The Savage Sword of Conan Vol. 1

by Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor Smith, and others

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Format: Softcover, black and white, $17.95

ISBN: 978-1-59307-838-6

Reviewed by: Library Journal

"The Chronicles of Conan" series from Dark Horse is reprinting Marvel's 1970s comic books featuring Robert E. Howard's mighty barbarian swordsman, Conan. This new series collects Conan's appearances in Marvel's line of black-and-white magazines from the same period. These rousing tales of fierce combat, beautiful women, devilish sorcery, and supernatural monsters are all well scripted by Thomas and illustrated by various artists. Some stories are original; others adapt Howard's tales or Conan pastiches by others; some are unrelated Howard stories rewritten to feature Conan. One is based on a plot by novelist John Jakes. Though the artwork here has been reduced in size, the mostly excellent printing faithfully reproduces the exquisite line work of Windsor-Smith on Howard's classic "Red Nails"; the ornate brilliance of Alex Nino on "People of the Dark," in which a modern man goes back millennia in time and inhabits Conan's mind; and the remarkable, fluid, realistic work of John Bucema on several stories, including "A Witch Shall Be Born," in which Conan survives crucifixion. Other art greats featured include Gil Kane, Neal Adams, and Jim Starlin. Intended for adults; some stories here feature nudity. Strongly recommended for fans of heroic fantasy adventure. — Steve Raiteri