Writer: Larry Yakata
Artist: Ernie Chan
Conan is in Poitain participating in a contest to see who is worthy of a quest to retrieve the Shrine of Luma. First Conan and the contestants must scale a cliff to retrieve undamaged an egg from the bat creatures that live there. Next the contestants are dumped in a swamp with only a staff and must get to the castle by nightfall. Naturally Conan has to battle a giant dinosaur, snakes and ape men on his trip. The third is to raft to an island in the middle of a swift river with creatures in it and retrieve a pair of slippers. Conan is the only one to make it back with the slippers dry. The final test is a foot race that Conan wins. His rival Gar is supported by the nobles and he agrees to assassinate the king. Conan puts a stop to that and agrees to retrieve the shrine for six times his weight in gold. He also gets the other surviving contestant the same deal.
“A Quiet Place”
Writer: Don Kraar
Artist: Tony Salmons
Conan comes to an inn just as his horse dies. He demands a room and a peaceful nights sleep. Only some assassins that are there to kill a noble wake him. This angers him and he makes short work of the assassins. The noble is grateful and makes sure Conan gets a good nights sleep by killing all the roosters so they don’t wake him.
So we get a new writer for this series going forward in Larry Yakata. I think it was about time for some new blood for this series. I love Fleisher but he was starting to get a bit stale with his stories. This story was a fun little adventure that sees Conan have to fight bat creatures, dinosaurs, ape men and scheming nobles. He has the companionship of a very well educated servant girl who falls in love with him. The ending is a bit ambiguous. This story wasn’t about the quest for the Shrine of Luna but the privilege to go on the quest. It ends with Conan getting that privilege and with a companion going off. Now does that mean we will get the continuation next issue or something new. It just says Fin at the end so I guess we find out next week. I loved Ernie’s artwork in this issue and the story helped support these big full page epic drawings of Conan battling the elements or some creatures. These two make a great team.
As for the backup, the story was OK but the art was terrible. It looked like a ten year old drew it. The story had some fun humor but not much else in originality.