“Hawks Over Shem”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from story by L. Sprague deCamp and Robert E. Howard
Artists: John Buscema & Alfredo Alcala
Conan has come to Asgalun in Shem to kill Othbaal. Othbaal betrayed the mercenary army Conan was with and now wants revenge. On the streets at night he is confronted by a man who thinks that Conan is following him. Then some Kushites that are really following the man appear. They decide to kill both Conan and the man which proves to be a mistake as Conan easily handles them. The man turns out to be General Mazdan who leads the mercenary Hyrkanians. The Kushites were from a rival Imbalayo who commands the other. The third is the Anakim commanded by the man Conan wants to kill.
Mazdan proposes helping Conan kill Othbaal. So the two sneak into his house through a secret passage and Conan manages to kill Othbaal. Than Mazdan plants a ring next to the body to implicate Imbalayo for the killing. Meanwhile Othbaal’s concubine escapes as this is going on and is wandering the streets at night. She is found by the mad king Akhirom and about to be killed for violating one of his laws on women being on the street. To save herself Rufia convinces the king that he is a god. The madman then gets delusions of his godhood. He orders the priest of Pteor the city’s god to be thrown into the sacrificial fires. This causes the citizens to revolt.
Conan decides he wants to leave and take the woman Rufia on his journey north. So he sneaks in again and has to fight a mad Stygian witch and Imbalayo. Meanwhile the city descends into chaos and the mad king fleeing the mob thinks he can fly and jumps off the roof. Needless to say he figures out the hard way he isn’t a god. Conan and Rufia head north with plundered loot.
“A Gazetteer of the Hyborian World of Conan Part V”
By Lee Falconer
The continuing glossary of places in Conan and Kull’s worlds. This time from L-M.
So we get another full length story. This one was a really enjoyable one. DeCamp had a good idea in adapting Howard’s other stories to Conan. They fit perfectly and showcase just how brilliant a writer Howard was. We also get a re-teaming of the Buscema/Chan artwork. An excellent issue filled with a unique cast of characters.