“Revenge of the Barbarian”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from “Black Vulmea’s Vengeance” by Robert E. Howard
Artists: John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala

Conan is a pirate captain and wakes up after the ship had a successful haul. A Stygian galley filled with wine that the crew proceeded to drink. They drank so much that in the morning the whole crew is passed out. Conan who comes on deck then sees a Zingarian buccaneer approaching. Only Conan is still sober and puts up a fight but is soon overwhelmed. Later the Zingarians sink the pirate ship and Conan is taken to it’s captain Dom Castillius. Conan knows that the captain is the infamous Basqus the Butcher. A very unpopular man who put down a revolt and had to have a new identity forged for him.

So Conan to save his life concocts a story of buried treasure on the Black Coast. This has Dom and his men take Conan into the jungle to a ruined city. Only the city has a savage tribe guarding it. Conan escapes as the savages massacre the crew. Only Dom manages to escape into the ruined city. Seems the tribe won’t go enter because of the demon that lives there. Now Dom has to fight Conan which they proceed to do. Conan wins but spares Dom’s life after he finds out the captain has a wife and daughter.

The two men have to leave because another tribe that doesn’t have the superstitious fear of the city is coming. The two had to fight the demon which is a giant snake. They wound it and follow the blood to a passage out of the city. They find a jewel necklace which Conan splits in two and shares with Dom. Then they fight the chief and his men. At the last minute the two are saved by the wounded snake coming back and attacking the savages. The two men make it to safety.

“Meet the People Behind Conan”
By David A. Kraft

A biography of the people responsible for Savage Sword. They include Robert E. Howard, Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Alfredo Alcala and Marie Severin.

“Conan of the Silver Screen A Special Report”
By James Delson

An article on the development of a Conan movie. To star Arnold Schwartzenegger.

So this special issue has a very special place in my heart. It is my very first introduction to Conan. Back around Christmas 1977 an eight year old boy found this magazine in a discount supermarket after church in Price, Utah. He was immediately captivated by this character Conan. The world he lived in and his adventures among pirates and savages. With lost cities, treasure and giant snakes. The bright colors definitely helped this mag but the art and story won me over. Soon after I would grab up any issue of Savage Sword with glee. My copy shows some serious love for you can tell it was reread many times over.

So the story is an adaptation of a non-Conan Howard story. Roy manages as usual to turn it into a top notch story. This one a special color issue which added to the experience. Add to it the interesting bibliographies of the various people involved in the issue. Didn’t know that Alcala in his youth worked for the resistance in Japanese occupied Philippines. The movie article was of interest to me historically as I got to find out the directors that were being considered for the movie. A very special issue for me at least. One that takes me back to my childhood.

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