Conan and Kiev are in a forest on their way to El Shah Maddoc a city-state in Koth. While in a tree looking to get his bearings, Conan finds his companion suddenly gone. Also, some soldiers attack him. They take Conan to General Soto who is from El Shah Maddoc and looking for a witch named Ren. Conan warns him about the coming of Imhotep and goes off to find Ren. He finds her and she did kidnap Kiev. She will give him back if Conan brings her the head of General Soto. His death will disorient his men and make it easier for Imhotep to kill them. This will distract Imhotep so she and her daughters can escape.
Conan agrees but kills a lizard and bloodies the bag to fool Ren. She takes him to Kiev but discovers his deceit. Conan manages to cut off the head of Ren. Just then General Soto and his men arrive but so does Imhotep. Imhotep and his demons kill them and flatten the jungle. Only he loses power because of the amulet Conan possesses. Conan and Kiev continue on. Tetra comes and takes the witches’ head and control of her daughters.
Another interesting story. Conan has an amulet that Imhotep needs. Tetra is somehow behind all this but not yet sure of her endgame. Conan has this destination of El Shah Maddoc. Not sure why unless I missed something from last issue. A good story with the usual excellent artwork.
Sonja finds herself a prisoner in the dungeons of the sorcerer of Shangara. The two guys with her seem content to be hanging from the wall. In fact, they get angry when Sonja breaks the bars and knocks out the guard. They refuse to be rescued and she goes off to find the sorcerer. She comes on some women in stocks forced to peel potatoes. They call the guards and Sonja has to deal with more guards. A dwarf jester shows her a way out. He tells her that she shouldn’t bother with the sorcerer as he is too powerful. He convinces her to leave but Sonja figures out that the dwarf is the sorcerer. The dwarf tries to knife her, but Sonja stabs him. She finds out that the dwarf has been impersonating the sorcerer after he died and just using the fear of him to keep control. Sonja frees the prisoners who are nervous about their freedom.
Writer: Amanda Deibert
Artists: Cat Staggs & Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Sonja comes on two lovers and rescues them from a group of brigands. She gets the two to follow her to safety. After going through a freezing river, they build a fire. This attracts the brigands and Sonja manages to kill them and recover the treasure they took from the village. The two lovers realize that they were used as bait by Sonja.
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artists: Benjamin Dewey & Simon Bowland
Sonja is hired by a guy to recover a stolen ruby from a tomb. In the tomb, she has to fight an invisible demon. Sonja wins and finds out the guy who hired her was just using her. She was supposed to put the demon to sleep after it ate her so he could take hired mercenaries to grab the gem. Only Sonja comes back and shoves the gem down his throat.
A Red Sonja anthology series that is meant to only use black, white and red as colors. This was done successfully a few years back for a graphic novel and they decided to expand the idea. I personally love the look of this. Also, the stories were well done both story wise and artistically. They had humor in all the stories and a good share of adventure. This first issue starts off the series on a high note.
Dejah finds herself in Arizona in 1945. The same place that most likely John Carter first left Earth. She comes on an army base and is taken prisoner. A general tries to interrogate her but they can’t understand each other. Suddenly they can understand each other. Llana comes busting in and knocks out the soldiers. She followed with Morokh the Kaldane. It was his abilities to open up a telepathic understanding. They also brought Jefferson along and they escape in a jeep. Dejah wants to go to New York because she has to meet someone.
They transported Dejah to Earth. I liked the idea of that. Her having adventures on Earth sounds promising. Unfortunately, the actual implementation leaves something to be desired. Most of the issue is just Dejah and the general and his aide trying to talk to each other. They wonder why they can’t understand each other. The whole purpose seemed to be to show how dumb, arrogant and racist the general is. They had to bring that abomination of a character Llana. Of course, even on the heavier gravity of Earth, she is super strong and perfect. Also, a bit confused on why she wants to go to New York. There was nothing in the story on why she would know someone there. Oh well, maybe it improves in the next issue.
Writer: Bill Spangler adopted from novella by Larry Niven
Artists: terry Tidwell and Steve Stiles
Police find a man who died in his apartment because of current addiction. In the year 2123 a wirehead is someone who has a plug implanted in his brain. This can stimulate the pleasure center. In this case the man starved to death because he was too happy to get up and get some food. The man named Owen Jennison was a belter from the asteroid belt and left the name of Gil Hamilton as his closest relative. Gil is a member of A.R.M. (Amalgamated Regional Militia) the police force of the UN. Gil’s job is to hunt down organleggers, criminals that steal organs for the black market.
