Solomon Kane is a fictional character created by the pulp-era writer Robert E. Howard. A late 16th–early 17th century Puritan, Solomon Kane is a somber-looking man who wanders the world with no apparent goal other than to vanquish evil in all its forms. His adventures, published mostly in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, often take him from Europe to the jungles of Africa and back.
Howard described him as a tall, sombre and gloomy man of pale skin, gaunt face and cold eyes, all of it shadowed by a slouch hat. He is dressed entirely in black and his weaponry usually consists of a rapier, a dirk, and a brace of flintlock pistols. During one of his later adventures his friend N'Longa, an African shaman, gave him a juju staff that served as a protection against evil but could easily be wielded as a weapon. It is revealed in another story, "The Footfalls Within", that this is the mythical Staff of Solomon, a talisman older than the Earth and unimaginably powerful, much more so than even N'Longa knew. In the same adventure with N'Longa, Kane is seen using a musket as well.
When Weird Tales published the story "Red Nails", featuring Conan the Barbarian, the editors introduced it as a tale of "a barbarian adventurer named Conan, remarkable for his sheer force of valor and brute strength. Its author, Robert E. Howard, is already a favorite with the readers of this magazine for his stories of Solomon Kane, the dour English Puritan and redresser of wrongs".
|Solomon Kane character|
|First appearance||"Red Shadows"|
|Created by||Robert E. Howard|
Most of the Solomon Kane stories were first published in Weird Tales. The order of publication, however, does not coincide with the order in which the stories were written.
First published in Weird Tales, August 1928, alternatively titled "Solomon Kane". This was the first Solomon Kane story ever published. In France, Kane finds a girl attacked by a gang of brigands led by a villain known as le Loup. As she dies in his arms, Kane determines to avenge her death, and the trail leads from France to Africa, ending with Kane's first meeting with N'Longa.
First published in Weird Tales, January 1929. In England, Kane is on his way to the hamlet of Torkertown, and must choose one of two paths, a route that leads through a moor or one that leads through a swamp. He is warned that the moor route is haunted and all travelers who take that road die, so he decides to investigate.
First published in Weird Tales, June 1929. In Germany Kane meets a traveler named Gaston L'Armon, who seems familiar to Kane, and together they take rooms in the Cleft Skull Tavern.
First published in Weird Tales, Part 1, June 1930; Part 2, July 1930. Kane goes to Africa on the trail of an English girl named Marylin Taferal, kidnapped from her home and sold to Barbary pirates by her cousin. When he finds the hidden city of Negari, he encounters Nakari, "the vampire queen of Negari".
First published in Weird Tales, August 1930. In Africa again, Kane's old friend N'Longa (the witch doctor from "Red Shadows") gives the Puritan a magic wooden staff, the Staff of Solomon, which will protect him in his travels. Kane enters the jungle and finds a city of vampires.
First published in Weird Tales, September 1931. In Africa again, Kane encounters Arab slave traders busily engaged driving slaves to market. He rushes to save a girl whom the slavers are mistreating but is himself overwhelmed and taken prisoner.
First published in Weird Tales, July 1932. In Africa again, Kane comes across an entire village wiped out, and all of the roofs have been ripped off, as if by something attempting to get inside from above.
First published in Red Shadows, Grant, 1968. Also known as "The Blue Flame of Vengeance". On the English coast, Kane battles the Fishhawk and his fellow pirates in a historical action tale with no fantasy elements. Writer John Pocsik was commissioned by Arkham House founder August Derleth to "edit" Howard's prose and to add a weird element for his 1964 anniversary anthology Over the Edge. REH scholar L. Sprague de Camp and author Fritz Leiber are both reported to have thought highly of the "new" version. Pocsik went on to pen several other Kane pastiches, only one of which, "The Fiend Within", saw print in Ariel (with "Solomon Kane" changed to "Jonathan Flint").
First published in Red Shadows. Kane plays a minimal role in this story. A condemned wizard seeks revenge on the man who betrayed him.
First published in The Howard Collector #10, Spring 1968. Just a few lines completed. Kane meets a shadowy ghost rider on the road.
First published in Red Shadows, Grant, 1968. In the Black Forest Kane tells John Silent, an English mercenary, that he cut down a boy from the local Baron's gibbet. Both men head to the Baron's castle for a reckoning.
First published in Red Shadows. Kane comes across a lost city of Assyrians.
