Barry Smith, Barry Windsor Smith, Chronicles of Conan, Conan, Conan the Barbarian, giant spiders, Marvel Comics, Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema, spider, web of the spider god
Up from the primordial muck slithers… the Dan-Thing! In his oozing fist, he clutches a time capsule: Marvel comic books from 1972! Our muck-stomping friend the Dan-Thing asked that we share these bronze age beauties with you for education and inspiration.
Dan-Thing’s archival copy of Web of the Spider-God came without a cover but is otherwise intact. In fact, it kicks major ass! We didn’t expect much from a beat up old copy of Conan. Fitting, because Conan gets beat up pretty badly at the opening of this story. But we were admittedly just as wrong as Conan’s foes who thought him defeated. This story rose up to rock and roll with the best of them, coming out on top as perhaps our favorite of the famous Roy Thomas / Barry Windsor-Smith classics.
Although we have seen Conan in the excessively awesome Marvel Treasury format, he seems just as much larger than life on these regular pages. We admit a preference for the first fifty issues of the Dark Horse Conan series, especially with the amazing Cary Nord painted look. But the more we discover the classic Marvel series, the more we find to like.
And now — into the pit of the giant spiders! YES!
Collector’s Guide: From Conan the Barbarian #13; Marvel, 1972. Reprinted in Chronicles of Conan #2; Dark Horse, 2003.
Well, that’s organized religion for ya. I’m just thankful the Lutherans I grew up with didn’t have access to giant man-eating spiders.
Mars Will Send No More said:
If Martin Luther had giant man-eating spiders, we can only assume he would have insisted that people do not need a priest or papacy to communicate directly with the great spider!
Conan seems constantly at odds with social institutions in these mythic cities. He struggles against organized religion, penal systems and prisons, hierarchies and bureaucracies, and the people in positions of power. Always the rugged individualist, he has the reader’s sympathy even when he makes ethically questionable decisions. The recent Dark Horse series did a fine job showing Conan’s ethical development from a lawless and only somewhat honorable young man into the king he would eventually become. Marvel’s Conan series, though possessing moments of brilliance, deals less with Conan’s growth over time – as we might expect from a perpetual serial compared to a single epic.
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