Comics
Published January 3, 2019

5 Things You Need to Know About Conan the Barbarian

Read up on the Cimmerian hero's legacy before diving into the brand-new Conan the Barbarian #1!

By Crom! The fiercest warrior of the Hyborian Age returns to Marvel Comics this week with CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1 by Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar!

But who is Conan the Barbarian, and where did he come from?

Well, for those answers, look no further than this very missive! We'll fill you in on Conan's heroic history so you're prepared to delve into the adventures chronicled in CONAN THE BARBARIAN! 

Watch the launch trailer for the new series here, then dive into the facts below!

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Pulp Origins

In the 1930's, Robert E. Howard wanted to create a new hero who could populate the pulp sci-fi and fantasy magazines of the day. While the names Conan and Crom first came up in 1932's "People Of The Dark," the character officially debuted in "The Phoenix On The Sword" later that year.

Around that same time, he also crafted an essay called "The Hyborian Age" which detailed the world in which Conan's adventures take place. Since then, many other authors have gotten in on the Conan action, writing new stories, comics, games, and films starring the character.

An Age of Wonder

As described by Howard, the Hyborian Age took place in a sword and sorcery time with somewhat primitive lands drawn out by the author himself and expanded upon over the decades. Over the centuries, some wandering tribes settled down, forming kingdoms of their own, like the Cimmerians that bore Conan. In addition to Barbarian warriors like our hero, the Hyborian Age plays home to pirates, sorcerers, monsters, mercenaries, and more.

In his first story, Conan fought Thoth-Amon, an evil wizard that would become his greatest enemy.

The Man Who Would Be King

The Cimmerian son of a blacksmith, Conan physically matured quickly, become a battle-tested warrior by the age of 15. He eventually decided to leave his home and wander the land, having adventures, romancing women, and fighting evil magicians, monsters, and other merchants of mayhem. The black-haired devotee of the god Crom eventually found himself as the leader of an army of fellow warriors, which helped him kill the King of Aquilonia after felling the previous crown-bearer.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1

He Has a Type

Along his journeys, Conan fell hard for Belit, a boss pirate leader that the hero met in "Queen of the Black Coast." Later, in the last Howard-penned Conan story, "Red Nails," he met another pirate-slash-mercenary by the name of Valeria who actually proved Conan's superior in speed and agility.

The House of Ideas

In 1970, Marvel launched CONAN THE BARBARIAN, a series that ran for 275 issues and 12 Annuals until 1993. Creators like Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith, Sal Buscema, Michael Moorcock, Gil Kane, John Buscema, Bruce Jones, Chuck Dixon, and many others helped craft the tales. And when that title proved successful, the company then launched the black-and-white magazine SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN, which lasted 235 issues and featured far more mature stories.

After a hiatus away from the House of Ideas, the hero has returned to our hallowed halls. Now, the brand-new CONAN THE BARBARIAN story joins the February-launching SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN by Gerry Duggan and Ron Garney as well as the upcoming AGE OF CONAN: BELIT, QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST by Tini Howard and Kate Niemczyk!

Begin a new era of Cimmerian history with CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1—out now!