First published in Red Shadows. Kane's old acquaintance, Jeremy Hawk, was once the king of an African lost civilization, and wants to resume that role.
Kane fights side-by-side with the ghost of Sir Richard Grenville, at whose 1591 death Kane had been present.
After years of wandering, Kane comes back to England "to live forever in my place." Then he hears "the howling of the ocean pack" and leaves again. This work contains a dialog exchange between Kane and a local man: "Where is Bess? Woe that I caused her tears."/"In the quiet churchyard by the sea she has slept these seven years." Most fans of the character have assumed that Bess is Queen Elizabeth I of England and consequently date the incident to 1610 but this is wrong. In the Howard fragment, "Hawk of Basti," Kane says of this monarch, "She herself has lied to and betrayed the folk of my faith...," an historian described Elizabeth as "a huge boulder in the path of Puritanism, unavoidable, insurmountable, immovable," and she is buried in Westminster Abbey which does not fit the description of Bess' burial place.
Some fans consider "Bess" to be the love interest of Solomon Kane. There is no other mention of Bess in the stories, but given the character of Kane, a story has been read between the lines: Bess and Kane have shared a love, but the wayfaring nature of Kane has forced him to pursue his adventures. Perhaps he has planned to come home to start a family with Bess, but upon hearing of her death, breaks all connections to home and leaves again without returning.
The Staff of Solomon is an ancient staff that N'Longa presented to Kane to aid him in his adventures. It is described as sharp-pointed on one end and with the head of a cat on the other, made of a wood that no longer exists on Earth. The staff is covered with ancient hieroglyphs which, along with the cat's head, were added a very long time after the staff was created. Using the staff Kane can communicate over distances with N'Longa, and it has also been used to slay vampires and evil spirits. Having carried it for an extended period seems to have endowed Kane with the ability to sense the presence of otherworldly beings.
When Kane is taken prisoner by slavers, one of their party, "Yussef the Hadji", recognizes the staff for what it is. He says the staff is older than the world itself and holds mighty magic. The cat-head is a representation of Bast, and the priests of Bast used the staff in ancient Egypt. The feline head which now decorates the staff's top was itself carved out of a pre-existing decoration, though it is now impossible to say what manner of eldritch symbol (or creature) was originally effigiated on it. With the staff Moses (known as Musa in Arabic) did wonders before the Pharaoh and carried it with him when his people fled Egypt. For centuries it was the Scepter of Israel (mentioned in Numbers 24:17), and Solomon used it to combat magicians and capture djinns. The staff may be related to Aaron's rod, Moses' rod or the Rod of Asclepius.
He is an ancient African shaman, who is driven to study magic. He has travelled the world in ancient times as a slave, secretly studying under various sorcerers and holy men of the Middle and Near East. In Judea he acquired the Staff of Solomon, which he later gave to Solomon Kane to aid him in his wanderings. N'Longa's magical powers derive from his ability to send his spirit out of his body. He can take over the bodies of the living and dead through this method, to communicate with Solomon Kane through the Staff of Solomon, and also summons the vultures by sending his spirit to parley with them.
A French criminal mastermind (his name means "the wolf") whom Kane spent several years tracking down to avenge the murder of a dying girl he found, and her whole village. Kane eventually tracks le Loup to Africa, where he first meets N'Longa, and justice is served.
His real name is Jonas Hardraker and he is known on all coasts of the civilized world as a ruthless pirate. He is a tall, rangy, broad-shouldered man, with a lean hawk-like cruel face. Solomon Kane hunted him for two years after Hardraker sank a ship that was carrying the daughter of an old friend of Kane, the old friend having gone mad after hearing of his daughter's death. Kane finally confronted and killed Hardraker in England where Hardraker was smuggling alcohol with Sir George Banway.
At the 2006 San Diego Comic Con, it was announced that Solomon Kane, a feature film based upon the eponymous character, was in development at Davis-Films, with Michael J. Bassett writing and directing. The film was produced by Samuel Hadida, Paul Berrow and Kevan Van Thompson. Shooting started in Czech Republic in January 2008, with James Purefoy (Rome's Mark Anthony) as Kane. Max von Sydow plays Kane's father, and Pete Postlethwaite, Alice Krige and Jason Flemyng are among the supporting cast. Patrick Tatopoulos, creature designer for Godzilla, Underworld, Silent Hill, I Am Legend and others, conceptualized the monsters Kane fights in his battles with the forces of evil. The film was released in France on December 23, 2009, in the UK on February 19, 2010 and in the US on September 28th, 2012
Rob Zombie's 2006 "The Lords of Salem" video appears to be loosely based on the Solomon Kane comic.
