“Dark Cavern, Dark Crystal Part II”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Alan Davis
Conan has been tied to a tree to die as Pakim forces the Lady Serra to lead him to the treasure. Only Conan manages to break the branch off that he was tied to and kill his guards. Pakim meanwhile has managed to find the entrance to the cavern leading to the treasure. They find a large dark crystal. Zubair the hired nobleman reveals himself to be a wizard. He frees himself and set the giant bats that guard the crystal against Pakim and his men. Conan at this time arrives and takes this revenge on Pakim. Then he rescues Serra and goes after Zubair. Zubair is killed while trying to conjure a spell by a well thrown knife from Conan. Conan than tosses the crystal at the bats so they can escape. Serra gets angry at that and stabs Conan. Only she also has a piece of the crystal in her ring and the bat creatures take her. The cavern collapses leaving a wounded Conan to go and take charge of the Himelian tribesmen.
“The Shadow of Vengeance Part XI”
By Scott Oden
Karash Khan managed to transfer his spirit into a wooden statue of a lady serpent. This statue destroys the ship and Conan manages to swim to shore. The wooden statue follows but Conan uses fire to destroy it. Now with his united Kozaks and Red Brotherhood pirates he plans to go after the man who started all this.
So a Roy Thomas story comes to an end. It was a brilliant story. Roy really knows how to write Conan and I just loved this story. It had all the cool elements. A lost treasure. An evil bandit. A traitorous woman. A wizard. Giant bats. Conan felt like the Conan of old. The opening where the two guards are wagering on spiting in Conan’s face. His badass tearing the branch off and killing these two guards while tied to it. Also tied in to how Conan became the leader of the hillmen during this time in his life. Roy always manages to keep the established canon started by Howard and other writers. A very fun nostalgic return to the golden age of Conan comics.
The prose story also ties up the plot. Karash Khan is killed and Conan now has united the pirates and his Kozaks. The only thing left is for him to get his revenge which I’m sure will be exciting in the final chapter.