Comics
Published December 21, 2021

By Crom! Jason Aaron's Craziest Conan Moments

Prepare for 'King Conan' #1 with a look at Jason Aaron's run with the Cimmerian so far...

On December 22, writer Jason Aaron will re-team once more with artist Mahmud Asrar for KING CONAN.

KING CONAN #1 variant cover by James Stokoe
KING CONAN #1 variant cover by James Stokoe

Aaron and Asrar kicked off the Cimmerian's return to the House of Ideas in 2019 with CONAN THE BARBARIAN, a series with roots in Robert E. Howard's stories from the 1930s. Eventually, Howard transitioned Conan from the role of warrior to that of king, which was reflected back during Marvel's first relationship with the character in a title called first KING CONAN and then CONAN THE KING during its comics run from 1980 through 1989.

In true Aaron fashion, BARBARIAN—which also featured the penciling talent of Gerardo Zaffino and Garry Brown—showed the character grow from young thief to regal ruler while often running into the minions of Razazel, the Red Rod of Doom!

While looking ahead to KING CONAN's release, we're digging through our back issues to find the coolest, craziest, and By Crom-iest moments from Aaron's 12-issue run of the series!

Lady in Red - CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

After easily besting his opponents in the fighting pits of Zamora, a city comprised entirely of thieves and cutthroats, Conan decided to celebrate with a red-cloaked woman who turned from beauty to beast, revealing herself to be a witch in service of Zazarel She wanted the Cimmerian's blood to feed her master's roots. He managed to break free and fight a horde of undead warriors before slamming an axe into the witch and setting the place ablaze. He should have made sure to fully finish the job or search the ancient temple, though...because the Red Witch and her creepy kids would nearly be the death of him during his king years!

The Vigilante King - CONAN THE BARBARIAN #4

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Conan spent years adventuring and seeing Hyperborea, but eventually became a general of the Aquilonian army. When King Namedides acted against the Cimmerian, the people revolted and Conan committed regicide before taking the crown for himself. King Conan turned Aquilonia into a shining example of peace, but that calm lead to a physical sickness in the warrior. He soon learned that donning a skull mask and killing criminals with a lion sidekick made him feel much better. What better way than that to cure what they dubbed the "civilization flu"?

Ship of the Dead - CONAN THE BARBARIAN #5

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Managing to sail an entire ship all on his own would be impressive enough, but things are never so simple in Conan's life. On this particular voyage, he had stolen an idol that became a tentacled monster upon absorbing blood from attacking pirates. The Cimmerian slew the beast after it took out a few of the other seafarers. However, when he threw some of the festering corpses into the Black Sea, they were chomped up by sharks...which then turned into even more vicious monsters! So Conan managed the ship on his own, while the corpses rotted below him for fear that they would create more grotesqueries that could kill the increasingly starved captain. He maintained his sanity and strength long enough to attack an oncoming pirate ship all alone and kill enough of them to be voted the captain by the survivors!

You Shouldn't Go Home Again - CONAN THE BARBARIAN #8

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

As a boy, Conan would climb the same tree every day and look out beyond Cimmeria, wondering what wonders the world held. Craving to find out, he did what many of his countrymen never did—and left. Upon returning, he intended to share the glories he had discovered, but found his stoic people overtaken by his old enemy, Thoth-Amon. Conan used the gifts he brought to subdue the Cimmerians who wanted him dead, including his own grandmother! However, when she saw her boy bleed, she regained herself and chopped the head off of Gwawk the dog keeper, the first to be infected by Thoth's mind snakes. No longer ensorcelled, grandmother and grandson worked together to take out the remaining demon dogs, resulting in the perfect Cimmerian reunion!

In the Belly of the Beast - CONAN THE BARBARIAN #9

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

No stranger to waking up in strange places, even Conan wondered about the underground locale he found himself in with not only a group of other survivors from all over Hyperborea, but also visages of all his greatest enemies. In this place he bested the ape-man Thak, a pair of frost giants, ghost snakes (previously seen in CONAN #2), man-eating spiders of Zamora, the shark creatures from ish #5, the dragon Xuchotl, Set's snake monsters, elephantman Yag-Kosha, a muck monster from the Black River, Belit's winged murderer, and even Razazel…who he had not yet met! After slaying each foe, Conan saw his true victims as Leech Men. Eventually, he realized that they were all captive inside the body of an enormous worm creature called the Leviagod which presents all your greatest challenges, past, present and future!

Twin Terrors - CONAN THE BARBARIAN #10

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Throughout the series, Aaron seeded various meetings between Conan and the Razazel-loving twins, Razza and Zazella. In addition to not changing physically over the years, they also did not waver from their mission to wait until the Cimmerian's blood became strong enough to bring their god back. However, they did not do all this alone as their mother still hung around in an undead form. She even carried them out of the burning tomb that Conan meant to destroy, though her daughter had to hold up the witch's head to keep it from falling off!

Bye, Crom - CONAN THE BARBARIAN #11

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Razza, Zazella, and their zombie mother finally managed to capture King Conan and take him back to their temple where they succeeded in killing him! With his spirit separated from his body, Conan found himself in a strange land, climbing a mountain with dangers that mauled, gored, and mangled him...though he never stopped scaling it. Finally reaching the summit, he came face to face with the god of his people, Crom. Wanting the deity to finally defend the only people who believed in him, Conan fought the god and proved persistent enough that Crom "cursed" him with a long life and sent him back to face off against Zazarel and his minions.

The End? - CONAN THE BARBARIAN #12

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Without giving away the ending of Aaron's initial run on CONAN THE BARBARIAN, the King returned to life and found himself under siege by not only the now-monstrous Zazella and Razza, but Zazarel himself! Bloodied and beaten down, Conan fought on, though his ultimate fate would depend on a life of bloody battles and lessons learned.

Read KING CONAN #1 at your local comic shop on December 22!

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