Gil is suspicious of this death. A belter would never become a wirehead and he thinks that he was murdered. He has this suspicion because the man who sold him the wire is linked to the biggest organlegger on the west coast.
The first of an adaptation of a classic Larry Niven story from the seventies. Part of his known space universe, it tells of the new crimes of a future where transplant organs are a big business. Gil was a miner in the belt and lost his arm in an accident. He developed a psionic ability to use a third arm. Like many titles from Malibu’s various imprints, it has cheap black and white artwork but excellent writing. Makes me want to reread the old Niven books.
Conan now in command of Nemedia’s legions continues to war against Brythunia. He manages to take a city by starting a fire that burnt up the food stores. He later comes to the main city and comes up with a plan. He fakes his death, and has it known that he had a deathbed conversion to Mitra. He wants to be buried in the city since it has the largest temple to Mitra. As an incentive there is a large tribute, he will leave them. So they allow Conan’s funeral procession to enter and surprise, Conan isn’t dead. They attack and manage to conquer the city.
He returns to the capital as a hero. Only the empress is jealous of Conan’s newfound popularity. So, she has Conan arrested. Conan with his loyal followers manage to escape and take the empress hostage. They take a boat and successfully sail down the river. Conan dumps the traitorous empress into the river to swim home.
“Host of the Serpent Cult”
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artists: Vince Giarrano and Vince Colletta
Kull knows that the serpent cult is actively plotting to take him down. He has the whole population assemble in the square and says the incantation that would expose the true form of any serpent man. Only none appear and everyone thinks Kull is nuts. He later finds out a huge army of serpent men is marching on him. Kull prepares for a long siege.
The continuing saga of Conan’s rise from gladiator to general comes to a conclusion. Naturally it ends in treachery for Conan. What can I say but another excellent issue. The writing is excellent as usual and the artwork also stunning. I like the continuing storyline and wonder if it will continue with Conan as a river pirate or go somewhere else. Either way I’m sure the next issue will also be excellent.
Kull is back as a backup feature and Dixon sets up a big fight with the serpent men. I love Kull and welcome his return.
Conan and Kiev wash ashore unconscious in Shem. A young man named Jamal finds them but has other things to attend to. He later is in the king’s treasure room robbing it. He was helped in by a servant girl who loves him. Only Jamal refuses to take her and she tries to stab him. He accidentally knocks her out the window. This gets the attention of the guard and Jamal escapes to a waiting wagon. Only this wagon is too slow, and he abandons it. He manages to save a crazy prophet from a mob. This prophet gives him an amulet. He leaves the city and comes on Conan and Kiev just as the guard catch up to him. He points out that Conan is the prophesized one that is supposed to save the city.
Conan wakes up in the palace. He finds out Jamal’s ploy to save himself and is not amused. He goes and finds Kiev stuck with arrows, but they didn’t harm him, and he wakes up. Conan decides to just enjoy the perks of the palace while Jamal goes off to steal some maps. He overhears the guard captain plotting a coup. The captain shots a crossbow bolt into him and he dies at Conan’s door. This captain then decides to get rid of the crazy prophet by stirring up the mob. The mob hangs him and soon the demon Imhotep and his horde comes. They destroy the city, but Conan and Kiev are alive because of the amulet. Only the old prophet and the tree he was hanged from are still left. The two continue on to new adventures.
This was a very interesting story. A lot happens in it. Starts with a long prologue before Conan enters the story conscious. A weird story with this prophet that seems to be despised by the populace but at the same time taken seriously. Jamal was an interesting character. He had some moments of good as when he saved the prophet and tried to warn Conan. Yet he seemed to be a self-serving dickhead. I though he was going to be part of the story longer but approve of getting rid of him. Seems that Kiev is going to be Conan’s companion. One of the strangest companions he ever had but also one of the most interesting. I didn’t like the character at first, but he has grown on me. This whole Imhotep threat makes for a good long-term storyline. This series has really gotten fresh and exciting with the addition of Owsley as the writer.
