“When Madness Wears the Crown”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from book “Conan The Liberator” by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter
Artists: John Buscema & Tony Dezuniga
King Numedides of Aquilonia is truly mad. He spends his nights bathing in the blood of young women to give him immortality. Otherwise he stays in his garden with his gold and jeweled statues of himself talking to the plants. He has left the running of government to a sorcerer named Thulandra Thuu. Thuu has his own agenda which entails him eventually becoming king and ruling the whole world. Meanwhile in Argos Conan with his conspirators arrive in the capital Messantia to fence the jewels from the Treasure of Tranicos. Soon they have recruited an army to go up against King Numedides.
Yet Thulandra Thuu has spies in Conan’s army. He also has managed to have his agent Alcina a beautiful dancing girl become Conan’s mistress. She manages to pass on Conan’s plan. So when Conan’s army tries to cross the Alimane river it is ambushed. Conan manages to pull his shattered army back to regroup. Never realizing that his mistress is the one spying on him.
“Chanins and Fetters A Study of Slavery in the Hyborian Age Part II”
By Jim Neal
A second part of a feature on slavery in Conan’s time. This time Jim explores slavery in the civilized western nations. The enslavement of supernatural creatures. Slave revolts of the time and slaves that were in positions of power.
“The Woman from Khitai”
Writer: Don Glut
Artists: Gary Brodsky & Tony Dezuniga
King Raka is the ruler of a small city-state. He has a harem of beautiful women. He looks forward to the new girl arriving from Khitai. His wives love him but they fear his personal bodyguard Shorg. Shorg likes to take advantage of the women after the king goes to his quarters. Seems the king is afraid of his bodyguard. So the girl from Khitai named Soosha arrives. Later at night in the harem Shorg comes to check out the new arrival. Only Soosha uses her magic to imprison Shorg in the giant diamond that is a gift to her new husband.
So starts the adaptation of the novel that tells the story of how Conan became king. So far I am enjoying it. We have the cruel and insane king. The evil wizard that is the true power behind the throne. Conan now has some focus in his life. For the first time he is at an age where he wants to settle down and not go around adventuring. An interesting look at Conan.
The article was an informative and interesting read. The backup story was also very well done. This foppish king who lets his bodyguard molest his wives. The women were beautiful in this story and I loved the just deserts that were meted out to Shorg. Another excellent issue in this series.