“The Lost Valley of Iskander!”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on story by Robert E. Howard
Artists: Howard Chaykin & Ernie Chan
Conan has just helped Mer-ath become the sole king of Harakht. He asks a favor of Conan. Everytime a new ruler is crowned Harakht and a village trade gems called the Eye of Set. In return for delivering the gem Conan and his companions will get safe passage to Luxor. Conan agrees for the passage and to piss off the new high priest Hun-ya-di. So he takes off and is ambushed by the followers of the high priest. The fight causes an avalanche which kills most of Conan’s adversaries. Along the way he finds a beautiful blonde woman named Bardylis trapped under a boulder. Conan lifts it off and she guides him to the city of Attalus. This city was founded by followers of Alexander the Great who were pulled through a time warp to the Hyborian age. They founded this city in a lost valley. Conan meets with it’s king Ptolemy.
So apparently Big John was too busy to do this issue so a story already written was pulled off the shelf and altered to fit the currently storyline. Which explains why Conan is sidetracked on this adventure instead of the main quest. Still this is an excellent story. Another non-Conan Howard story adapted quite ingeniously to the world of Conan. Chaykin’s art is very much in the style that Buscema established. Yes this does interrupt the main plot but its still done in an enjoyable and entertaining way.