Pinnacle Entertainment Group has published a role-playing game based on the character utilizing the Savage Worlds rules system, titled The Savage World of Solomon Kane. In addition to game rules, the book features a background and summaries of Howard's original stories and an original adventure campaign featuring a group of wanderers following the path of Kane and revisiting places changed by Solomon's actions.
Trademark on the name Solomon Kane and the names of Robert E. Howard's other principal characters are claimed by Paradox Entertainment of Stockholm, Sweden, through its US subsidiary Paradox Entertainment Inc. Paradox also claims copyrights on the stories written by other authors under license from Solomon Kane Inc. Since Robert E. Howard published his Solomon Kane stories at a time when the date of publication was the marker, the owners had to use the copyright symbol, and they had to renew after a certain time to maintain copyright, the exact status of all of Howard's Solomon Kane works are in question.
Project Gutenberg, for example, holds only some of Robert E. Howard's stories (none of which include Solomon Kane) while Project Gutenberg Australia has a more complete selection, implying that the stories are unambiguously free from copyright under Australian law, while the possibility of copyright renewal disbars many from Project Gutenberg's inclusion criteria in the United States.
Subsequent stories written by other authors are subject to the copyright laws of the relevant time.
Tales of the Shadowmen is an anthology series edited by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier, where characters from French adventure literature exist in the same universe. Tales of the Shadowmen, Volume 3: Danse Macabre includes a story entitled "The Heart of the Moon" by Matthew Baugh which features Solomon Kane as one of a group of adventurers visiting Féval's vampire metropolis, Selene. Tales of the Shadowmen, Volume 4: Lords of Terror includes a story entitled "The Anti-Pope of Avignon" by Micah Harris featuring Solomon Kane as the central protagonist supporting the Huguenot cause in Avignon.
In Philip José Farmer's Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Farmer identifies Solomon Kane as being a direct ancestor of adventurer Doc Savage. This book is part of a larger literary conceit that the (real) meteorite which fell in Wold Newton, Yorkshire, England, on December 13, 1795 was radioactive and caused genetic mutations in the occupants of a passing coach. As luck would have it many of these occupants were also already of heroic stock. See the Savage Family Tree.
Howard's stories, poems, and fragments featuring Solomon Kane have been published several times as a collection in book form. Not every publication has been a complete collection.
The works of Robert E. Howard (1906—1936) have been adapted into multiple media, the most famous being the Conan films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In addition to the Conan films, other adaptations have included Kull the Conqueror (1997) and Solomon Kane (2009). In television, the anthology series Thriller (1961) led the adaptations with an episode based on the short story "Pigeons from Hell." The bulk of the adaptations have, however, been based on Conan with two animated and one live action series. Multiple audio dramas have been adapted, from professional audio books and plays to LibriVox recordings of works in the public domain. Computer games have focussed on Conan, beginning with Conan: Hall of Volta (1984) and continuing on to the MMO Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (2008). The first table-top roleplaying game based on Howard's works was TSR's "Conan Unchained!" (1984) for their game Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. The first comic book adaptation was in the Mexican Cuentos de abuelito - La reina de la Costa Negra #8 (1952). Howard-related comic books continued to be published to the present day. Howard is an ongoing inspiration for and influence on heavy metal music. Several bands have adapted Howard's works to tracks or entire albums. The British metal band Bal-Sagoth is named after Howard's story "The Gods of Bal-Sagoth."Cabinet Entertainment
Cabinet Entertainment previously known as Paradox Entertainment is a company dealing in intellectual properties and making motion pictures thereof. All business is conducted from the main office in Los Angeles, USA.
The company owns rights to many IPs, the most famous of which is Conan the Barbarian as created by pulp author Robert E. Howard and expanded upon by many other authors over the years. Other properties include Bran Mak Morn, Kull, Solomon Kane, Mutant, Mutant Chronicles, Warzone, Kult, and Chronopia. Former licences include Heavy Gear.Centaur Press
Centaur Press, later renamed Centaur Books, was a New York-based small publisher active from the late 1960s through 1981. The press was founded by Charles M. Collins and Donald M. Grant. It was primarily a paperback publisher, though one of its more successful titles was reissued in hardcover. It was notable for reviving pulp adventure and fantasy works of the early twentieth century for its "Time-Lost Series."
