“Claws of the Osprey”

Writer: Michael Fleisher

Artists: Gary Kwapisz and Ernie Chan

Conan has hired on to a city-state in Corinthia being attacked by Baron Gorbek. They are about to bring up the siege tower and Conan has a plan. He will throw grapping hooks on it and they are attached to a capstan which will pull them down. Only the attackers catapults manage to take out the capstan. Never fear for Conan is so strong he manages to pull over the tower all by himself. For now they have driven back the invader. Count Nerval has placed all his faith in a brilliant inventor named Pol Tiurno. Conan finds out the inventory is secretly working with the enemy. He comes to get him and Pol tries to fly away on a hang glider he as made. Only Conan manages to cut the strut and it flies into a tall peak.

Conan is then assigned to infiltrate Baron Gorbek’s city-state as a gladiator to find out his plans. He manages this while some mysterious creatures in hoods take the blood from a prostitute. At this time Pol has survived and wants revenge. During a storm a bolt of lightning strikes a huge osprey flying along. Pol takes the wings and talons and attached them to himself and flies off to find Conan. Conan finds out that Gorbek has an army of men with hang gliders and plans to attack. So he goes back to want Count Nerval. While they get ready Pol swoops in and grabs Conan. Only Conan managers to grab a torch and set the wings of Pol on fire. Then as the hang glider army attacks he has the catapults throw flaming ballast which sets the gliders on fire. At the end the mysterious creatures go to a cave an revive Wraal.

“The Fear of Crom!”

Writer: Don Kraar

Artist: Mike Docherty

Argos is attacking the Stygian city of Khemi. The army is demoralized for they think all their bad fortune is the work of dark sorcery. Conan comes to put the fear of Crom into the army. He has them haul up a catapult to breach the wall. Along the way they find a spy and use the catapult to toss him back to the Stygians.

This was a fun issue. The story had all sorts of crazy stuff going on. In fact it was a bit over the top. I mean Conan is strong put pulling down a siege tower all by himself? He also not once but twice survives a fall from great heights without a bone broken. Not to mention the goofy inventor and his taking osprey wings to fly. Yet the story moved right along and the artwork was just beautiful. The final few pages were just without any dialogue or exposition and they told the story brilliantly. At the end we find out that Wraal the Devourer of Worlds is coming back so Fleisher once again brings back a popular villain.

As for the backup story that was also amusing. Conan gets the Argossean army into shape and I love the ending. He tells he catapult crew to aim for the red smear on the wall. This was good if somewhat goofy issue. Also if you can’t get Buscema then I think Kwapisz is the next best thing.

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