“The Ivory Goddess”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from story by L. Sprague de Camp & Lin Carter
Artists: John Buscema & Danny Bulandi

After Conan’s adventures in the “Jewels of Gwahlur” he decides to go to neighboring Punt. With the girl Muriela he wants to use her to pose as a goddess and scam the king of Punt. Only he already knows that Thutmekri has already ingratiated himself with the king. So they go to a holy building and find a statue of the goddess Nebethet. Only the goddess has a skull for a head. Still Conan is not to be deterred. He finds a hidden alcove where a priest hides to throw his voice. While alone Muriela is assaulted by an old crone and her half-hyena man. Conan has a fight with the creature and kills it. Soon after the king arrives with Thutmekri.

The king consults the oracle statue and Muriela uses her voice to expose Thutmekri as a fraud and have Conan made general of the army. Only the statue falls and breaks. Muriela now stands before everyone only she has a glow about her. She says she is the real goddess inhabiting her body. To prove it she strikes down one of Thutmekri’s men. She commands Thutmekri be fed to the crocodiles but Conan can be spared because he was nice to Muriela. A fight ensues with Thutmekri’s men and the kings. Conan fight Thutmekri and chops off his head. This causes his followers to flee. Conan confronts the goddess and finds out that she is real. He agrees to leave.

“Conan of the Storyboards”
Writer: Mike W. Barr
Artist: Neal Adams

A storyboard done by Adams for the upcoming Conan movie. He did it on spec and hoped to sell it. Needless to say it was never used but is interesting. It is to open the movie and has four riders approach a camp. The riders manage to kill the sentries and then slaughter the men. Only one mysterious figure manages to kill them. At the end it is revealed to be Conan. That would have been a cool opening.

So this is a sad issue. It was the last Roy Thomas would edit. He would be leaving to work for DC. There would still be some of his stories in the can but he was gone. Roy was the creative genius behind Conan and consistently wrote the color comic, Savage Sword and the new King Conan. Not to mention the various Red Sonja, Kull and Solomon Kane. He practically single-handed made the sword and sorcery line of comics for Marvel a success. He also paved the way for the renewed interest in Conan books and movies. He ended on a mediocre story that with his adaptation made it seem quite exciting. Thankfully the high standards he established carried on. This was the only black and white magazine from the seventies to survive well into the nineties. He would come back to see it to it’s end. He left with an excellent body of work that I think is the best in comics.

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