KULL AND THE BARBARIANS #3

“The Omen in the Skull”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Vicente Alcazar

Kull and Ridondo are heading toward Atlantis where Kull hopes to raise an army. He draws his sword and it bursts into flames leaving runes on the blade. Kull stops at an island inhabited by the witch Kareesha. He gets a vision of a future when Atlantians invade the Thurian mainland. They are lead by a member of the Sea-Mountain tribe. So Kull thinks it is his destiny and continues on. Arriving in Atlantis Kull has a vision of a huge skull. Then his friends appear and turn into skeletons. He saves a girl from a battling tiger and snake. The snake wins but Kull kill the snake. The woman says it represents the battle between him and Thulsa Doom. This is all an illusion and the two continue on and find a city has been build in the ten years that Kull has been absent from his tribe.

“An Informal History of Solomon Kane”
By Fred Blosser

A biography of the fiction character. An English Puritan who has a wanderlust that takes him throughout Europe and Africa where he battles supernatural creatures and evil men.

“The Day of the Sword”
Writer: Roy Thomas & Doug Moench
Artist: Howard Chaykin

Red Sonja comes on a group of robbers torturing one of their victims. Sonja confronts them and naturally because she is a woman they don’t take her seriously. That is until she cuts the hand off of one. Then she kills the others and finds out their victim is know to Sonja. A flashback to when Sonja was a young girl living with her family in Hyrkania. Her father a wounded former mercenary. One day a group of mercenaries come lead by a former comrade. This man kills Sonja’s family and rapes her. As she escapes the burning house an image of a goddess comes and promises to give Sonja skills. She must never love a man unless he has defeated her in a fair fight. A straggler from the mercenaries finds her and she uses her new skills to defeat him. In the present she rides away after realizing that the nameless mercenary’s mind is gone from the torture.

“Into the Silent City”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on story by Robert E. Howard
Artists: Alan Weiss and Pablo Marcos

Solomon has agreed to help destroy the vampires infesting this African land. First he sleeps with the ju-ju staff and communicates with N’Longa. He informs Kane that he should have the girl bring her lover back and grasp the staff. She does this and N’Longa takes over the body. They then go to a ruined city and are attacked by the hordes of vampires. Kane fights them until N’Longa can finish his spell. Flocks of vultures come and eat the vampires. Another spell sets the city on fire destroying all the vampires left.

The final issue in the short lived series. Apparently distribution problems plagued this series and it was cancelled. As this issue came out they still must of had confidence that it would continue. An advertisement for the next issue was at the end and the subscription pages still offered it. Too bad because I really enjoyed this concept. A great place for the three other characters of Howard to be showcases. Still Kull would eventually get his series reinstated and Red Sonja and Solomon Kane would have their own limited series. All three would also have appearances in the Savage Sword of Conan.

So the Kull story was okay. A little weird with all the weird visions. It did hint at Kull being the leader of an Atlantean invasion. The end also had a mystery in that a city is now on Atlantis where there was none. Will be continued in Conan which will be explored sometime in the future.

The Red Sonja story was an origin story so that was important. A very intriguing story that would set the motivation for this character decades in the future including the present.

Finally the Solomon Kane story was also just okay. He seemed to be more of a spectator than one who actually did anything. The Fred Blosser biography was very interesting and helpful in tracking the chronology of his adventures.

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