Baron Shamir of Turan is enjoying his young wife’s birthday party. The baroness is a bit cruel and dumps her wine on the dwarf of a court jester. In anger he insults her and for his punishment he is taken to the dungeon and his tongue cut out. Only he finds a treasure and some tablet buried under it. Two years later the king of Turan has sent an army because the baron is in open rebellion. Conan is a captain in the mercenary army. The general has a plan to take the castle. Twenty men will scale the walls and open the gates. This plan sees only Conan and a companion named Redondo make it to the top.
Redondo goes after the dwarf who gave their position away. He ambushes a captain of the guard and takes his uniform. Later he finds that the baron is under some sort of spell. Conan makes his way to the dungeon to free the prisoners in helping him. He finds that the baroness has been down here. The dwarf locks the door and imprisons Conan. Redondo comes and rescues him. The baroness goes chasing after the dwarf who hypnotized the baron. A tentacle breaks through the floor and takes Redondo. Conan eventually finds the treasure chamber but falls through a trap. He is then with Redondo where there is a pool with a huge eye. Redondo suggests stabbing it which Conan does.
This aggravates a giant octopus that comes up and destroys the castle. The baroness and dwarf are killed and Conan and Redondo escape with treasure. Later at an inn Redondo has to face some tribesmen who he stole a horse from. Conan reluctantly comes to his rescue.
It’s that time for another annual. A celebration of another year of this series. This one was a very enjoyable issue. There was a mysterious castle with a dwarf using magic. A charming rogue that gave us some comic relief. Sad to see what happened to Redondo in the regular series. He didn’t seem to be one to fall for a cult. A good standalone story to celebrate another successful year.
Ka-zar, Shanna and Matthew have come to the Moldwood forest. They have sensed some disturbance. The local monkey people known as the Botor are not very welcoming. Ka-zar uses his powers to commune with the fish and finds they are dying from acid seeping from the ground. Suddenly the trees attack them. Then a giant spider and many little spiders. Matthew manages to beat a few off with an electric eel. Ka-zar unleashes some great energy that destroys the area. The Botor go off angry. They find a glowing caterpillar that spouts bullshit and dies leaving them a map to someone named Domovoy.
Oh, great this second issue is ever worse than the first. This makes no fucking sense at all. We do find out some guy named Domovoy is responsible for all the bad things happening. I like the artwork in this, but it is sadly ruined by the incompetent coloring. Lots of dumb bullshit happening and I have a feeling it won’t improve in the next issue.
Kurz Kurtos receives word that his accident for Dejah has failed. He decides to take the more direct approach and send his elite guard after her. At the atmosphere factory, Dejah decides that she has to race to Ptarth for her other family is most likely in danger. In Ptarth the powerful guys in armor suits and welding axes have superhuman strength and easily cut through the guard. Tara gets Ptuvia and her grandsires to agree to escape in her ship. Tara fights these armored guys later known as the Jeweled Killers. Dejah, Kantos and Llana are found by Kurtos guards and decide to escape they must go into a storm. While there the fight in Ptarth goes bad. Tara’s ship explodes and she looks to have been killed. Dejah and Llana feel this death just as lightning hits their airship.
The story has some interesting things occur. Dejah and her family are in serious peril. Ends with what looks like all of them getting killed. Of course, we know that can’t happen or you wouldn’t have much of a story to continue. There are some woke stuff that I just don’t care for. One is having Tardos Mor and Mors Kajak seen to be helpless old men that need to be bossed around by a strong woman. These are not the characters I remember from the books. Also, I just hate what they did to Llana. This is not the beautiful feminine woman that I remember. So once again a mixed bag of an issue.
Jaime Sommers and another agent defeat some Cuban pirates and retake an oil platform. She then gets an upgrade from Ruby Wells. Her bionic ear can now act like a two-way transmitter. Jaime is about to go on vacation when she gets an assignment from Oscar Goldman. A Chinese spy satellite has crashed in Mexico, and she has to retrieve it. She leaves the semi-truck being used as a lab and boards a helicopter.
In Mexico she finds the satellite only there are others that have come for it too. A General Morales from Norad has arrived. He checks out and Jaime uses her bionics to get the satellite out of a ravine. Only Morales and his men then shoot her with some electric gun. Jaime wakes up in a house in a neighborhood.
I loved the Bionic woman series. Now I wasn’t a big fan as a little boy. I loved the Six Million Dollar man but didn’t really waste my time on a series about a girl. Although I did have a familiarity with the character from crossover episodes. It was when I was much older and working third shift during summers to pay for college. It was on late in the morning, and I really got into this series. Ken Johnson created an interesting and exciting series that I loved watching after my shift was over. I of course eventually got the DVD sets.
