Writer: Larry Yakata
Artist: Pablo Marcos
Conan takes work in an iron mine in Koth. While there some of the guys think it is funny to steal a pendant from the hunchback and blame Conan. Ghamu the hunchback attacks Conan but Conan decides to beat up the pranksters. This gets him fired from the mine so he moves on to the city of Kadath. There he wins some money betting on a pit fight but gets attacked in his inn room by a follower of Manu-Kaleem. Oh and old Ghamu was also fired and decided to follow Conan. Conan decides to leave the inn and comes on a blonde woman being pursued by followers of Manu-Kaleem. He rescues her and finds out she is a dancing girl named Sheetaya. Sheetaya hires Conan to go after Manu-Kaleem for making her lover insane. Conan has to find her lover and subdue him. After a romp in the sack as downpayment they depart with Ghamu in tow for the castle.
Conan gets separated and has to fight an ogre creature with powers of creating hallucinations. Conan overcomes this and snaps the creature’s neck. He comes on the throne room where Manu-Kaleem has Sheetaya captive. Manu-Kaleem is a snake-man and we find out in the conversation that this is all about Sheetaya stealing the Star of Thamazhu. It was her that gave the potion to her lover so she could steal it. Manu-Kaleem promises to torture her with unbearable pleasure. Before he can Ghamu comes to the rescue. He is no match and is killed. Yet Conan manages to drive his sword through Manu-Kaleem’s throat. They retrieve the cure and later at night Conan finds out Sheetaya is a princess and her lover the ruler of the city. She promises to get Conan a job as captain of the guard. Later Conan rides off with the Star of Thamazhu that he found on her bound lover.
“Night of the Monkey!”
Writer: Charles Dixon
Artist: Geof Isherwood
It is the festival of the Monkey God in Valusia. Kull doesn’t care for the celebration and with his guards goes for a stroll. They come on a woman being bled to death by hooded figures. They pursue the figures into the sewers and find that he Monkey Cult is bringing to live the Monkey God. Kull kills the giant monkey and cuts it’s head off. At the celebration at the palace he tosses the severed head for the revelers to see.
This was an enjoyable story. Conan wanders about after taking a job which seems like he really must be down on his luck to resort to manual labor. He comes to a city and rescues a beautiful girl who gets him involved with an evil snake-man wizard. The woman isn’t who she claimed to be which is a very Howard type story. Also very Howard like is Conan really knowing what is going on and managing to come out on top. Poor Ghamu. He was a tragic figure. Started out as comic relief but ended up dying bravely. A figure who you have sympathy for being bullied and wanting to be just like his hero Conan. An enjoyable story with plenty of action and the beautiful art of Marcos. He really knows how to draw beautiful women.
As for the backup story I thought it was great. Dixon knows his stuff and gives us a quick but enjoyable story of Monkey cults and gods. A good solid backup for a solid issue.