebooters is a riotous, unexpected and postmodern take on the genre. This volume collects the entirety of Windsor-Smith's "The Freebooters" stories from the acclaimed BWS: Storyteller comic book series from the early 1990s, including a full-length chapter from the unpublished tenth issue, plus more than 50 pages of new story. A ripping good yarn!
Barry Windsor-Smith - 2008 Eisner Award Hall of Fame Inductee