I picked up SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN reprint volume #21 last night. It reprints issues 213 to 222. The black and white magazine ran for 235 issues, so that means there are only 13 issues to go. For the most part, these 600 page ‘phone books’ have reprinted 10 issues each, which does make me wonder about the next issue. Will they cram all thirteen issues into volume 22? Do they plan to reprint the ten issues of that other Conan black and white magazine, CONAN THE SAVAGE bringing the total to 23 volumes? They did reprint the Conan material from Savage Sword’s predecessor, SAVAGE TALES, so why not CONAN THE SAVAGE? (A funny side note for me is that when I created a Conan knock off when I was twelve and drew a bunch of comic book adventures, he was TARGO THE SAVAGE. Take that Marvel. Beat you to it by twenty or so years.)
Flipping through the volume last night, I had forgotten that a lot of the last two dozen or so issues of SAVAGE SWORD were taken up by adaptations of a couple of the TOR Conan pastiches. Those don’t interest me much. In between though, you get original stories by my favorite Conan pasticher, Roy Thomas. The art varies from excellent to pretty poor. I think Marvel knew the series was circling the drain.
Another thing I’d forgotten was that since the Marvel color comic CONAN THE BARBARIAN was canceled before SAVAGE SWORD, Roy Thomas created a backup feature that went on with the Continuity of the color comic, so there was a CONAN THE BARBARIAN backup feature in SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN. I find that kind of amusing.
Anyway, I own a full set of the original SAVAGE SWORD magazines, so people have asked me why I want these reprint volumes. I worry about people like that.
PS. This volume includes the two-part crossover between Conan and Solomon Kane. Only Roy Thomas could have brought these two characters together in a story that actually fits the continuity established by Robert E. Howard in his stories. Go Roy!