“The Mirrors of Kharam Akkad”
Writers: Roy Thomas and Barry Smith inspired by “The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune” by Robert E. Howard
Artist: John Buscema
Kharam Akkad is upset. He has the mirrors of Tuzun Thune and one shows a barbarian standing over his dead body. Above are an eagle, snake and lion. He finds out the barbarian is close by and has him arrested. So Conan after a good fight is knocked out and taken to Kharam. There he is put in front of a mirror that shoots out tentacles that try to strangle him. A guard is sympathetic and tries to help but Kharam kills him. The guard’s sword gets within reach of Conan who uses it to free himself. Then he fights Kharam. The wizard puts up a good fight but hesitates when he notices the pommel of Conan’s sword is an eagle. Conan cuts the straps on his shield which he sees are made of snake skin. Then he tries to use his magic mirror but Conan runs him through thus fulfilling the prophecy.
So we find out what happened to the mirrors from one of Kull’s greatest stories. Kharam puts up a good sword fight for a wizard. Usually they aren’t that proficient. So Barry has left the art chores for the series although he does co-plot this issue. The big news is John Buscema coming on as artist. He would stay on for another 100 issues along with Roy. These two are where I started reading Conan so their style set the image of Conan for me. I think the two did some of their finest work with this series and look forward to their stories.
So the story was a fun one. It used an event from Kull’s time to good effect. With Buscema drawing this just feels like the Conan I remember from my youth. So Makkalet is on the verge of doom. Yezdigerd has decided to mount a final assault now that Pah-Dishah has deserted their allies. So next issue will be the ending of the siege of Makkalet story.