KING CONAN #6

“Conan’s Last Stand at the Edge of the World Part Six: The Boy in the Tree”

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Mahmud Asrar

A sailor approaches the throne of Conan II with grim news. His ship found a reef surrounded by corpses. In the reef was the broken sword of Conan. It is assumed that Conan is dead. Back to the past and Conan and Thoth Amon fight the zombie hordes and red apes of Princess Prima. Conan manages to set the massive cache of lava tar on fire. This blows up the entire island. Thoth Amon decides to claim the princess’s power but instead ends up a prisoner to that power. Conan later sits on the surviving reef drinking wine. He sees the sharks and something in the water and dives in. Back to the present and Conan II sails to the Western Sea. He throws in a good sword to carry to his father. At the end Conan has found the fingernail boat that Princess Prima was going to entrap Conan. But the islands power is gone, and he continues on to new lands to the west.

This was an excellent ending to an excellent story. They really outdid themselves with their final Conan story for Marvel. It had the perfect touch and ended as it should, Conan going off into new lands to explore. He is timeless and should never die. So now Conan and other REH properties will go to Titan next year. Probably a good idea as Marvel is circling the drain. They did a great job with Conan. Thankfully the owners of Conan insisted on quality and not wokeness. Otherwise, I have a feeling that we would have got a nonbinary pink haired Conan. I commend everyone involved with Conan for Marvel on an excellent job and look forward to what Titan will do next year.

KING CONAN #5

“Conan’s Last Stand at the Edge of the World Part Five: The Ballad of Thoth-Amon of the Ring”

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Mahmud Asrar

Young Thoth-Amon was a terrible student when he entered the seminary for Set. He was arrogant and refused to learn anything. So, the priests punished his fellow students. Naturally these students punished Thoth-Amon and gave him a beating with live snakes. Thoth-Amon cleaned up is act and the day finally arrived for graduation. Everyone was to bring a sacrifice to Set. Thoth-Amon locked the temple doors and set the place on fire. This was his sacrifice for Set. Set approved and entered him. Now Thoth-Amon had to find the Ring of Set.

Many years later he sits in a bar talking about how he lost his ring. The patrons mock him, and he disgorges the snake in him to kill everyone. He knows where the Ring of Set is and will soon have the power. After all the proper sacrifices he needs the blood of a king. He hears Conan has went exploring and goes after him. His ship is shipwrecked on the zombie island. He considers killing himself when he sees that Conan is on the island.

Now the story jumps to the present. They are temporarily allied to escape. They come on the ship that was Thoth-Amon’s. It is filled with tar that Conan uses to set fire to the hordes of zombies.

This issue we get the origin of Thoth-Amon. How and why, he ended up on the island. I don’t think in all the incarnations of Conan comics has an origin been done for Thoth-Amon. I have to say that this origin is brilliant. A very true and Howard like origin for Conan’s greatest foe. I think the writers are kicking it for the last Marvel Conan series. Can’t wait to see how it ends.

KING CONAN #4

“Conan’s Last Stand at the Edge of the World Part Four: Conan vs. Conan”

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Mahmud Asrar

Conn decides to fight Conan instead of going into exile. The two have some give and take and Conan manages to throw young Conn into some thorn bushes. When Conan gets concerned, Conn comes out swinging. Back at the island Conan laughs and dares the princess to kill Thoth Amon. She sends her red apes to attack. Conan fights them off and one dies from the poisoned blood of Thoth Amon. Conan and Thoth Amon escape into the caves. There they make a pact to ally themselves until they escape from this island. Then they swear to kill each other. The issue ends with the flashback of the fight with his son. Conn demonstrates that he knows everything to be king and defeats Conan. Conn decides to exile Conan since he sees that his father longs to wander the horizon. The two embrace.

Wow was this an intense issue. Conan states that this is his greatest battle with pride. Young Conn show himself to have grown into a wise and responsible man. Ready to take on the kingship. He wisely sees that Conan in his old age needs to leave and continue his wandering adventures. Thus, we get to see how Conan was no longer king of Aquilonia. The main plot was really a side story in this issue. Yet also an important one as two great enemies join forces in a temporary truce to escape this island. The ending was a truly touching moment for Conan which showed that in spite of his harsh extreme parenting, he still very much loves his son. A truly brilliant issue.

