Thursday, July 26, 2018

Why no Buscema covers, I have no idea.

I run into a lot of mini-series where I have three issues out of four, but today I've got one out of three: from 1999, Conan: Death Covered in Gold #1, "Golden Shadows" Written by Roy Thomas, art by John Buscema. Cover by Claudio Castellini.

Set perhaps midway between when Conan was a young adventurer and when he became king, the barbarian has come to Khorala, a city in the middle of a gold rush. This has the unfortunate effect of driving the price of drinks up, but Conan is hired by perhaps the most savvy prospector ever, Silus, who had just found a gold vein and wanted to get hammered and enjoy his newfound wealth without getting claimjumped and murdered. His daughter Marni doesn't approve, until she sees Conan work up close.

The mining town is getting crowded with thugs, gamblers, prostitutes and profiteers; including one Conan knows: Jenna, as a caption helpfully reminds us, from Conan the Barbarian #10 in 1971! It had probably been closer to ten years then twenty-eight since they had last met; and a smirking Conan recalls she had tried to get him killed at the time. He had been pretty taken with her, but was more than a little naïve back then; and Jenna was a conniving, petty, backstabber. She still had the heart of gold they had had forged in Shadizar, but it wasn't because she was sentimental.

Although he protests that he was hired to guard, not dig; Conan ends up down in the mines with Silus. He should've focused on the former: first they're attacked by claim jumpers, then by a slug monster! Silus is dragged away by it, and although Conan hacks the monster in half, it still drags the miner away. Later, deeper in the mines, the monster and its horrible larvae seemingly eat Silus's body, then create a dead-eyed, zombie version of him! Meanwhile, Marni accuses Conan of murdering her father, and feeling responsible, he agrees to mine his claim...while the locals note the entire town would come at him for that gold.

This was John Buscema's last Conan story, and I only have this issue now! Working on fixing that.


SallyP said...

I do love John Buscema. He had an almost Michaelangelesque (?) feel to his art.

SallyP said...

I am sure I spelled that incorrectly.

Dale Bagwell said...

You're not wrong there.