This series as the title implies is a continuation into a hypothetical fourth season. I had to say that the writer gives a good feel for the TV series. Sure, there is some stuff that probably wouldn’t have been done due to budget constraints. Yet it gives the feel of what a possible fourth season could have been. The characters are authentic, and it has the feel of a seventies series. Ends in some kind of mysterious Prisoner type setup. Looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Conan is riding through the Graaskal Mountains on the border of Brythunia and Hyberborea. He gets ambushed and loses his horse but makes it to the next village. While in the tavern he witnesses Red Sonja arrive to get revenge on a former associate who stole some kids and sold them into slavery. She makes short work of them while Conan makes sure the local barkeep stays out of the fight. The two get to talking and Conan says that he is on a mission for a mage to get an idol from a lost city. A local tells him about this place. That two adulterers were driven out and came to this place. The woman gave birth to a multi-armed and two headed monster. This creature has been terrorizing the countryside since.
At this time another guy is following Conan to get this idol. He has a henchman who wears an iron mask, and they torture the villagers to get info. Conan and Sonja run into the monster and are forced to take shelter in a cave. The other guys show up and distract the monster so they can get to the temple. There they find a statue holding the idol across a chasm. The other guys show up and a fight ensues with the monster also showing up. The leader manages to sneak across and get the idol as the bridge collapses. Conan and Sonja leave empty handed but Conan will help her retrieve the kids she is after. The leader that took the idol is poisoned by it and dies.
“Bonus Pinup Portfolio”
A series of full-page drawing of Conan by various artists.
This one we get a guest star from Red Sonja. I love Red Sonja and this adventure is a fun little story. They have a quest and a monster to fight. In addition to a very evil guy and his men. As always Dixon gives us an excellent story with top notch artwork from Kwapisz/Chan. There are whole segments that tell the story without any dialogue or exposition. Stuff that I really admire. I have been loving the fact too that these issues are just one big story and no backup one. Not that I don’t enjoy the odd backup story now and again, I just love they devote the whole issue to the main story.
Conan, Tetra and Delmurio are in Messantia the capital of Argos. They are looking for passage on a black ship that was supposed to arrive. Only heavy rains may have sunk it. So, Conan goes looking for another ship and approaches the galley owned by Feducio. Feducio is the leader of a cult and many of his followers are happy galley slaves. Conan notices an old friend is one of these happy galley slaves. Conan decides to take him and deprogram him from the cult. Naturally Feducio objects and spreads the word that Conan is a demon that brought the heavy rains. Conan’s friend Redondo manages to escape and runs to where Feducio is giving a speech. Feducio thinks that Conan broke his hold of Redondo and has him shot down by a crossbolt. This angers Conan who runs his sword through Feducio. Feducio’s followers go after Conan and his friends and trap them in an alley. Only at the last moment the rain stops and the ship bringing the statue of Mitra arrives. This placates the crowd. Ends with Kiev interrogating some poor sap about the whereabouts of Conan.
This was a good little filler issue in the quest for the treasure. They have this adventure with a cult leader. Tetra is shown to be one badass of a woman as at the beginning she is beating the hell out of a group of men in the tavern. I loved how Conan tried to help his old friend from the cult, but his friend was just too far gone. Really cool in seeing an angry Conan just impale the cult leader on his sword. Also shows us that Kiev is not forgotten and still after them. A good issue.
Ka-zar wakes up from a nightmare. He has a child and being taught by his father to slaughter all the animals in the Savage Land. Seems Ka-zar died and was brought back to life in another series. Now is a wreck although Shanna has it all together. She is making thinking fabric from bacteria in the soil. Ka-zar now has a new loin cloth with a tail. Not too far away a T-Rex is attacking some natives and Mathew their son comes to the rescue. He shoots flowers from his hand which kills the T-Rex. Only this mutates it to some creature but fortunately his parents come flying in on some kind of stuff and save him. Later at dinner Mathew gets a lecture about the need for vegetarianism and Ka-zar and Shanna argue over letting their teenage son go out with Zabu. Mathew goes to his tree platform at night and talks to this sinister bio-mechanical entity.
I love Ka-zar and every decade a new series comes out. It reflects the decade it comes out in and that is the main problem with this series. I had a feeling that it would be crap like what most of Marvel puts out these days. Yet I got it because I am a completist and need all the Ka-zars in my collection. Where to begin? The whole story is crap. I have no idea what is going on and really don’t care. All the characters are just unlikable. The art is OK, but the colorist just uses different shades of yellow except for blue at night. Apparently, they can’t afford a full box of crayons for their colorists. Oh well, at least it’s a short series.
