“The Lurker From The Catacombs”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on “Red Nails” by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Barry Smith
Conan is looking for Valeria who wandered off in the city of Xuchotl. He finds her battling two fanatics from the opposing faction. He rescues her and with Techotl leads them to his people. They traverse the catacombs and are attacked by a creature that is used by the enemy. Conan wounds it with his sword. At the sanctuary of Techotl’s people they are greeted warmly by Prince Olmec and Princess Tascela. Now they can post five more red nails to a post for the enemy that was killed. They find out the history of this conflict. Fifty years ago a rebel faction was forced to flee Stygia. They made there way to the city and managed to capture it. Later two brothers got into an fight over a woman and now the two factions have been trying to kill each other off. Conan and Valeria are offered a job to fight for them in exchange for treasure. The two agree.
The enemy then attacks and a final battle ensues. The enemy is slaughtered. Olmec sends Conan to check out their stronghold with two of his warriors. They go there and find the dead creature that Conan wounded and the heads preserved in jars of those that were killed. The warriors accompanying Conan go insane and try to kill Conan. Meanwhile Olmec makes his move to capture Valeria but he is stopped by Tascela and her powers of hypnotism. Tascela needs Valeria to sacrifice so she can maintain her youth.
“An Age Undreamed Of”
By Roy Thomas
An editorial on Savage Tales. Seems this issue is once again being put on hold to see if its profitable. Thomas goes on to explain the format he envisions and hopes that the magazine will come back.
“Red Sonja She-Devil of the Turanian Steppes”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Esteban Maroto
A two page spread of Red Sonja with text on how Howard described her.
“The Crimson Bell”
Writer: Ray Capella
Artists: Al Wiliamson & Frank Brunner
A text story with illustration about Arquel of Argos. Arquel is after a mercenary army lead by two women who robbed his father’s castle. Set in the world of Conan.
“The Fury of the Femizons”
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: John Romita
A reprint from Savage Tales #1.
“Red Nails in the Sunset”
By Roy Thomas
An article on the art for Red Nails from Weird Tales. It shows the drawing that have not appeared in over forty years since this story was first published.
“The Once and Future Talon”
Writer & Artist: Jim Steranko
An article about an upcoming sword and sorcery project by Steranko called Talon. Sounds like it had potential and will have to see if it was ever done.
“A Probable Outline of Roy Thomas Career”
An article on Roy Thomas and his career from a English High School teacher to Executive Editor at Marvel.
“An Informal History of Barry the Barbarian”
A brief biography on artist Barry Smith who draws for Conan.
“He Comes from the Dark”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on Red Nails by Robert E. Howard.
Artist: Barry Smith
Conan comes upon Techotl who was stabbed in the back by Olmec when he betrayed Valeria. He has crawled to warn Conan of his treachery. So he comes later upon Olmec strapped to a torture device. He frees him in exchange for leading him to Valeria. Olmec tries later to stab Conan in the back but doesn’t succeed. Conan comes on the throne room were Tescala is sacrificing Valeria. A steel trap in the floor catches Conan’s foot. Just then the old body of a lover of Tescala arrives with a wand that shoots a laser beam. He starts shooting down the survivors and Tescala frees Conan so he can kill the old man which Conan does. Then Tescala grabs the fallen wand but is stopped by Valeria who stabs her in the back. The two decide to leave this place and seek riches as pirates.
Well the only really thing of note about this issue was the adaptation of “Red Nails.” This was one of Howard’s best stories and was a true joy. It was to be spread out over another issue but the second cancellation had it included in this one. Of course this series still has life in it as we will see next week.
Otherwise not much of interest. The articles ranged from interesting to boring fillers. The Femizon story was a reprint from #1. I understand including it here since the first issue didn’t get much circulation but since I read it just recently not much new.