Scully has escaped from the Astrodome with his pet badger Rahrah. He could just try to start over, but he has grown attached to the young Wynn. He decides to rescue her and the first thing to do is get some help. He goes to the Bear Tribe who are in the Pizza Hut Village. Bigbite is the leader who is dumb as a stump and very dangerous. He shows Bigbite where a shopping mall is to get him interested. He also convinces him that they should take the Astrodome. So they ambush the slaver that procures slaves and makes a deal with him. He will sell Scully and some of the Bear tribe to get in the Astrodome. Now Scully can rescue Wynn and attack from the inside.
The second story is a fun one. Dixon gives us some really dumb villains that Scully has to work with. There is plenty of humor like the Bear tribe think that Pizza Hut was some great guy. Scully is really getting attached to Wynn which gives the character who is basically amoral a moral compass. Scully even loses a finger for the Astrodome will chop off a finger for every escape attempt. A fun and exciting issue.
“The Skull on the Seas Part III: The Cape of Dark Dreams”
Writers: Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas
Artists: John Buscema and Ernie Chan
The crew of the Sea Pheasant continues to its journey to the Unknown Land far to the south. They come on some Black Corsairs but Conan knows then from his days among them, and they pass unmolested. Later the monkey possessed by Thoth Amon takes the skull of Doom but Doom bits the hand and they both go overboard. Conan has to jump in and gets attacked by a giant shark. He gets shallowed whole then cuts himself free.
Later the ship comes on an island and sees the Zingarian captain from their captured ship. They go ashore and find a race of yellow skinned people. They are led by the descendant of a lost Khitain prince. Only he and many others are actually serpent-men in disguise. They capture Conan, Captain Kunchum and his daughter. Then they take on the appearance of them along with the crewmen that accompanied them and go back to the ship. Now Thulsa Doom controls the ship.
“Death and Life in Tiger Valley Part III”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: E.R. Cruz
Kull is now a member of the Sea-Mountain tribe. He is in the forest and rescues a young woman his age from a tiger. The young girl was trying to use magic to control the beast. Kull goes back to his adopted father and finds out he should never speak to anyone about the girl. He doesn’t realize that she is his twin sister.
“Red Sonja on the Road of Kings”
Writers: Roy & Dann Thomas
Artist: Tony DeZuniga
Red Sonja kills a man and then goes to take a bath. She comes on a young girl who is curious about her. The mother comes and panics when she realizes that Sonja is one of the mercenaries that have been terrorizing the area.
Another excellent entry in the saga of Thulsa Doom’s skull. We get a nostalgic callback to the days when Conan was with the Black Corsairs. He gets a battle with a giant shark. They come on an island and get captured by Thulsa Doom’s serpent-men. Thomas really knows how to write a fun story and I truly missed it all those years he was gone.
The backup Kull story continues on. This time showing Kull meeting his sister for the first time. I am also enjoying this telling of Kull’s early life. The third one seemed to be just filler. Not much really happened in it. Anyway, another exciting and fun issue.
Conan leads a pirate galley against one carrying the priesthood of Mitra. They have a golden bull on it and prey for deliverance from the pirates. The pirates have a Stygian drummer whose drumbeat urges them on. Even after he gets hit in the neck with an arrow he continues to pound the drum. The pirate ship catches up and they loot the golden bull. The ship catches on fire and the pirates leave with the Stygian beating the drum. The Stygian dies and gets honored by the crew.
Larry Hama does the writing for this issue. It is done all in poetic verse. A unique idea that was handled quite well. A simple story but one that carries a lot of emotion. Combined with Kwapisz artwork and you have an enjoyable stand-alone issue.
Sheena has to save the village from both a stampeding horde of dinosaurs and lava. She does this by pushing a large boulder into the river. This diverts the river to the lava and turns the dinosaurs on another path. Only she is captured by the villagers. She finds out they are descendants of her people. That Visser and his men are not good guys. She sends Pete the parrot to warn her friends, but Visser intercepts him. Visser gets Ransom and Bob to help him rescue his men. They go to the village and free the men. Only it is too late when they find out that Visser and his men are Nazis from a U-boat.
The story is getting really interesting. Sheena finds a lost tribe of her own people. Saves them from both lava and dinosaurs. The guy they thought was an escaped Dutchman from Indonesia is really a Nazis and they have inadvertently set them free. A fun story filled with dinosaurs, Nazis and a lost tribe in a lost land. This with some really beautiful artwork, make this a treat to read.
Belit comes alive and rises from her watery grave. She finds some mermaids and asks where a lass can get properly fucked. They point to the north. She arrives at a tavern and takes some meek bard to bed. He finds out she is the famous pirate Belit brought back to life. Belit is pissed to be resurrected from the dead and makes it her goal to find out why. She gets a pirate ship and captures Valeria to trade with another for a wizard that can help her. Only the wizard turns on her and conjures a giant cobra. Cannons destroy it and Belit takes care of the treacherous guy who turned on her. She offers Valeria a chance to join her.
An article from Howard on the history of the Hyborian age.
Belit and Valeria are two of Howard’s greatest female creations. It is amazing nobody thought of bringing these two together before. Unfortunately, they gave Max Bemis the job of writing it. He has to be the worst writer there ever was. He singlehandedly destroyed the Atari stories that Dynamite was going to do with his atrocious Centipede. He clearly doesn’t understand any of the characters. I knew when it starts off with Belit asking where she can get fucked this was not going well. Belit is a crude sex starved lout. Valeria is a kind of Jack Sparrow clone. All the dialogue is super crude with f bombs and talking about penis size. I have never seen this in any Howard adaptation over the decades and it is sad to see it here.
