CONAN THE BARBARIAN #99

“Devil-Crabs of the Dark Cliffs!”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from “The People of the Black Coast” by Robert E. Howard
Artists: John Buscema & Ernie Chan

The crew of the Tigress are restless. Belit is obsessed with finding treasure and will not go back to the Silver Isles for rest and to recruit more men. While sailing past the Black Cliffs they come on an abandoned Argossean ship. It is empty except for some dead sailors that had their heads and arms tore off. Some Khitai treasure whets the avarice of Belit. A further search of the cliffs and they find a city of crab-men. The crew of the ship is their prisoners. Conan finds out that they had sailed to Khitai and were heading back home. The crab-men used telepathy to lure them in and are now performing scientific experiments on them. So Conan manages to free them and Belit forces them to lead her to the treasure. They grab the treasure but are discovered by the crab-men. They are chased into a cul-de-sac. The area is geothermally active and they manage to push a boulder onto another that is keeping the steam in check. It roasts the crab-men. The surviving Argosseans split the treasure with Conan and Belit then head for home.

The last one before the big 100. Roy managed to do a very enjoyable filler issue just before the big event. He adapted a fun Howard story of crab-men and treasure. He also sets up Belit’s obsession with treasure and the events that will lead to the final story of Belit. This was a great issue and while I think the time of Conan among the Corsairs was getting old, I still have some sadness that it is ending.

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