The Conan comic timeline
Some of the barbarian’s highlights, beginning with his pulp days right through to the 21st century slayer
Texan author Robert E Howard’s first Conan story, The Phoenix on the Sword, appears in the December 1932 issue of pulp magazine Weird Tales with cover art by J Allen St John.
Weird Tales carried its last Robert E Howard story – Red Nails – in July, a month after the author’s suicide in Cross Plains, Texas. This time the cover was painted by Margaret Brundage.
The very first representation of Conan in a comic book was done in Mexico and entitled La reina de la Costa Negra – an adaptation of Robert E Howard’s The Queen of the Black Coast.
With art by Barry Smith, and written by Roy Thomas, Marvel released issue one of Conan the Barbarian. Barry pencilled the comic for two years, followed by John Buscema.
Marvel’s early-70s burst of Conan continued with Savage Tales, which frequently featured the Cimmerian. Issue one’s brutal cover was painted by John Buscmena.
Marvel’s first rendition of Red Sonja appeared in issue 23 of Conan the Barbarian. Gil Kane drew the cover, and Barry Smith the internal artwork. The spin-off character is still going.
Marvel’s Savage Sword of Conan arrived with a cover by Boris Vallejo, and five black and white internal stories with art by John Buscema, Barry Smith, Gil Kane and others.
Running alongside Savage Sword and Conan the Barbarian, Marvel introduced King Conan, written by Roy Tomas and drawn by John Buscema. It ran until 1989.
Marvel tied in with the Arnold Schwarzenegger film, Conan the Barbarian, with a two-issue movie special for new fans. The cover of the first issue mimicked the film’s poster art.
After closing Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword of Conan, Marvel experimented. The short-lived Conan carried this Brothers Hildebrandt cover on issue six.
Eight years after Conan’s Marvel run ceased, Dark Horse picked up the official licence from Robert E Howard’s estate and Cary Nord pencilled issue 0 of Conan, which won an Eisner.
With Tomás Giorello drawing the art, Dark Horse began Conan the Cimmerian which would run for 26 issues. Next came Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Avenger and King Conan.