SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #14

“Shadows in Zamboula”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from story by Robert E. Howard
Artists: Neal Adams and the Tribe

Conan is in the desert city of Zamboula when he runs into a crazy old man spouting about how guests from Aram Baksh are mysterious disappearing. Conan thinks little of it because he has rented a room from Aram for the night. It has a heavy door barred to keep him safe. Later that night he is awakened by a man with a spiked hairdo entering his room. Conan kills him and finds out he is one of the cannibal slaves from Darfar. So he goes to visit Aram and comes on a woman being abducted by some more of the cannibal slaves. Seems the populace gives them some free reign to kidnap strangers so they don’t revolt.

Conan kills them and rescues the girl who calls herself Zabibi. She tells a story that the local high priest of Hanuman desired her so gave a potion to her lover to drive him mad. They come on the mad lover and Conan subdues him and ties him up. Nabibi convinces Conan to go with her to the temple and assassinate Totrasmek the high priest. In exchange for a night of passion. So at the temple Zabibi is grabbed by mysterious hands. Conan finds the secret passage and is confronted by a huge black man named Baal-Ptoer. He uses his powers of illusion to disarm Conan. Then he plans to strangle Conan. Only Conan is not that easy to strangle and ends up getting strangled himself.

Conan them comes on Totrasmek using his powers of illusion to make Nabibi think she is being attacked by serpents. Conan kills the high priest and the girls finds the potion to cure her lover but not the ring The Star of Khoraja. So they leave and she cures her lover. Nabibi reveals that her lover is the satrap of the city and she is his mistress. She obviously can’t give Conan what she agreed to but does pay him off with a bag of gold.

Before Conan leaves the city he goes to Aram and cuts out his tongue and beard so he can’t say anything. Then he gives him to the Darfar cannibals as he rides off with the Star of Khoraja which will fetch a fortune from the Queen of Ophir.

“The Worms Return”
By David Anthony Kraft

A review of the new book Worms of the Earth which contain a collection of Howard’s stories about Picts and especially Bran Mak Morn.

“A King Kull Glossary”
By Fred Blosser

A glossary of Kull’s world from A to Z.

“The Silver Beast Beyond Tokertown”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Mike Zeck

A man turns into a werewolf and goes out and kills a man on horseback. Solomon Kane finds the body and takes it to the tavern in town. There a hysterical woman tells the gathering that her brother is a werewolf and out to kill her. The werewolf breaks in and Solomon manages to kill it with a silver knife. Later he has it melted down for a ball for his musket. Then he goes to the man’s mansion and finds his manuscript. It tells how a werewolf killed his parents when he was a baby. That he tracked the werewolf down when he grew up to a gypsy camp. The sister discovers him but she is not the sister. She was the werewolf and turns into a wolf. Only Solomon shoots her with the silver bullet.

So the Howard adaptation was excellent and pure Howard. I loved the scene where Conan and Baal-Ptoer were standing there and each grabbing the others neck. How Conan with ease killed the professional strangler. After all he broke the neck of a bull as a youth. Then the bad ass way he got his revenge on Aram. This was just a joy to get this classic story and the artwork was excellent.

The article and glossary were good fillers.

Finally we get another cool Solomon tale. A moody piece set during the night with a surprise twist ending. This was an excellent issue.

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