Conan grieves alone at the funeral for Jahli the boy king of El Shah Maddoc. He does take the time to accuse those he suspects were behind the assassination. The Seven Apostles are a group of seven that the Council of Seven sent to destabilize the kingdom. The council has sent the Devourer of Souls to kill the six known members. The seventh is rumored to be a priest of Namur. Conan and his friends go to arrest the six known members, but the Devourer gets there first and kills them. Conan gets to the sixth and finds out the Council of Seven’s part in the assassination. He goes to confront the council. At the end it is revealed that Kaleb is the seventh apostle.
An interesting issue in showing that Conan wants to get those responsible for killing Jahli. We get to see these members and they are a loathsome bunch of men and woman. The Devourer of Souls serves the council, so he still has some part to play in this. Conan knows where the council is and goes after them. A nice filler issue that takes it slow while spoon feeding us the plot.
Gretchen lands on a beach after parachuting out of the Flavonia. She is attacked by a giant crab but gets rescued by a Sagoth. She can understand the Sagoth whose name is Omlot. They dine one giant crab but are soon captured by crab men. They are taken to the crab men city for trial in the death of the giant crab. The Krataklaks as this race is called is using captured human slaves to dig their city. Surprisingly the Krataklaks decide to banish Gretchen and Omlot from the island. Gretchen though vows to stay and free the humans. One of them seems to be her friend while another an enemy. The friend though at the end has some type of dealings with aquatic creatures.
This was an enjoyable story. The Krataklaks are very much a Burrough’s type creature. Gretchen has made a friend in the Sagoth Omlot. She also seems to have one in the Gilak (Human) named Toran. She also seems to have an enemy in the Gilak Nadok. Yet I feel that there is something not revealed with either of these guys. So far loving this story.
John Carter has arrived at the interdimensional palace of Rotak Gall. Gall has been expecting him and takes his captive Dejah to meet the Longborn. At a gate she sees two of the Longborn for the first time. They are impressed with Dejah and how she managed to disrupt their plans to conquer Barsoom. Now that Dejah has united the planet the Long Winter will not work. They have decided to use the direct method and conquer outright. They plan to use Dejah as bait to lure John Carter to them and capture him. Which they manage to do at the end by wearing him down with numbers. Gall will use Carter to genetically create an army of super Earthmen to conquer the world.
This issue we get to finally meet the Longborn. Actually, I am not that impressed. They just seem to be giant guys. Yet we find out they are gods that created the planets. Now they want to take over. They also plan to create a clone army of John Carters. Not a bad idea and has some potential. Nice to see Carter no longer this whiny pussy and actually being a man of action. A heavy exposition issue intercut with scenes of Carter fighting hordes of warriors and giant creatures. Not a real exciting issue but does give us some insight into the plot. Enough to keep my interest.
Hercules and gang are in Scotland. They visit the famous Loch Ness and are greeted by some beautiful women. They are invited to dinner. Only the wine was drugged, and the gang wake up tied up. The leader is an old guy named Casper Zedd. He was searching for the Loch Ness Monster when WWIII happened. Soon after a huge creature appeared and gave him a staff. He used this to gather survivors to worship the giant creature. Zedd plans to sacrifice Kevin to it.
The creature appears and Hercules recognizes it. It is Oceana a Titan that he defeated long ago. Oceana was drawn from the Underworld by WWIII. He is just using Zedd to gain power until it can destroy the world and take over. Hercules breaks his bonds and with his friends go to the nearby dam. Only the lightning of Zeus can defeat Oceana. They rig up the dam to produce lightning which Hercules uses to destroy Oceana. Zedd’s staff blows up and his followers abandon him.
A new writer and artist. MIchelinie is a temporary fill in as a new writer will come in next issue. Garcia is on vacation and will be back for the next issue. Both guys did an excellent job of keeping up the standard of quality established. David Riggs has joined the group while Simon decided to stay in London. A fun issue with Hercules having to battle a Titan. Hints at some special power from Kevin. That he has some type of essence that Oceana needed. Another mystery to be explored in future issues.