KING CONAN #3

“Conan’s Last Stand at the Edge of the World Part Three: The Princess of Golden Ruin.”

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Mahmud Asrar

Conan is fighting the zombies on the island he was shipwrecked on. He notices some red apes on a hill and decides to climb up there. At least the zombies aren’t there. On top of the hill a beautiful woman stops the apes from attacking. She is Princess Matoaka, and she tells Conan her story. Long ago in a land far across the Western Sea she fell in love with an explorer from Acheron. The explorer saw all the gold and brought back an army to steal it. Her people managed to destroy the invaders, but the damage was done. She was set adrift in a boat filled with gold. She landed on the island with a curse to draw all potential invaders to this island.

Now she needs Conan to help her escape. She has built a boat out of the fingernails of the dead. Only Conan is too smart and knows this is a trick. The princess was going to substitute Conan for herself. The princess goes to her next plan which is to bring the captive Thoth Amon. She thinks he is important to Conan, and he will surrender to save him. Instead, Conan laughs. Ends with a flashback to when Conan exiled his son. The son is prepared to fight his father.

This was a great story. Most of it was exposition on the mysterious woman and why the island is cursed. Conan may be old but still sharp as a tack. He is also still a fearsome fighter who battles endless hordes of zombies. Ends on both a funny note and an intriguing one in the big battle between father and son. Also this issue has a letter column. The old Hyborian page. Nice to see one since most modern comics don’t bother.

KING CONAN #2

“Conan’s Last Stand at the Edge of the World Part Two: A Barbarian Father’s Lament”

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Mahmud Asrar

Conan and Thoth Amon are shipwrecked on an unknown island in the Western Sea. At night the dead bodies of the shipwrecked come alive as zombies. Conan pushes Thoth Amon into them as he climbs to safety on a hill. Here Conan thinks back to the past. As king he has just defeated Zingara and wants to continue the war. His son Conn talks him out of it, but Conan is restless. He wants to find someone to fight. Anyone even a bar fight. He is old and doesn’t like the peace. He starts to think that his son has been raised too soft. So, Conan exiles him to go and find adventures in other lands to toughen him up.

Back on the island, Conan rescues Thoth thinking that he might be some help in escaping. Only Thoth pushes Conan into the zombies and takes off. On a hill a young woman observes and instructs her apes to bring Conan to her if he survives until dawn.

Another excellent Conan story. This one we get some background in Conan’s life as a king. He clearly is a man that doesn’t like peace and quiet. He has always thrived on action and fighting. At his old age he starts to see that his best days are behind him. Also, his son has been raised too civilized, so he sends him out to toughen him up. The writer really gets the essence of Conan. I look forward to seeing where this goes and discovering the mystery of this spooky island.

KING CONAN #1

“Conan’s Last Stand at the Edge of the World Part One On Maggot-Infested Waves”

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Mahmud Asrar

Conan washes ashore on a barren island after his ship goes under. It is a desolate small island way out in unexplored areas of the Western Ocean. The island has many ships that crashed on it and their dead crew lying about. There is one person besides Conan and that is Thoth Amon. He attacks Conan to get the blood of a king on his Serpent Ring. The two have an epic fight that sees Conan chop off Thoth’s hand, but he just puts it back. Thoth Amon finally gets Conan’s blood on his ring, but nothing happens. Conan is no longer king. The sun sets and at night all the dead people on the island come to life.

The final Marvel Conan series starts off to a great start. Conan is an old man who must have abdicated his throne to go exploring unknown lands. Howard hinted that was Conan’s fate and they have decided to end the Marvel series here. How Thoth Amon came to this island is still a mystery. Also, where they are is another mystery. One I look forward to finding out. Conan is probably the only good thing these days Marvel is producing. Looks like they are ending their license of Conan on a high note.