This year marks the 50th anniversary since Marvel Comics first began publishing titles starring Robert E. Howard’s brooding Cimmerian warrior, Conan The Barbarian. Written by former Marvel Editor-In-Chief Roy Thomas and forged with art by Barry Windsor-Smith, Conan #1 premiered in August of 1970 and was an instant hit with a savage account of the charismatic hero’s daring adventures during the Hyborian Age.
To make the occasion, Marvel is launching King-Size Conan #1 on Dec. 23, a 60-page anthology showcasing an all-star roster of talent including contributions by such luminaries as Roy Thomas, Wolverine’s Steve McNiven, X-Men’s Chris Claremont, Astro City’s Kurt Busiek, Deadpool artist Pete Woods,Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, Age of Apocalypse artist Roberto de la Torre, and Star Wars’ Jesús Saiz illustrating the Marvel debut of Daredevil TV showrunner Steven S. DeKnight.
To help kick off the party, SYFY WIRE has an exclusive preview of Marvel’s King-Size Conan #1, complete with interior art from Busiek and Woods’ story which recounts an early brush with sorcerous forces that will ultimately shape Conan’s destiny.
For Busiek, it was a real treat to get to wander back into the Hyborian Age, though it was a little bit of a balancing act, too.
“I kind of tried to write a story that would fit into Marvel’s Conan continuity, but would also fit in among the Conan stories I did at Dark Horse… and I wanted to build it off of something in a Robert E. Howard story,” he tells SYFY WIRE. “I think I managed all three, so I’m eager to see what readers think.”
“It’s a simple little story that, hopefully, has a lot of texture and mood readers will enjoy,” he adds. “And it does have wizards and magic and swords and action, and it will affect Conan’s destiny, albeit maybe not quite in the way people will expect. And Pete Woods has done a beautiful, beautiful job on the art, rich in detail and character and action — he really made the Hyborian Age come to life. It’s been an absolute treat to work with him on it.”
“I’m also looking forward to the rest of the book — a new Roy Thomas story?,” Busiek notes. “Chris Claremont’s second (I think) Conan story? Kevin Eastman? Can’t wait to see it all!”
By Crom, now charge into our exclusive preview of Marvel’s King-Size Conan #1 (Dec 23) in the full gallery below.