Writer: Jim Owsley
Artists: John Buscema and Bob Camp
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.