Friday, September 25, 2015

This one has a Mike Mignola cover...and that's about it.

From 1990, Conan the Barbarian #237, "Serpent of Dreams" Written by Michael Higgins, pencils by Gary Hartle, inks by Dan Adkins and Mike DeCarlo.

I'm not positive Conan's sales were down, or if it was just time for a new look; but in issue #232 Higgins and artist Ron Lim started a "Young Conan" storyline--that issue has a nice Higgins cover inked by Jim Lee, that was very reminiscent of classic Conan artist Barry Windsor-Smith. But Lim would leave the title on the fourth chapter out of nine, since he was penciling Captain America as the time. (And possibly a couple other books...)

This issue, after fouling up a robbery attempt, Conan's former rival and current friend Jorrma finds his head on the chopping block; but is saved by Conan. Who isn't mad or anything, why would he be? He's got a good buddy, and a hot girlfriend; which is driving Jorrma somewhat crazy with jealousy. For good measure, Jorrma also has a bizarre snake tattoo on his back that seems to have appeared from nowhere; and a mysterious witch and her demonic-looking brother plan how to use their pawn. In the middle of the night, swarms of snakes attack, and Jorrma turns into a snake-man that attacks his friends. Another rider appears and attacks Conan as well, and I'm not sure what his deal was, but he gets turned into another snake-man by Jorrma, then stabbed to death by Conan. Conan's already hacked one of Jorrma's arms off, but is about to really bring the fury, when Jorrma's power seemingly overloads and he sheds his skin, returning to normal; with no tattoo and his arm back. Jorrma's a bit freaked out, while Conan doesn't seem too worried one way or the other at this point.

Well, at least Higgins was trying something new; and avoided the trap of rehashing Robert E. Howard's stories again. Still, Jorrma's featured more centrally than Conan this ish, but it's pretty obvious he's not going to be around long...


Dale Bagwell said...

I used to have #238 with Ron Lim back in the day, but only because my dad bought that one at random at the bookstore on base.
I believe his friend(I think the aforementioned Jormma) has either alluded to or straight out revealed as a mutant, but I'm not sure.

CalvinPitt said...

I think I had the issue just before this, because it ended with Jorrma's head on the chopping block and the axe descending.

I'm surprised Conan was so relaxed about his friend turning into a crazy snake-man, given Conan's distaste for wizards and their trickery, I'd think that would get him a little angry and/or suspicious.