“Curse of the Undead-Man”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from “Mistress of Death” by Robert E. Howard
Artists: John Buscema and Pablo Marcos
Conan is in the City of Thieves when some priests run from an alley. They are chased by thieves who bump into Conan. The thieves decide to kill Conan because they think he saw their crime. Conan slices up the thieves except the last one because he trips on something. Fortunately Red Sonja is there to save him. Conan picks up a severed finger that he slipped on. They go into the alley and find a man in some circle. Sonja recognizes him as the wizard Costranno. She witnessed his execution earlier. A local madame Berthilda cut off his ring finger and betrayed him. It looks as if his followers were trying to resurrect the wizard. Conan contemptuously throws the finger down and leaves never seeing it reattach itself to the wizard.
So later at a tavern he notices the ring finger on a hooded man. Before he can act the city guard comes to arrest both him and Sonja. A pissed off harlot named them as suspects. So they fight their way out and go to the home of Berthilda. Conan likes to clean up his own messes. They find the wizard summoning a demon. Conan cuts off his hand and throws the body into the pit the demon is rising them. Then they seal the pit and take Berthilda out. Only Berthilda is not grateful and goes back. Conan threw the hand with the ring with the body so the wizard is once again alive to take his revenge. Conan decides once is enough and him and Sonja go off.
“A Hyperborean Oath”
By Roy Thomas
An editorial on the new magazine. Basically it will have adaptation of Howard’s Conan stories and other characters. The only exception is the Blackmark feature which was inspired by Howard.
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: Esteban Maroto, Neal Adams and Ernie Chua
Red Sonja comes back from her mission to Makkalet with the serpent tiara. Only the king of Pah-Dishah decides to interpret as giving his most precious gift as being himself. So Sonja is taken to be cleaned up for his harem. Only Sonja instead manages to use the king’s own dagger and kill him. Then she has to fight the king’s bodyguard who is pissed that he will not have an old age pension. Sonja helps out by making sure he will never need one.
“Conan’s Women Warriors”
By Fred Blosser
An article on the four warrior women that Conan met. They are Belit, Yasmala, Valeria and Red Sonja.
Writer & Artist: Gil Kane
In a post-apocalypse future a couple are going to a new place to start over. In the wastes they meed King Amarix and his servant. They are fleeing his people because the king believes in restoring science and that is blamed for the destruction of the Earth. Amarix manages to use his technology to make the young woman fertile and she will give birth to a son that has the memories of the lost science from the old days.
“An Atlantean in Aquilonia”
By Glen Lord
An article on how the failed story “By This Ax I Rule” was cannibalized and rewritten as the first Conan story “The Phoenix on the Sword”.
“The Frost Giant’s Daughter”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from story by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Barry Smith
A reprint from Savage Tales #1.
So here it is. The very first Savage Sword of Conan. Probably the most successful of the black and white magazines from the seventies. It is the only series to last until the nineties. Needless to say this was an excellent start. The stories were brilliant. The articles interesting. They packed a lot into those 84 pages for a buck. You just don’t get this now days. Out of all the Conan series ever done this had to be the best.
Also the main story takes place after the Conan the Barbarian issue #42. The one I just read last Thursday. I swear I didn’t plan that at all. Just wonderful how it worked out like that.