Conan (Marvel Comics)

Conan is a fictional character based on Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian. He was introduced to the comic book world in 1970 with Conan the Barbarian, written by Roy Thomas, illustrated by Barry Smith and published by Marvel Comics.

The highly successful Conan the Barbarian series spawned the more adult, black-and-white Savage Sword of Conan in 1974 (published as part of Marvel's line of black-and-white magazines). Written by Thomas with most art by John Buscema or Alfredo Alcala, Savage Sword of Conan soon became one of the most popular comic series of the 1970s and is now considered a cult classic.

The Marvel Conan stories were also adapted as a newspaper comic strip which appeared daily and Sunday from September 4, 1978, to April 12, 1981. Originally written by Thomas and illustrated by Buscema, the strip was continued by several different Marvel artists and writers.

Marvel ceased publishing all Conan titles in 2000. In 2003, Dark Horse Comics acquired the license to publish the character. In 2018, Marvel reacquired the rights[1] and started new runs of both Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword of Conan in January/February 2019.

Savagesword24 07
An interior panel of "The Tower of the Elephant" comic adaptation by Roy Thomas featuring the art of John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala.

The original short story was written by Robert E. Howard and first appeared in a 1933 issue of Weird Tales magazine.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceConan the Barbarian #1 (Oct. 1970)
Created byRoy Thomas
Barry Smith
In-story information
Team affiliationsSavage Avengers

Core appearances

Marvel Comics' Conan's core appearances include:

Title Issues Dates Notes
Conan the Barbarian #1–275 1970–1993
Annual #1–12 1973–1987
Savage Tales #1–5 1971–1975 Conan only appeared in the first five issues; the final six issues featured Ka-Zar
Giant-Size Conan #1–5 1974–1975
Savage Sword of Conan #1–235 1974–1995 Black-and-white "mature readers" title originally published by the Marvel imprint Curtis Magazines
Annual #1 1975
Conan newspaper strip 16 stories 1978–1981
The Official Handbook of the Conan Universe #1 1986
King Conan/Conan the King #1–55 1980–1989 Title changed from King Conan to Conan the King after issue #19
Conan the Adventurer #1–14 1994–1995 A "reboot" of Conan the Barbarian
Conan #1–11 1995–1996
Conan the Savage #1–10 1995–1996 A "reboot" of Savage Sword of Conan

Comic strip stories

  1. The Coming of Conan, Roy Thomas & John Buscema
    (September 4–9, 1978)
  2. The Wizard's Daughter, Roy Thomas & John Buscema
    (September 10 – October 21, 1978)
  3. Red Sonja, Roy Thomas, John Buscema & Ernie Chan
    (October 22 – December 24, 1978)
  4. The Slavers, Roy Thomas & Ernie Chan
    (December 25, 1978 – February 10, 1979)
  5. The Stolen City, Roy Thomas & Ernie Chan
    (February 11 – March 25, 1979)
  6. The People of the Cataclysm, Roy Thomas & Ernie Chan
    (March 26 – June 10, 1979)
  7. The Castle of Vincenzo, Roy Thomas & Ernie Chan
    (June 11 – August 26, 1979)
  8. The Rescue of King Sohram, Roy Thomas & Ernie Chan
    (August 26 – October 28, 1979)
  9. Bride of the Black Book, Roy Thomas & Ernie Chan
    (October 29 – December 22, 1979)
  10. Red Sonja and Thulsa Doom, Roy Thomas & Ernie Chan
    (December 23, 1979 – March 15, 1980)
  11. The Jewel of the Ages, Roy Thomas & Ernie Chan
    (March 16 – April 27, 1980)
  12. Treasure Ship, Roy Thomas & Ernie Chan
    (April 28 – June 22, 1980)
  13. Island Warrior, Roy Thomas & Ernie Chan
    (June 23 – August 27, 1980)
  14. The Plague Demon, Roy Thomas & Alfredo Alcala
    (August 28 – October 19, 1980)
  15. The Tower of the Elephant, Roy Thomas, Rudy Nebres, Pablo Marcos. & Alan Kupperberg
    (October 20, 1980 – January 3, 1981)
  16. Revenge of the Son of Yara the Wizard Priest, Roy Thomas, Doug Moench, Alan Kupperberg, Pablo Marcos, & Tom Yeates
    (January 4 – Apr 12, 1981)