Domovoy is on some giant Dreadnoughtus which is a giant dinosaur. It is also a highly toxic dinosaur with plans to poison the Savage Land’s drinking water. Shanna is with Ka-zar’s corpse on a branch sticking out of a cliff. She implores the Savage Land to resurrect her husband which it does. Ka-zar grows pterodactyl wings and carries Shanna off the cliff. He goes to the Dreadnoughtus as Shanna rallies the tribes against Domovoy. Ka-zar enters the dinosaur and finds his son and Zabu battling Domovoy. He spouts some fortune cookie wisdom and gets the polyscon to turn against Domovoy. They do and everybody lives happily ever after.
This series ends as it begins, as a heaping pile of shit. God was this bad. I still have no idea what the whole series was about in the first place. I guess it was about the evil white patriarchy and evils of not being an environmentalist. The creative team at the end has this pretentious letter that pats themselves on the back for a job well done. Obviously, they were high on sniffing their own farts. They actually think they made some difference on the environment and saved Ka-zar by updating it from the modern age. This was just pure crap and thankfully it’s over.
Oh, and happy anniversary to me. I got a notification that today is my 8-year anniversary with WordPress. How time flies. Hope to be around for another eight years.
Dejah and company are attacked by one of the mysterious jeweled warriors. The warrior gets his helmet knocked off and they find that it is a man from Earth. With his helmet off, the Kaldane can immobilize him which gives Llana a chance to knock him out. They tie him up, but all this guy will give is his name, rank and serial number. The Kaldane manages to take over his mind and they find out all they need to know. The man named Jefferson was a Marine who was kidnapped from Earth by the Jeddara of Zodanga. That she has an alliance with the Jeddak of Helium and was responsible for assembling the Thern technology.
Meanwhile, Thuvia talks with Tars Tarkas and Sola. She finds out that the Tharks are going to war with Helium. She says that she couldn’t understand the Warhoon and thinks that Barsoom is dying. They are soon attacked by a Warhoon raiding party. Back at the ruins of Tel Hart, Dejah is examining some equipment and disappears.
This was a good issue. The story moved along where we got some answers to these mysterious jeweled warriors. An interesting development that they are from Earth and former military. The subplot with Thuvia moves along nicely. Even the atrocious character of Llana didn’t get too much on my nerves. Ends with the cliffhanger of Dejah disappearing. Of course, at the end they advertise where she is going which just piques my interest further.
Jaime finds out that North Eden is actually a space station in orbit. General Morales explains to her his vision of an America in decline and his plans to reverse it. How is unclear but he stole this prototype station and populated it with various robotic and bionic individuals. Jaime is taken to the holding pens with her rebel cohorts. There she makes her move and busts out her friends. A battle with the robot guards ensues and they escape to North Eden. Jaime has to battle a robot as the others go to the town hall to rally support. Jaime has to go and land the station herself. She manages to contact OSI and has Steve Austin talk her down. The station crashes in the Arctic Ocean. At the end Jaime gets a needed vacation as Oscar Goldman takes care of the Congressional committees.
The final issue in this season four of the Bionic Woman. A fun ending with Jaime managing the defeat the renegade Norad general and free the various robotic and cybernetic people. An interesting idea to have these various machine individuals. Never really explained how they came about but would make a great future story. A series that was respectful to the original TV series. It felt like something from the seventies. The characters were genuine and just a fun story. I give it high marks for any fan of the series or those who just like good comics.
Conan continues his life as a gladiator in Numedia. The empress offers him a generalship in the army which he accepts. Only she just plans to keep him as her lover and not give him an actual command. Naturally this pisses Conan off. A rival general manages to get him assigned a legion. It is the worst disciplined legion in Nemedia. Conan gets them into shape really quick. He manages to defeat a band of brigands that were raiding the supply convoys. This angers the general that got Conan his assignment. Now this barbarian is starting to threaten how he looks. So, he sends assassins. They fail and Conan goes to demand personal combat with this general. He defeats him and gains command of the entire army.
“Rites of Passage”
Writer and Artist: William Johnson
The current leader of the Black Legion challenges Kull to his crown. He uses the fact that Kull as commander of the Legion challenged the former king. Now he thinks it is time for him. Kull obliges the upstart and as expected makes short work of the challenger.
Dixon has decided to continue the adventures of Conan as a gladiator. Now he gets a generalship and has to deal with the intrigue that entails. Of course, he still gets to bang the empress. Another brilliant issue. A great story with the usual excellent artwork.
The Kull backup is from a new writer, and he has potential. A short but enjoyable story. Savage Sword is really kicking it at this time.