Authors whose works were returned to print by Centaur Press include Robert E. Howard, Arthur O. Friel, J. Allan Dunn, Alfred H. Bill, Jean d'Esme, Darrel Crombie, Arthur D. Howden Smith, Talbot Mundy, E. Charles Vivian, Will Garth, H. Warner Munn, and William Hope Hodgson. In the sole anthology it issued, the press also premiered a couple new works, one by Crombie and one by contemporary author Lin Carter. In later years it also published longer works by contemporary authors, including Carter, Galad Elflandsson, and Robb Walsh. Its books featured cover art by Jeff Jones, Robert Bruce Acheson, Virgil Finlay, Frank Brunner, David Ireland, Stephen Fabian, Randy Broecker, and David Wenzel.
Centaur's output was small, generally on the order of one to three books a year. Its publications featured thicker and less acidic paper than that utilized by most paperback houses.Donald F. Glut
Donald F. Glut (; born February 19, 1944) is an American writer, motion picture film director, and screenwriter. He is best known for writing the novelization of the second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back.James Purefoy
James Brian Mark Purefoy (born 3 June 1964) is an English actor. He played Mark Antony in the HBO series Rome, former college professor-turned-serial-killer Joe Carroll in the series The Following, and Solomon Kane in the feature film Solomon Kane. In February 2018 he starred as Laurens Bancroft in Altered Carbon, a Netflix original series.
He was born in Somerset and attended Sherborne School before training at the Central School of Speech and Drama. His appearances in stage plays and a variety of television roles in the UK and USA have grown since the 1980s.List of fantasy comics
This is a list of fantasy comics, consisting of comics whose fantasy content comprise a significant portion of the total content.Marek Vašut
Marek Vašut (born May 5, 1960) is a Czech film, stage, and television actor, best known for his appearances in Solomon Kane and Blade II. He voiced the character Tommy Angelo for the Czech version of the video game Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven.Marvel Premiere
Marvel Premiere is an American comic book anthology series that was published by Marvel Comics. In concept it was a tryout book, intended to determine if a character or concept could attract enough readers to justify launching their own series, though in its later years it was also often used as a dumping ground for stories which could not be published elsewhere. It ran for 61 issues from April 1972 to August 1981. Contrary to the title, the majority of the characters and concepts featured in Marvel Premiere had previously appeared in other comics.Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow (; born Carl Adolf von Sydow, 10 April 1929) is a Swedish-born French actor. He has held French citizenship since 2002. He has appeared in many European and American films in several languages, including Swedish, English, Norwegian, Danish, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. He received the Royal Foundation of Sweden's Cultural Award in 1954, was made a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 2005, and was named a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur on 17 October 2012.
Von Sydow has appeared in well over a hundred films and TV shows. Some of his most memorable film roles include as Knight Antonius Block in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957), the first of his eleven films with Bergman and the film that includes the iconic scenes in which he plays chess with Death; Martin in Through a Glass Darkly (1961); Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965); Oktober in The Quiller Memorandum (1966); Karl Oskar Nilsson in The Emigrants (1971); Roy Lindberg in The Apple War (1971); Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist (1973); Joubert the assassin in Three Days of the Condor (1975); Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon (1980); the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again (1983); Liet-Kynes in Dune (1984); Frederick in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986); Lassefar in Pelle the Conqueror (1987), for which he received his first Academy Award nomination; Dr Peter Ingham in Awakenings (1990); Lamar Burgess in Minority Report (2002); Josiah Kane in Solomon Kane (2009); Sir Walter Loxley in Robin Hood (2010); The Renter in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2012), which earned him his second Academy Award nomination; and Lor San Tekka in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). In 2016, Sydow joined the cast of HBO's hit series Game of Thrones, playing the role of the Three-eyed Raven for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.Michael J. Bassett
M. J. Bassett is an English screenwriter and film director. She has produced films for television and film. Bassett's Solomon Kane had worldwide cinema release.Rachel Hurd-Wood
Rachel Clare Hurd-Wood (born 17 August 1990) is an English actress and model, best known for her film roles as Wendy Darling in Peter Pan (2003), Corrie McKenzie in Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010) and Sibyl Vane in Dorian Gray (2009), and her television role as Rachel Maddox in Clique (2017–present).Red Shadows (Howard book)
Red Shadows is a collection of Fantasy short stories and poems by Robert E. Howard. It was first published in 1968 by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. in an edition of 896 copies. The stories and poems feature Howard's character, Solomon Kane. Many of the stories first appeared in the magazine Weird Tales.Robert E. Howard
Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. He is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian and is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre.
