SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #39

“Legions of the Dead”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from story by L. Sprague De Camp and Lin Carter
Artists: Sal Buscema & Tony Dezuniga

It is early in Conan’s youth and he has fled Cimmeria because of a blood feud. He joins up with the Aesir under their chief Njal. They are going into Hyperborea to rescue his daughter Rann who was captured by slavers. They arrive at the fortress Haloga of the witch queen Vammatar. The sight that greets their eyes are Njal’s scouts strung up and being slowly tortured to death. At night Conan decides to do something and sneaks off. He climbs the walls and frees the daughter Rann. Then he sets the fortress on fire. Njal is overjoyed at the turn of events and starts to head back to Aesgaard. Yet they are soon overtaken by the Hyperboreans. The witch Vammatar has made zombies of the Aesir scouts and those that died in the fire. The Aesir fight bravely but are soon overwhelmed by the zombies. Conan manages to steal Vammatar’s horse and send off Rann before he is captured. The daughter escapes but Conan and the surviving Aesir are herded to the slave pens.

“Portfolio of Robert E. Howard”
By Ruby Nebres

Six art portfolios by Nebres of Howard characters. They are Red Sonja, Solomon Kane, King Kull and of course Conan.

“A Gazetteer of the Hyborian World of Conan Part VII”
By Lee Falconer

The glossary of place and people from Q to S.

“Moon of Skulls Part Three and Four”
Writer: Don Glut adapted from story by Robert E. Howard
Artist: David Wenzel

Solomon is now captive of Queen Nakari of Negari. She is there when Kane regains conscious. She has a fascination with him and offers him the opportunity to rule by her side. Naturally being a devout Puritan he refuses and tells her to “begone daughter of Satan”. She doesn’t take that well and tells him how she will torture the young girl Marylin. Later Kane manages to escape his guards and find the secret passage. He comes on a man in dungeon who was the high priest. From him he learns that Marylin is to be sacrificed tonight on the night of the Moon of Skulls. He tells Kane to slay the false priest behind the skull in the tower. Before he can give directions he dies. So Kane takes the wrong turn and finds himself outside the tower watching the sacrifice. Yet he finds a guard that has his pistol. So he uses the pistol to shoot the skull in the tower. This causes the people to go nuts and start killing everyone. Nakari is killed by one of her people. Kane rescues Marylin as the city collapses.

So this issue we get a shorter story so they can finish the Solomon Kane story. I enjoyed this tale of Conan’s youth. We know it was established that Conan was a slave to the Hyperboreans and that is why he has an intense hatred of them. This was a fun story to show the story behind that event. The Hyperboreans are a very evil lot. The use of zombies and their torture show that Conan’s hatred is well founded. It would be many years later that Roy would write the story of his escape from the slave pens.

The Solomon Kane story comes to an end. I always enjoyed this comic version. Nakari was very beautiful and evil. The setting of this lost Atlantean city in Africa has a very Burroughs feel to it. Another excellent Howard story which shows that the guy was brilliant as a writer.

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