“Savage Doings in Shem!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: John Buscema & Ernie Chan
Conan, Belit and Zula have made it to the coast and the rendezvous with the Tigress. There is great happiness among the Corsairs that their goddess and Amra have returned. Soon after M’gora comes from the swamp returning from his mission to Asgalun. He is attacked by giant swamp rats but Conan and the Corsairs come to his rescue. From M’gora they learn what is going on in Asgalun. The Stygians have hired Kushite mercenaries to help them keep control of the city. M’gora and the Corsairs with him were drafted by them and were able to enter the city. Nim-Karrak the king who is all but a puppet of the Stygians has hired Hyrkanian mercenaries to guard him. The city is on the verge of a civil war. Belit is determined to go back and have vengeance against her uncle and reclaim the throne.
So Conan, Belit Zula and M’gora are able to infiltrate the city. Thanks to some of the Corsairs who serve with the Kushite mercenaries. They are lead by M’gora to a supposedly easy way to enter the palace. Once in a pleasure garden a trap is sprung by the Stygians. M’gora was under the control of Ptor-Nubis the Stygian advisor to the king. Ptor-Nubis uses his mind control to take over the four and force them to fight each other to the death.
So Conan and Belit are reunited with the Black Corsairs. Nice to have them together after such a long absence. Most of the issue is exposition about Asgalun. This was because Marvel had recently acquired the rights to De Camp’s stories and one of his dealt with Asgalun. So we get a nice detailed backstory that fits in his version with the current storyline. I did find it interesting and Roy like always knows how to integrate such stuff into his official canon. Plus throw in a little giant rat action and you have a fun story. Getting close to the big resolution of Belit’s quest for revenge.