Writer: Don Kraar
Artist: Ernie Chan
Conan has decided to visit his home in northern Cimmeria. He rescues his sister Siobhan from a wild boar. The fight kills his horse and breaks his sword. He soon finds things aren’t good for his family. His father and mother and other siblings are dead. Killed in a blood feud with the Diarmaid clan. Now his clan that are left are nothing but slaves. When the leader Maglocun and his brothers ride out, Conan pretends to be a wanderer. Since the night is the Feast of Crom where it is forbidden to kill another Cimmerian he gets invited. At the feast the Diarmaids recognize that the mysterious stranger who calls himself Amra is actually Conan. They plan to hunt him down on the next morning.
So they give him a decrepit old horse and broken sword. When he gets far enough ahead they release the hounds. Conan manages to kill some with his bare hands and also take out some of his pursuers. He makes his way to his father’s secret forge and meets up with some cousins who brought the plowshare that was his father’s sword. A prophecy tells that only this sword can defeat Maglocun. Conan fires up the forge and remakes his father’s sword.
The next day his clan revolt and Conan faces Maglocun and his brothers with his new sword. Siobhan his sister gets stabbed by the witch Morag but she manages to drown her in a cesspool. Conan kills all the brothers and the cowardly Maglocun begs for a swift death which Conan obliges by cutting him in two with one stroke of the sword. His sister dies but not before washing her hands in the blood of her enemies as Conan vowed she would do.
“From Beyond the Grave!”
Writer: Charles Dixon
Artist: Geof Isherwood
It is after a battle on the Commorian border between Commoria and Valusia that a mysterious figure resurrects one of the dead. This revived zombie then goes to attack the camp where King Kull is at. The zombie kills his guards and is about to strike at Kull when Kull uses the mirrored shield to show the zombie his reflection. This terrifies the zombie and Kull is able to chop off it’s head.
Artists: Vincent Waller & Rey Garcia
Two full page portfolios of Conan in action.
This was an excellent story. The author has a great feel for Conan and what I would think his homeland would look like. It actually feels like something Roy Thomas would have written. This savage tale of revenge as Conan finds his clan enslaved to another is a pure joy to read. The other clan is portrayed as these ugly types through and through. Conan is his savage self as he chokes dogs, chops up people and swears to Crom for vengeance. Plus Ernie Chan’s artwork is beautiful. He is known for inking Buscema’s works but is indeed an artist in his own right. Probably one of the finest stories that I read in a long time.
As for the backup it is OK. A good solid story if a bit short. Yet Dixon is always up for a good story and this is competent if a bit brief.