The only positive thing is the art is good and they included an interesting part of an essay that Howard wrote.
It is the future when the world has frozen over from an ice age. Scully is a trader and drives around in an armored vehicle trading stuff he scavenges from abandoned shopping malls and stores. One day a group decides to steal from him instead of trade. His pet badger Rahrah kills one of the men. Scully gets another before being knocked out. Fortunately, a young teen girl knifes the third. This girl is named Wynn and she was a slave to these guys. Scully says he will take her to the next settlement and drop her off. Only the vehicle breaks down and they get captured by slavers. They get sold to the Astrodome which is being used to grow fruit and vegetables. Scully after a while gets sentenced to the sewage treatment area as punishment for fighting back. Rahrah pops up and Scully follows him to freedom on the outside through a sewage pipe. Rahrah also killed a goat outside, so Scully has some furs and food.
I love this old ice age apocalypse story from the eighties. It was a really unique and gritty comic for the times. You had this old grumpy trader who develops a fatherly like relationship with a young teen girl. Hints at some civilization that still has airplanes for that is where Wynn is supposed to have come from. The smart badger is a fun little touch to the story. A series that I highly recommend.
“Skull on the Seas Part II Jade Coils in Black Khemi”
Writers: Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas
Artists: John Buscema, Tony DeZuniga and Ernie Chan
The Sea Pheasant is attacked by a Stygian war galley. Conan and the crew manage to defeat the Stygians and all except one is killed. The survivor has managed to hide away. Later at night he finds the talking skull of Thulsa Doom and decides to take it with him to sell to Thoth-Amon. He swims to shore and Conan with Li-Zya and some of the crew go after him. They have to track him to the temple of Thoth-Amon. There they battle his man-serpents and snakes. They manage to bring back Doom but Thoth-Amon managed to possess the little monkey creature that travels with them.
“Death and Life in Tiger Valley Part II”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: E.R Cruz
Young Kull grows up raised by tigers. He is out hunting a water buffalo when his brother gets killed. While fighting the buffalo he is saved by some hunters from the Sea-Mountain tribe. They take him back where the shaman decides to take care of him. This is the same shaman that rescued his twin sister and is raising her.
Another really excellent issue. Roy gives us the first face to face meeting of Conan and Thoth-Amon. We find out some backstory to the Khitain captain. He was a noble that got drunk on hearing his wife’s death and gambled away treasure he was supposed to share with the emperor. His punishment was banishment and now he became a pirate to bribe his way back into favor with the emperor. We also find there is a feud between Thoth-Amon and Thulsa Doom over the control of the serpent-men. I really loved the story and the artwork was beautiful. Some really great full page drawings.
The Kull backup was also excellent. I love that Thomas decided to give us an early look at Kull in his early life. I love the new direction of the series.
Conan drives a herd of snow oxen into a Turanian gold camp. The oxen destroy the camp, but Conan finds out he is too late. A dying Turanian tells him the mountain men have already stolen the gold. Conan goes after Wolfhead and his band. He attacks them and the glacier they are on breaks apart. Conan manages to survive and continues after Wolfhead. He catches up but a giant bear attacks them. Conan kills the bear and continues after Wolfhead. They come to a frozen river and battle for the last chest of gold. They go over the falls and Wolfhead gets beaten to death with a bar of gold. Conan escapes with this one bar of gold and is happy for it will buy some fun for him.
The final issue with the Santino/Semeiks team. Another story of Conan in constant action and fighting against impossible odds. I do love these issues, but I can see that the series has to move on to more characterization in the plotlines. For now, we will enter a period of musical chairs for the writer and artist team.
Sheena, Kellerman and Ransome have gone through the portal at the city and find themselves on an island. The island has an active volcano, and they are attacked by an old man. Sheena captures him and finds out they are in the Pacific and the guy escaped from a group of savages on the other side of the island. Sheena takes off with her animal friends to investigate. While away the other two find out the old man escaped from the Japanese in Indonesia. They have traveled back in time to 1945. Just then the volcano starts to erupt. Sheena comes to the village but at the end faces a stampeding horde of dinosaurs.
I do love De Souza. This story is really an interesting one. Filled with mystery on some unknown island in the Pacific during WWII. It has some mysterious group and dinosaurs. An enjoyable story that has really picked up since De Souza came on board.
The Lady has destroyed Taln and imprisoned the others in a pit filling with water. She has Barbarella taken to be mutilated by a robot doctor. Only Taln managed to survive and rescues Barbarella. They later rescue the others from the pit. Barbarella finds the poor guy made to look like a winged man. He is dying and tells her the story about the Lady. She was an off world trader and fell in love with a winged man. Only this man loved Barbarella so that is why she decided to go nuts and try to conquer the galaxy. They go back to their ship and Barbarella is surprised by George. She kills it and the real Barbarella shows up and disarms her. The one that Taln rescued was the phony one. Later the Lady is imprisoned on Tortuga, but the group finds out the Lady was supported by the Unnamable. Some alien race from another galaxy working to take over ours. Vix also informs the group that his race The Architects were responsible for eons in stopping the Unnamable. Now they are openly going to war with them.
The final issue gives us some closure on the Lady. We find out her motives. A clever plot device to make us think Barbarella was free but secretly being impersonated by the Lady. Doesn’t really show us how Barbarella managed to escape. Ends setting up the next series with the big war between these two all-powerful ancient alien groups. The second series is supposed to start this month and continue to be written by Sarah Hoyt. I enjoyed her take on this character then the last writers so happy that she will continue. I also loved the artist they got for this series. He has the most beautiful artwork and I hope they use him in many more titles in the future.