Conan is in his native Cimmeria and helps a group of his fellow Cimmerians rescue their kidnapped women and children from the Hyperboreans. Conan successfully leads a raid on the castle and frees the captives. Now they have to make it to Cimmeria with the Hyperboreans in pursuit. They reach an old Hyperborean castle that was built on their soil but was destroyed by the clans. The Hyperboreans find them, and all looks lost. Only the old Cimmerian wizard manages to invoke a spell that invokes Crom. Crom reanimates the dead Cimmerian warriors from the past battle. They attack and destroy the Hyperboreans.
Writer and artist: Bruce Jones
Red Sonja comes on a man about to kill a young boy. She instead stops him and before he dies, claims the boy is a demon. Sonja takes care of the boy and heads to a castle in the distance. Along the way she has to battle demons that attack. She makes it to the castle and finds the man she stopped from killing the boy. He is a wizard, and this was all a ploy. He was testing Sonja if she was worthy of being a nanny to his son. Naturally Sonja slugs him and leaves.
This issue we get a new guest writer and artists. A nice change of pace. Kraar is a good writer, and he writes a solid story. One with Conan leading a raid to rescue his people from the evil Hyperboreans. I love the characterization of the various people. There was one who hated Conan and always picking a fight. Yet he was wounded and died valiantly to cover their retreat. Very unexpected as it seems these two would eventually fight. There was a young boy who wants to be a warrior and was very efficient with a sling. Then there was his grandfather who was the only one that believed in his magic to call forth the wrath of Crom. In the end he sacrificed himself to save everyone.
The backup Sonja story was also a fun read. It starts out with Sonja rescuing this silent and honestly a bit creepy kid. You think that this kid will turn out to be some sort of demon. Yet it has a very unexpected ending and quite hilarious. Another excellent issue.
Conan and his friends come to the house that Jahli was supposed to be. He is gone and Conan knows that he has been killed. After leaving the house they are then set on by hordes of assassins pouring out of the house. One survives and Conan orders Simeon to take him out and kill him. Simeon offers the assassin a chance to escape in exchange for all his gold. This was a ploy by Conan to follow the assassin to who hired him. He is led to the master assassin Ybn. Conan threatens him and gets him to agree to bring Jahli to the arena at midnight.
Conan goes there and confronts Ybn. Ybn brings his entire assassin army, but Conan’s friends disobeyed his orders and also showed up. They have an epic battle where they defeat the assassin horde. Conan confronts Ybn who knows he will face the Devourer of Souls so goads Conan into killing him. He brags about killing Jahli and that he was under his feet all the time. Conan chops him up and runs to the house where it all started. In the cellar he finds Jahli handing from the ceiling dead.
This was a fun and exciting issue. There was plenty of action and epic fights. Conan’s friends are shown to be loyal and capable fighters. The Devourer of Souls is hanging in the background to let the reader know that some big future fight is in the works. Ends with a sad note in Jahli being dead. A bold move on the part of the writer.
Gretchen Von Harben is a young 22-year-old who just graduated from college with an anthropology degree. Before heading off to graduate school she jumps at the chance to visit Pellucidar. On The Flavonia a new dirigible with Jason Gridley she gets her wish. A thipdar or pterodactyl manages to crash through the double insulated glass windshield. It wrecks the controls before being killed. At this time some of the new structure of the ship collapses and traps Gretchen in the rear observation bubble. Before they can cut her out, another thipdar attacks the rear. Gretchn has to parachute out over the Sojar Az or Sea. She lands on an island and faces a giant crab.
