“The Winds of Aka-Gaar”

Writer: Larry Yakata

Artist: Gary Kwapisz

Conan has been hired by the queen of Khemdi to lead an expedition to the oasis of Aka-Gaar. He recruits some condemned criminals to accompany him. The queen has been convinced by a prophet that the oasis holds waters that can restore youth. On the trip they come to an oasis and are confronted by a two-headed gorrilla. Conan chops it’s heads and arms off and finds that it is a guy in a suit. A cripple that was trying to extort money for use of the oasis. He accompanies Conan on his quest. They are attacked by serpents in a dead forest and when Conan slices one open he is blinded by the venom. The criminals abandon him and only the cripple helps.

The criminals go back to Khemdi and tell the city’s warlord about Conan. He goes to the Brotherhood of the Falcon with this news. They agree to help him and set off after Conan with 100 men. Conan meanwhile has to use his senses to survive. He battles a giant scorpion and manages to drive the scorpion’s tail into itself and kills it. Later with the cripple’s help they construct traps that kill most of the Falcon Brotherhood. The survivors race ahead to the oasis and drink from it. Only the water makes them blind and thus makes the fight with Conan equal.

“The Opponents”

Writer: Don Kraar

Artists: Rod Whigham & Roy Richardson.

In a tavern in Khemi Conan is in an arm wrestling match with a Kushite. Next to each others arms are poisonous vipers that will kill the loser. At this time a naval press gang comes to the tavern to draft men for the navy. A fight ensues with the men in the tavern. Conan and the Kushite continue their contest while using their free hands to defeat the press gang.

This was an interesting issue. I love these long quest type stories. Granted it was a bit over the top with Conan being blind but defeating all these opponents. Kwaspisz’s art looked beautiful and the story moved along at a quick pace. The backup story was also good. I loved how Conan and his opponent just ignore the fighting going on around them. His opponent also looked like a badass and would have made a worthy companion. We have to assume Conan won the match as he went on to be king in his old age.

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