“Red Nails”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from story by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Barry Smith

Valeria a woman pirate who was serving as a mercenary for the Stygians has been forced to flee after killing the commander who was forcing himself on her. Now she is in the wilds south in the black kingdoms. Conan has followed her because he wants her and was bored with the garrison duty. His courtship is put on hold when they are attacked by a stegosaurus. The stegosaurus eats their horses and tries to eat them. Conan finds some poison in apples and manages to poison the beast. Now on the plans where the jungle ends they come on a city. The city appears to have been abandoned a long time ago.

Valeria rests and falls asleep while Conan continues to explore the city. When she wakes she comes on a man being attacked by a walking skeleton. The skeleton is a man in disguise and Valeria kills him managing to save the man she saw. This man Techotl tells that they are in the city of Xuchotl. He is part of a clan who lives by the west gate and they are in perpetual warfare with the clan at the east gate. She goes with Techotl to find Conan in the city.

“The Hyborian Rage”
By Roy Thomas

An editorial explaining this series. Two and a half years later after the failure of the first issue this series gets another go. This time Marvel is devoting resources to come out with several lines of the Black and White magazines. This series will be oriented toward Conan and other Robert Howard type stories.

“Robert E. Howard: Lone Star Fictioneer”
Writer: Glenn Lord.
Artists: Frank Brunner & George Barr

An abridged article from the Howard biography The Last Celt.It tells of Howard’s early life growing up in Cross Plains, Texas. How he started writing at nine and sold his first story at eighteen. He eventually made a living at one time making over $2,000 year. This was a great article and I have a love of Howard’s work. It is amazing that he managed to make a living writing while living in the middle of nowhere.

“Dark Tomorrow”
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artist: Gray Morrow

In the future ecological disaster forces people to live in enclosed cities. They come up with a chivalry code that has them dueling for any slight to their honor. Its meant to cull the population. Karl Linders kills someone in a duel then will be exiled outside. Instead he and his mate escape. They are about to then get executed by the Wets outside. The Wets have been engineered to live in the polluted atmosphere and service the machinery outside. Damian Linders is the brother of Karl and helps him escape. Karl then shows his contempt for all Wets and Damian then kills Karl. Definitely a dark story but quite interesting.

Writer: Robert E. Howard
Artist: Barry Smith

A poem by Howard about Conan’s homeland Cimmeria.

“The Crusader”
Writer: Unknown
Artist: Joe Maneely

A group of crusaders traveling to the holy land are struck by plague and set up camp. A Saracen with a band of Mongols comes upon them. The leader finds no honor in attacking sick men. The Mongols have no such qualms and the Mongol leader wants the Saracen blade that the leader has. The Mongol treacherously attacks and is killed. Later the Saracen finds out that the crusader leader is his half-brother. An old reprint from the fifties but kind of interesting if a little bit hokey.

“A Probably Outline of Conan’s Career”
By P. Schuyler Miller & John D. Clark, Pd.D.

An article that outlines Conan’s life based on Howards’ writing. It starts with Conan as a youth and his experiences as a thief. He later moves on to being a mercenary and pirate. Finally he becomes king of Aquilonia. A very informative article on the history of Conan.

“The Skull of Silence!”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on story by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Berni Wrightson

Kull and his Red Slayers are returning to The City of Wonders which is the capital of Kull’s kingdom. He decides to stay at a castle in spite of the warning a slave gives him. The castle is supposed to be where a sorcerer Raama imprisoned the Spectre of Silence. Kull scoffs at such superstitions and breaks the seal on the door. They are assaulted by silence. Kull manages to ring a gong that breaks the silence.

So Savage Tales is revived and it comes back strong. We get two Howard stories adapted by Roy Thomas who you can tell loves his work. Red Nails is supposed to be Howard’s last Conan story he wrote before his untimely death. It is definitely a classic and I can’t wait for the conclusion. The Kull story was also good. I don’t think I did it justice in summarizing it. You have to read it to appreciate it.

The two articles were very interesting. I have an interest in Howard and enjoy reading about him.

It is really great that Marvel managed to revive the magazine titles. I don’t know what my Sundays as a child would have been like without them.


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