KULL AND THE BARBARIANS #2

“Of Swords, Sorcery- and Science”
By Roy Thomas

A short article on the history of Kull and the other characters that appear in this issue. Also includes a map of the Thurian continent.

“Teeth of the Dragon”
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artist: Jess Jodloman

Kull, Brule and Ridondo are attacked by members of the Black Legion. A wounded survivor tells how Ardyon threatened the Legion’s families to get them to cooperate. Kull and companions then meet up with Ka-nu who arranges passage to the Pict islands where Kull hopes to recruit an army. Along the way they fight a sea serpent. They eventually reach the island that is home to Brule’s tribe. On arrival they are attacked by the tribe and taken prisoner. A shaman named Teyanoga has taken over the tribe. He starts a ritual that merges a man with a snake to create a snake-man. He then decapitates this creature.(No reason given why?) While doing that Kull gets free and frees his companions. They not only fight the warriors but Kull must fight the headless snake-man. Ridondo manages to push Teyanoga into the fire. This just makes the shaman mad and the three are forced to flee. At the end Brule stays behind to free his people while Kull and Ridondo continue on to find help in retaking the throne of Valusia.

“The Hills of the Dead”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on story by Robert E. Howard
Artists: Alan Weiss and Neal Adams

Solomon Kane is in Africa. He gets a juju staff from a shaman he saved which Kane reluctantly accepts. As he wanders he saves a fleeing girl from a lion. The two set up camp in a cave for the night. Two zombies attack. The juju staff kills one and turns it to dust. The other can’t be killed by bullets and eventually snapping its neck does the trick.

“The Swordwoman and the Scribe Or, Red Sonja Revealed- and Why Not?”
By Roy Thomas

A short article on Roy Thomas time at Comic Con in ’74 and his judging of a costume contest. The winner is Dawn Greil in her Red Sonja costume. Includes a picture of winner with Roy.

“Red Sonja She-Devil with a Sword”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on story by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Howard Chaykin

Red Sonja is traveling through the Nemedian forest known as Darkwoods. She comes on a family and asks about a castle. This freaks the family out and they flee when a mysterious man arrives. The man Ghunthar gives Sonja a casket with instruction to give to the lady of the castle. Later Sonja meets a masked man who is curious about the casket. Sonja threatens him and he goes away. Later she arrives at the castle and finds to woman dead. The masked man comes and is revealed to be a werewolf. He opens the casket and is covered in silver dust. This weakens him enough for Sonja to kill. At the end a servant tells how the son was turned into a werewolf and wanted to be destroyed which is why he gave Sonja the casket.

“Blackmark Versus the Mind Demons”
Writer and artist: Gil Kane

The first part of the story was reprinted in Marvel Preview 17.

The second issue is for the most part new material. It continues the story from the recently cancelled Kull color comic. A great idea to continue this story. Kull is still searching for a way to regain his throne. The adventure on the Pictish island was weird and filled with action. Kull loses his friend Brule as he must stay behind to free his people. Obviously another setup for a future adventure. Also Ridondo shows that he is a loyal companion in this story and quite brave. A major rehabilitation from what this character was originally.

The Soloman Kane story is also another excellent adaptation of a Howard story. His adventures in Africa are my favorite and this one with the zombies is creepy and enjoyable. Also hints at a continuation with next issue having Kane explore the origins of these zombies.

The Red Sonja story was ok. It just seems that Sonja was more a spectator in the story than a participant. Somehow it just didn’t click with me.

And the Blackmark was continuing adapting Gil Kane’s second book in the series from the Savage Sword of Conan. It would of course later appear in a Marvel Preview in its entirety. A good choice for this series since in spite of its futuristic sci-fi it has a feel of a Howard story. The second issue shows great potential for what this series could have been.

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