Another Pellucidar story from Wolfer. He really understands Burroughs. This was based on a story idea from the director of publishing at ERB Inc. It uses an actual character that Burroughs created from Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-Bal-Ja, the Golden Lion. One of the very few stories he wrote that I haven’t read. Sister to Erich Von Harben the inventor of the miracle alloy Harbenite. So far, this story was brilliant. It established the main character and her predicament. Feels just like something Burroughs would have written. A young women forced by extraordinary circumstances to get lost in the vast expanse of Pellucidar. Plenty of adventure awaits in this series. Just love these new Burrough stories.
Dejah and company come face to face with Rotak Gall a mastermind scientist. He seems to be harmless and except for some monsters that he sends away, no threat to anyone. Rotak claims that he was mind controlled by Shab Than and forced to do their bidding. What that was? Well, Rotak offers to show the group. Only he manages to transport Dejah alone to another dimension. In this dimension he shows her what he was working on. Genetically engineered black pirates that could survive the long winter. They capture Dejah and Rotak then tells her his plan. He will sell her to the Longborn in exchange for them letting him live when they invade. John Carter hears that Dejah is gone and goes to the palace of Rotak. He manages to find the dimensional doorway and faces a horde of the black pirates.
This second issue was something I really enjoyed. The story was interesting with an intriguing character. He starts out as harmless but is revealed to be anything but. Now Dejah is a prisoner with him building an army of genetically enhanced black pirates. What I was really happy to see is John Carter back to himself. No longer this pathetic simp but a man of action. He goes after Dejah and comes out fighting. Definitely an improvement over the first issue.
Hercules and friends have just defeated Hunter Blood when they are attacked by soldiers of Ares. Hercules and Duroy and his animal-men manage to defeat them. Hercules then tells that he thinks Ares can resurrect the dog, Basil. Long ago Hercules witnessed Ares bring back his pet falcon. They then get a visit from one of their friends who managed to escape from Ares. He says that he is located at Stonehenge.
Hercules and friends go there and confront Ares. Hercules call out Ares as being a coward and gets him a one-on-one fight. Hercules collapses Stonehenge and traps Ares. One of Ares men use a tank to shoot Hercules, but the shell harmlessly explodes on his chest. Hercules agrees to let Ares go if he will bring back Basil which he does. Then Ares and his men ride off with Hercules promising that if they meet again, one will not survive. Something that Ares has no problem with.
This was an exciting issue. A big fight with the main opponent Ares. We find out a lot about Ares. For one he seems too not like being immortal. He craves death which is why he is always causing these wars. An interesting motive that I didn’t see coming. Also, we find out that he has jealously issues with his brother. Feels that Zeus loved him more. Apparently, a tank shell hardly fazes Herc. Ends with Basil getting brought back to life. A good happy ending since I don’t like seeing people’s dogs die. Promises a new direction for the series at the end. Very interested to find out what that is.
In northern Zamora, Conan and a group of thieves climb into a tower to steal its treasury. Instead, they find a beautiful woman. The guard finds them with this woman, and they take her hostage to escape. After losing the guard they make their way to an abandoned city. The group wants to sell the woman into slavery, but Conan wants to ransom her. A fight ensues with Conan getting overpowered and thrown into a well.
Conan survives and crawls out to find himself now surrounded by the guards. Conan fights his way out and steals a horse. Now he goes after the men who betrayed him. In Shadizar he joins forces with the guard captain, and they pursue the group into the desert. Zuagirs have captured this group and staked out the men Conan was after. Another fight ensues with Conan and the captain defeating the Zuagirs. The captain takes the woman as Conan takes the horses to sell. He also leaves the men that betrayed him staked out for the vultures.
“Dave Simons Portfolio”
A portfolio of Conan drawing by artist Dave Simons.
This was another good issue. This time we get a new artistic team to give us some variety. Otherwise, a simple story of revenge filled with action. Conan gets knocked around and thrown into a well. Obviously, that isn’t enough to stop him. Joins forces with the guy looking to get back the woman for his own reasons. Ends with Conan getting his revenge. Simple but effective. Dave Simons is a talented artist from his portfolio. A good fun issue for a Sunday morning.