Monday, 12 September 2011

Sheffield's Most Wanted. Part 3: Savage Sword of Conan #5.

Marvel Comics, Savage Sword of Conan #5, Conan crucified, Boris Vallejo cover
Outside, the wind might be blowing up a storm but in the sheltered recesses of the Internet, the world practically stops on its axis as yet again I highlight a comic I always wanted as a kid but never managed to acquire.

This time it's The Savage Sword of Conan #5; upon whose cover we find the Hyborian Hero nailed to a cross, as a vulture gets ready to tuck in. If this was The Beano, that vulture would of course be holding a knife and fork while wearing a napkin tied around its neck. Oddly enough, artist Boris Vallejo didn't think to add that detail.

Apparently laid out by John Buscema, the pic has crucifixion, it has vultures and it has a big skull. As DC's regular Weird War Tales cover man Luis Dominguez could tell you, a comic book cover can never go wrong with a good skull on it.

Not only does Savage Sword of Conan #5 have a great cover but it also appears to feature an adaptation of A Witch Shall Be Born, one of my favourite Robert E Howard Conan tales.

Not that I knew back then that it was one of my favourite Robert E Howard Conan tales as, at that point, I'd never read any of them. Since then I've read them all - and have come to the conclusion that I agree with myself on the matter.


Kid said...

Okay, I confess - I only had the British version of this monthly mag - but it was still a good read.

Dougie said...

In the summer of 79, I wanted the British version of The Slithering Shadow so badly, I could barely stand it. I left it too late to buy a copy from the wood-panelled newstand that used to sit in the middle of Glasgow Central Station. They had all sold out.
I wouldn't read get to read it for another twenty years in the Dark Horse SSOC reprint.

Kid said...

Talking of that wood-panelled newsstand in Glasgow Central, I remember buying the issue of Marvel Tales that reprinted Spider-Man #1 from there in 1982. Still got it too.

Rip Jagger said...

This is as good as Marvel's Conan ever got. This story, this scene, are the absolute top of what Conan can be.

I recently picked this up colorized in the Marvel Treasury #23, and it's a hoot to have this story in an amended form. It makes it slightly fresh feeling.

But still and all, the rugged black and white of the earliest Savage Sword issues are the cream of Marvel Conan, the truest they came to REH.

Rip Off

Craig McTaggart said...

A Witch shall be born is one of the best Conan stories along with The Sword and The Feather (?) Its along time ago , and talking of buying Marvel comics in Glasgow , during the sixties/ seventies you could always find loads more US Marvel comics there than you could down south. All the best Craig Herts Uk

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