Howard was born and raised in Texas. He spent most of his life in the town of Cross Plains, with some time spent in nearby Brownwood. A bookish and intellectual child, he was also a fan of boxing and spent some time in his late teens bodybuilding, eventually taking up amateur boxing. From the age of nine he dreamed of becoming a writer of adventure fiction but did not have real success until he was 23. Thereafter, until his death by suicide at age 30, Howard's writings were published in a wide selection of magazines, journals, and newspapers, and he became proficient in several subgenres. His greatest success occurred after his death.
Although a Conan novel was nearly published in 1934, Howard's stories were never collected during his lifetime. The main outlet for his stories was Weird Tales, where Howard created Conan the Barbarian. With Conan and his other heroes, Howard helped fashion the genre now known as sword and sorcery, spawning many imitators and giving him a large influence in the fantasy field. Howard remains a highly read author, with his best works still reprinted.
Howard's suicide and the circumstances surrounding it have led to speculation about his mental health. His mother had been ill with tuberculosis his entire life, and upon learning she had entered a coma from which she was not expected to wake, he walked out to his car and shot himself in the head.Robert E. Howard bibliography
A list of prose works by Robert E. Howard. The works are sorted by genre, by series and then alphabetically. Untitled works and fragments (incomplete and unfinished works) are listed separately by their opening line.
Additional information is included where available, covering publication date and place, the amount Howard earned for the sale of the piece, any alternative titles and whether the work is in the public domain. Links to the freely available source texts, on wikisource or Project Gutenberg of Australia, are included in a separate column. These are marked with the appropriate icons.Scott Allie
Scott Allie is an American comics writer and editor, best known as an editor and executive at Dark Horse Comics from 1994 to 2017.Solomon Kane (comics)
Solomon Kane is a fictional character created by the pulp-era writer Robert E. Howard. He was featured in several comics published by Marvel Comics in the 1970s and 1980s. Dark Horse Comics began publishing a new series of Kane stories in 2008, and also published collections of the 1970s Marvel stories in 2009.Solomon Kane (film)
Solomon Kane is a 2009 French-British-Czech dark fantasy action-adventure film written and directed by Michael J. Bassett based on the pulp magazine character Solomon Kane created in 1928 by Robert E. Howard. James Purefoy stars in the title role. Despite optioning the rights in 1997, filming did not begin until January 2008.
The film is an original story for the Kane character and was intended to be the first of a trilogy. The plot follows a redemption story for Kane, from the end of his life as a privateer, through the salvation of his soul by rescuing a Puritan girl and the beginning of his life as the Puritan avenger of the source material. It was produced by a consortium of French, Czech, and British companies and mostly filmed in the Czech Republic. The film was first shown at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. It went on general release in France, Spain, and the UK over the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. Rotten Tomatoes rated it 67%.
The screenplay was novelised by award-winning fantasy author Ramsey Campbell.The Tomb of Dracula
The Tomb of Dracula is a horror comic book series published by Marvel Comics from April 1972 to August 1979. The 70-issue series featured a group of vampire hunters who fought Count Dracula and other supernatural menaces. On rare occasions, Dracula would work with these vampire hunters against a common threat or battle other supernatural threats on his own, but more often than not, he was the antagonist rather than protagonist. In addition to his supernatural battles in this series, Marvel's Dracula often served as a supervillain to other characters in the Marvel Universe, battling the likes of Blade, Spider-Man, Werewolf by Night, the X-Men, Howard the Duck, and the licensed Robert E. Howard character Solomon Kane.The Vengeance of Nitocris
"The Vengeance of Nitocris" is a short story by Tennessee Williams, written when Williams was 16 years old, and published in Weird Tales in its August, 1928 issue. The story is a "surprisingly lurid" tale of loosely historical fiction, based on the account of the semi-legendary female pharaoh Nitocris found in Herodotus. Williams was paid thirty-five dollars (almost $500 in 2013 money) for the story by Weird Tales; it was his first piece of stand-alone published fiction. Robert E. Howard's "Red Shadows", the story that introduced Solomon Kane, was the cover story.