“Pillar of the Sky”
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artists: Michael Docherty and Ernie Chan
On the Nemedian frontier a legion commander is taken prisoner by a raiding party of Hyberboreans. This commander is the son of an influential general. The Nemedians don’t want to start a diplomatic incident over this and decide to recruit some mercenaries. For a helmet full of silver, they need six men. Conan is the first to volunteer. They cross the border and get in a fight with a band of hillmen. One is captured and leads them to where the captive is. A tower that goes to the clouds. The captive is to be sacrificed to the god Bardisattva. Conan and the mercenaries assault the tower and rescue the captive. Only they have tortured him, and he is now dedicated to being sacrificed. The god comes to take his sacrifice and the captive manages to escape and surrenders to the god. Conan and the survivors decide to seek their fortunes elsewhere.
Writer: Sue Flaxman
Artists: Gavin Curtis and Keith Williams
In a small desert town, Red Sonja is hired by a woman to rescue her sister. Her sister was married against her will and now is forced to be chained. Sonja agrees and with the woman break into the compound. They find the sister in chains, but she refuses to leave. A fight with the guards kills the sister that came to rescue her. The captive sister later reveals that she now has children and can’t leave them. Sonja leaves her but does get the reward money.
This was an enjoyable issue. I loved the art and concept for the main story. This tall stone tower with an endless flight of stairs was very visually striking. The cult was a creepy bunch with their sewed mouths and tattooing. The Sonja backup was also very satisfying. A fascinating twist ending that shows some chains aren’t physical.