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  • Greg O'Driscoll

The World's Most Savage Hero!

CTB #57

Cover art penciled by Gild Kane for Conan the Barbarian #57 from Marvel Comics.

Here we have a great Gil Kane cover with his classic signature elements, especially the floating heads in the background blocked out in one color. I'm unsure who inked it. The line weights on the main figure of Conan don't read like Kane to me and the face was probably retouched during inking. A hype box on the cover announces: "Winner of the Academy Award for best comic-mag -- and STILL the world's MOST SAVAGE HERO!"

"Incident in Argos" is by writer Roy Thomas and guest artist Mike Ploog, who I most often associate with Kull the Destroyer and Werewolf by Night. In the corner of the first page, it says "freely adapted from an episode by Robert E Howard" but doesn't provide any more info than that, which is fine as it might spoil the ending. This amounts to little more than a fill-in issue prior to the big change and character intro that goes with the next issue, but Thomas and Ploog make the most of it.

Ploog's art is extra cartoony in this issue. He packs plenty of character and style into each page. Everything has a wonderful early TSR art vibe, part fantasy and part underground comix influences. In the last few pages, the direction of the story comes clear. Fans of the original Conan stories by REH know that with the death of the judge trying to pass sentence upon Conan, the Queen of the Black Coast can't be far behind.

One of the readers to get a letter published in this issue was Ralph Macchio. No, not the Karate Kid, but one of Marvel's future editors.

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