Dejah and Kantos are attacked by white apes that were let into the atmosphere factory by the jeddak Kurz Kurtos. They can’t use their pistols for fear of damaging the equipment so run away. In Ptarth, Tara comes to take the remaining family to Gathol. Thuvia is grieving the loss of Carthoris who disappeared and is presumed dead. Back at the factory Dejah and Kantos are saved by the arrival of Llana. She defeats the apes using her bare hands. Yes, she is that strong. Dejah soon realizes this was an attempt to kill her by the jeddak. In Ptarth, Tara is not having any luck in convincing her grandsires in exile to come to Gathol which is safer. They are then attacked by men in these armored suits carrying large axes.
This issue was a bit of a mixed bag. The overall story was solid. I liked the mystery of Carthoris disappearing and Thuvia morning it. She is so sad that her hair turned grey. OK well maybe that happens to Barsoomians. The art is good and ends on a cliffhanger. What I didn’t care for was what they did to Llana. I mean if you want a strong man then why don’t you create a new character instead of vandalizing a woman. This is not how Burroughs envisioned Llana or what I want to see. Kantos is still a bit of a bumbling guy. Nice but not very effective. Also, not something that Burroughs envisioned. The curse of woke.
Restin Dane pursues Cat McCall who stole Adam’s time machine to 1967 San Fransisco. After a brief adventure with some hippies and a man who knows him from his future, he tracks down Cat. Before he can take her back to her time, two giant robots come and take her and the time machine. Restin follows in his castle to a station orbiting the Earth.
This station is in the far future of the 434th century. He finds that this station is refuge from an ice age and he is known to the inhabitants. A Marshal Skarkov has plans to resurrect Joseph Stalin because he was the only one in the past to destroy individuality. Restin rescues Cat and destroys this kooky plan.
Then Restin finds himself back in the age of the dinosaurs. He finds that an alien race has unleashed creatures to destroy all life so they can colonize the planet. With the help of Cat he stops them and Cat ends up in 1868 where she meets his great-great-great grandfather and becomes his great-great-great grandmother.
Finally, Restin comes to his base and meets his android servant Man-Rs. It is located in 2048 after terrorists detonate a nuke in Yellowstone. The subsequent supervolcano destroys most of the continent except the southwest where his base is located. He has to fight his crazy daughter from taking over the base. Restin goes back in time to learn how to build a time machine. He comes back and lures his daughter into a machine to strand her back in the past. He also stops Quarb from detonating the nuke and saves the country.
This was the last of the Rook Dark Horse issues. It was a graphic novel and looks like they tossed four issues into one big book. I loved this take on the Rook. It was very respectful of the original Warren stories but put a new spin on it. The writer used many of the characters from the old series. This was a wild ride with him going back and forth in time. I would love to see more of this character, but I have a feeling that isn’t in the cards for the foreseeable future.
Conan is a scout for Aquilonia on the Pict frontier. Shooz Dinz is leading a campaign against the settlers. Conan rescues a young woman escaping the Picts and takes her to a fort. They know that soon Shooz will attack with his Picts. There is also a rivalry between Shooz and Conan where each has vowed to kill each other. Conan rescues a merchant named Daedelus. Daedelus stole some severed fingers that were Shooz Dinj’s children. Deadelus also has been selling iron ax heads and arrowheads to the Picts. Shooz wants both him and Conan and attacks with the help of his rival the shaman Zinga Dur. First it is fog then the animals of Jhebbal Sag. Conan goes to Shooz and makes a deal. He will give him the severed fingers and Daedelus in exchange for the life of Zinga Dur. Shooz agrees and Conan tosses the renegade merchant into the fire as Shooz stabs Zinga. One worthless thing for another as Conan put it. After this the Aquilonian relief column arrives, and Conan lets Shooz go because Shooz didn’t kill him when he appears to offer the trade. A gesture of honor among barbarians and savages.
A series of portfolios by various artists.
A change of pace with a new writer and artists. Both did a good job with this story on the Pict frontier which happens to be my favorite location for Conan stories. A story filled with plenty of action. A traitorous merchant who is arrogant and believers himself untouchable for his crimes because of his protection from the king. I loved the idea of this story of noble barbarians and savages that are committed to killing each other but have a sense of honor. This is a very Howardian theme. A fun and enjoyable issue.