As Conan the Barbarian closed out the 1980s, it became a time of transition for the title, with storytelling innovations coming from veteran creators and new talent alike. In Val Semeiks’ climactic run on the title, Conan weighs pleasure and pain in a magical desert city, wrests the Blade of Zed from a mad cleric, and runs a gantlet of fantastic beasts in a city of shadows. Larry Hama delivers the elegiac verse of “Drumsong” while Don Perlin writes and draws the Western-styled “The Mask of Vengeance.” Gerry Conway makes Conan a cat’s paw to a cult of cat people, after which Michael Higgins turns back the clock for an eight-issue “Young Conan” storyline exploring Conan’s formative years in Cimmeria.
COLLECTING: Conan the Barbarian (1970) 214-240, What If? (1989) 16.