“Rogues in the House”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from story by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Barry Smith
Conan is locked in the city’s dungeon. Jenna sold him out and drugged his wine than turned him over to the city guard. Now he faces the hangman. He gets a visitor in the nobleman Murilo. Murilo has been targeted by the true ruler of the city Nabonidus so he makes a deal. He will free Conan if he goes and kills Nabonidus. Conan has no other good prospects so agrees. Murilo goes home and later finds out his man was arrested so Conan was not freed. Murilo goes to kill Nabonidus himself.
Conan still manages to bust out. He first goes to the Maze to pay back treachery. First he guts the fop Igon. Then he drops the faithless Jenna into a cesspool. Done with his revenge he heads out to Nabonidus’s house. He easily breaks in and while going through the underground corridors meets Murilo. Murilo tells of how he found Nabonidus and he was a man-ape. Then he was knocked out and finds himself in the dungeon. They continue on and find Nabonidus also unconscious. When he wakes he tells that his pet man-ape Thak has rebelled and decided to ape his master.
The three come to an alliance and try to escape. Thak finds them and Conan must battle the creature. He slays him and the three are about to leave when Nabonidus turns on them. He activates hidden flame throwers but Conan manages to throw his knife and kill the Red Priest.
Well for the eleventh issue it is an extra length one and an adaptation of a Howard story. This is one cool story. I love how Thomas has weaved the characters from his ongoing story into Howard’s. Jenna is the faithless woman and gets her just reward. I loved how Conan shows he has a barbarian code that won’t kill women but a wicked sense of humor. The smug Igon gets his too. Then the elaborate house of Nabonidus with its myriad traps and corridors. A giant man-ape and a savage battle between them. And the final where Conan so casually disposes of the treacherous Nabonidus. There is so much little details like the jailer being arrested for tax evasion that make it believable. A very enjoyable issue.