Marvel graphic novels

  • The Witch Queen of Acheron (Marvel Graphic Novel [MGN] #19, 1985)
  • Conan the Reaver (MGN #28, 1987)
  • Conan of the Isles (MGN #42, 1988)
  • The Skull of Set (MGN #53, 1989)
  • The Horn of Azoth (MGN #59, 1990)
  • Conan the Rogue (MGN #69, 1991)
  • The Ravagers Out of Time (MGN #73, 1992)

Marvel Conan the Barbarian mini-series

  • Stalker of the Woods 3 issues 1997
  • The Usurper 3 issues 1997
  • Lord of the Spiders 3 issues 1997
  • River of Blood 3 issues 1998
  • Return of Styrm 3 issues 1998
  • Scarlet Sword 3 issues 1998-1999
  • Death Covered in Gold 3 issues 1999
  • Flame and the Fiend 3 issues 2000

Marvel Universe appearances in the modern day

  • What If (Volume 1) #13 Conan appears in the modern-day Marvel Comics universe and in short order adapts to it before returning to his own world.
  • What If (Volume 1) #39 What If Thor battled Conan The Barbarian?
  • What If (Volume 1) #43 In the sequel (and an alternative ending) to What If? #13, Conan leads a gang of thieves and fights Captain America, who offers him a possible membership with the Avengers.
  • What If (Volume 2) #16 What If Wolverine Battled Conan The Barbarian? Conan fights Wolverine (in his own time) and, eventually warped to the moon at the time of the demise of Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix, throws a rock at Cyclops' head, thereby inadvertently dooming this alternative reality.
  • Avengers Forever #12 (1998) (pg11, final panel "A Tide of Heroes Surges Forward") This was Kurt Busiek's first writing of Conan. The Conan in this comic (1 panel) was the same Conan as the one in What If? #43.
  • Excalibur #47 (1992) with Saturnyne (last two panels pg 16 – no textual reference)
  • Fantastic Four #405 fighting Ant-Man, Iron Man 2020, and Zarrko.
  • Incomplete Death's Head #11 where he appears in one panel.
  • Green Goblin #10 What appears to be a robot of Conan fights Green Goblin in Arcade's Murderworld.
  • Earth X #0 (one panel)
  • Paradise X: Heralds #1 What may be a reincarnated Conan (and Red Sonja) by Kulan Gath appears and is apparently killed by Hyperion before issue 2 begins.
  • Savage Avengers series where Conan will team-up with Wolverine, the Punisher, Venom, Elektra, and Brother Voodoo.[2]

The following occur in the Hyborean age:

  • Dr. Strange #11 (volume 3, 1989) versus Varnae
  • Dr. Strange #26 (volume 3, 1991) (second story Legacy of the Wolf Part I, final page, 2nd panel) A figure that bears a striking resemblance to Conan, but no reference within the text to confirm.
  • Thor Corps #3 Conan appears with an astronaut.
  • Marvel Feature Presents #1 (flashback) and #6–7: Red Sonja crossover with Conan the Barbarian #66–68.

Note: At least some of these appearances (e.g. What If?, Avengers Forever, and Excalibur), if not all, were not of Conan from Earth-616.

Miscellaneous appearances


  • Conan the Barbarian (1978 to 1979), six paperback-sized books published by Ace Books/Tempo Star. Reprints issues 1–3 (vol. 1); 4–6 (vol. 2); 7–9 (vol. 3); 10–11 (vol. 4); 12 (first story), 13 and 16 (vol. 5); 12 (second story), 14–17 and 87 (second story) (vol. 6).
  • Conan the Barbarian – Special Edition (1983), Red Nails
  • Conan Saga (1987–1995), 97 issues
  • Conan Classic (1994–1995), 11 issues
  • Marvel Treasury Edition, issues 4, 15, 19 and 23
  • Marvel Super Special, issues 2, 9, 21 and 35
  • Essential Conan (2000), vol. 1 (reprints issues 1–25)

