“The Oracle of Ophir!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: John Buscema
The princess Yvonna has been taken to Ronnoco where she finds out that she is being married off to its prince to form an alliance. Just then Yusef the last survivor of the group sent to retrieve the Shadow Ring comes riding in. He tells of the shadow creature that killed everyone else. Conan suggests they need to consult an oracle and luckily one happens to be nearby. So Conan is ordered to consult the oracle and take Tara and Yusef with him. At the oracle’s cave entrance he is confronted by the guardian a giant of a man. The price to see the oracle is having your arm cut off. Naturally Conan finds that too high and instead defeats the guardian.
Later he crawls through a tight passage and consults the oracle. He finds the oracle to be a skeleton that can speak. The oracle gives some cryptic answer that confuses Conan and me. Later as he attempts to leave he finds himself cursed to take the place of the guardian. He uses all his strength to break through the invisible barrier and finds a double of himself. One of the cryptic comments the oracle shared inspires Conan to place the sword of the guardian back into the dead guardian’s hand. The guardian comes alive and destroys the double Conan. Now Conan and his companions are free to return to Ronnoco.
Well this story didn’t really do much for me. In fact it was a dud. I mean it seemed to advance the plot in no way and was a time waster. Like Conan the oracle’s advice made no sense although I suppose in the next issue it might. Still that is not bad to go over fifty issues until to run into a complete dud. So you do have to be forgiving because you are bound to get some and the ratio of excellent to dud is miniscule.