“Fury of the Iron Damsels”
Writers: Chuck Dixon and Gary Kwapisz
Artist: Gary Kwapisz
Conan is with Red Sonja and Valeria in Nordheim. They are making their way south to more civilized lands when they link up with a tribe of Nain. The Nain give them food and escort them to a trading post. They also have a fertility statue made of solid gold. Valeria during the night manages to recruit a barge to steal it and take it south. Conan and Red Sonja go after her. Valeria manages to reach the next town and recruits the Iron Damsels who happen to be there. When they hear Conan is coming, they decide to get payback for some past transgressions.
The groups meet at the abandoned barge but have to join forces. A Vanir chieftain has come to steal the gold statue. A big fight ensues with the Vanir defeated and the statue going over a waterfall. Conan leaves and manages to recover the statue for himself.
“What Dwells Below”
Writer: Eric Fein
Artist: Ernie Chan
Conan is in a Khitain border village and gets in a fight with the local braggard. He wounds the guy, and this is a problem for the leader. The guy was supposed to rescue his daughter being held captive. For a sack of gold Conan agrees to take his place. Conan goes to the castle and attacks the evil Sarris. He has to also rescue the captive from a pit with a creature. Conan does this and gets his sack of gold.
This issue had the return of the Dixon/Kwapisz team. I feel they are the best since Thomas/Buscema from old. It also brings back the Iron Damsels. This all-female mercenary group. Plus, it threw in both Red Sonja and Valeria. So, you get a whole bunch of popular beautiful women in one story. It picks up from the last adventure of Conan with Sonja and Valeria. A fun story of greed and betrayal over a gold statue. Add in some beautiful artwork and you get a real gem.
The backup story was also an amusing Conan adventure. He has to fight an evil warlord and some nasty creature in a pit. This Fein fellow is new to me but show great promise in his writing. Add to it the beautiful art of Chan and you get another enjoyable story.