Collections later published by Dark Horse

  • The Chronicles of Conan Vol. 1–34
  • The Savage Sword of Conan Vol. 1–22
  • The Chronicles of King Conan Vol. 1–11

See also


  1. ^ McMillan, Graeme (January 12, 2018). "'Conan the Barbarian' Comics Moving Back to Marvel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  2. ^ Christain Holub (2019-02-14). "Exclusive: Conan the Barbarian will star in a new Avengers comic series". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
Conan (comics)

Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard was first adapted into comics in 1952 in Mexico. Marvel Comics began publishing Conan comics with the series Conan the Barbarian in 1970. Dark Horse Comics published Conan from 2003 to 2018, when the rights were reacquired by Marvel Comics.

Conan the Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian (also known as Conan the Cimmerian) is a fictional sword and sorcery hero who originated in pulp fiction magazines and has since been adapted to books, comics, several films (including Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer), television programs (cartoon and live-action), video games, role-playing games, and other media. The character was created by writer Robert E. Howard in 1932 in a series of fantasy stories published in Weird Tales magazine.

Conan the Barbarian (comics)

Conan the Barbarian was a comics title starring the sword-and-sorcery character created by Robert E. Howard, published by the American company Marvel Comics. It debuted with a first issue cover-dated October 1970 and ran for 275 issues until 1993. A significant commercial success, the title launched a sword-and-sorcery vogue in American 1970s comics.

Marvel Comics reacquired the publishing rights in 2018, and started a new run of Conan the Barbarian in January 2019 with the creative team of writer Jason Aaron and artist Mahmud A. Asrar.

Red Sonja

Red Sonja is a fictional character, a sword-and-sorcery comic book heroine created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith for Marvel Comics in 1973, partially based on Robert E. Howard's characters Red Sonya of Rogatino and Dark Agnes de Chastillon.

In Marvel's comics she originates from Hyrkania, during the Hyborian Age period, and is a contemporary of Conan the Barbarian - like Conan she has a dark backstory, involving her rape, and the murder of her family - a prayer to Scáthach gave her the fighting skills enabling her to revenge herself.

From 2005 the series was published by Dynamite Entertainment - in issue #34 the original Sonja was killed off, and replaced by a 'reincarnation'. The series was rebooted by Gail Simone in 2013, telling an altered version of her early life story via flashbacks. In 2017 Amy Chu began writing the series.

Red Sonja has appeared in numerous editions both solo, and together with Conan, as well as in some Marvel comics crossovers. A novelization was published in the 1980s written by David C. Smith and Richard L. Tierney, and in 1985 a feature film Red Sonja starring Brigitte Nielsen in the title role was released. There have also been television and animated adaption.

Sonja is well known for her bikini armor, consisting typically of scale mail covering only her waist and breasts.

Savage Sword of Conan

The Savage Sword of Conan was a black-and-white magazine-format comic book series published beginning in 1974 by Curtis Magazines, an imprint of American company Marvel Comics, and then later by Marvel itself. Savage Sword of Conan starred Robert E. Howard's most famous creation, Conan the Barbarian, and has the distinction of being the longest-surviving title of the short-lived Curtis imprint.

As a "magazine", Savage Sword of Conan did not have to conform to the Comics Code Authority, making it a publication of choice for many illustrators. It soon became one of the most popular comic series of the 1970s and is now considered a cult classic. Roy Thomas was the editor and primary writer for the series' first few years (until issue 60), which featured art by illustrators such as Neal Adams, Dick Giordano, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema, Alfredo Alcala, Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom, Pablo Marcos, and Walter Simonson. Painted covers were provided by such artists as Earl Norem, Bob Larkin, and Joe Jusko.

Savage Sword of Conan was published under the Curtis imprint until issue 60, when it became part of the Marvel Magazine Group. Stories from the comic were reprinted in the Marvel UK title of the same name. The original run of Savage Sword of Conan ran until issue #235 (July 1995).

Marvel Comics reacquired the publishing rights in 2018, and started a new run of Savage Sword of Conan beginning in February 2019.

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