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Savage Sword of Conan #3 (2024) review

Sword-brothers, sword-sisters, it is time once again to pay the venerable spinner rack a visit! 

60 spectacular pages of barbaric savagery in black-and-white printed on newsprint! 

Inside this magnificent magazine you'll find the following treasures:

John C. Hocking, an autobiographical essay
Conan: City of the Dead, Omnibus Preview
A fresh new Pin-Up of Kull the Conqueror and Thulsa Doom by Alex Horley

CONAN: WOLVES OF THE TUNDRA by Frank Tieri and Cary Nord 

A Werewolf grabs a snack in the snow. It spies on a family. The family members are revealed to be Werewolves too! A fight ensues. The only lycanthrope that survives the scuffle is... Conan the Werewolf.

Flashback: A famished Cimmerian enters "the Hungry Claw" inn, taxidermy wolves adorn the place, Werewolves in human form start harassing Conan, the lights go out, Conan gets bitten during the bar brawl.

Conan wakes in a barn where he's decimated every single animal inside. The owner of the animals recommends eliminating the Head Werewolf, the only way Conan will rid himself of the lycanthropy curse.  

Conan starts dispatching Werewolves one by one, trying to find the Head Werewolf whose identity is still a mystery to him.

Flashback ends. Conan finally gets a Werewolf to tell him the location of their leader... a cave.

Conan infiltrates the cave. The head honcho is actually the owner of "the Hungry Claw" inn. Conan kills all the Werewolves.
A now completely cured Conan sets foot in "the Forked Tongue" inn. Conan sees taxidermy lizards adorning the place, he turns on his heel and walks out of the inn.

SOLOMON KANE: MASTER OF THE HUNT, Part 3 of 3 by Patrick Zircher

Flashback: Annwvn (the Otherworld in Welsh mythology). Arawn has sovereignty over the Tylwyth Teg.
We see the great black cauldron (from the Preiddeu Annwfn poem) gently warmed from the breath of nine maidens.

The cauldron was forged by The Shadowed Ones (the Coblynau, Goblins and Gawrs (giants)) and it is filled with honey wine that grants eternal vigour.

The Shadowed Ones are slaves, they are forbidden from drinking the wine.
An envious Gawr murders to drink from the cauldron. The magical wine gives the thirsty giant visions and powers.

Confused and fearing retribution for his foul acts, using his new abilities, the Gawr escapes into our world. 

Flashback over. We are back at the Gawr's den, the ruins of Castle d'Orbec. Our favourite Puritan knight-errant is no match for the giant. Kane, in a desperate attempt to save his life, blows into Gruffudd's pagan horn to alert Arawn.

The horned deity appears and takes the wandering Gawr out.

Why did the Gawr spare Gwen Maddocks's son, Roland, we will never know.

Roland is returned to his now widowed mother.

CONAN: CALL THEE TO CROM, a poem by Jim Zub with art by Rob De La Torre

A public service announcement. We are advised not to mess with the Cimmerian. Jim uses the term Grim, from his nickname: Grim Jim Zub. 


A cash-strapped Conan falls with his horse through a covered pit into a cave.

The horse does not survive. Conan spots a petroglyph of a monster.

An alluring woman appears, she flees, Conan pursues her, she enters an underground body of water and metamorphoses into a monstrous creature. 

Conan transforms the shapeshifter into a corpse. Inside the beast's belly the barbarian finds a partially digested potentate and... a large amount of coins.

What I did like:

A silent story just like Larry Hama used to make. 

Ymir the Frost Giant mentioned.

An advert for Solomon Kane: The Banquet of Souls by Steven Savile and The Heroic Legends Short Fiction Program!

Another superb cover by Alex Horley! But having Horley not draw a woman on his cover has to be a crime against the arts.

What I did not like:

Where's Pat Mills's time travel tale in which Conan must avenge not only the murder of a fair maiden - but his own?

Solomon Kane learns nothing about the Gawr and the reader learns practically nothing about Solomon Kane.

Solomon Kane doesn't mention his beloved Bess.

Lure Of The Pit Creature doesn't get a cover but Wolves Of The Tundra gets two covers?

The cover by Cary Nord looks like it is for Cerebus the Aardvark.

The Head Werewolf was not a woman.

No removable poster in the middle of the magazine!

No variant cover by Sandy Plunkett!

No variant cover by Clint Langley!

No variant cover by Shikarii!

No variant cover by Dave Finch!

No variant cover by Dan Quintana!

No variant cover by KyuYong Eom!

No variant cover by Puppeteer Lee!

Only two pin-ups?

Where's the pin-up by Max Von Fafner? It's now available on his instagram. We need more Max! Bring back Max! 

No pin-up by Olivier Vatine!

No pin-up by Quique Alcatena!

No pin-up by Rafa Garres!

No pin-up by Bart Sears!

No pin-up by Pablo Villalobos!

No pin-up by Evan Dorkin!

No pin-up by Benjamin Marra!

Savage Sword is still only bimonthly!? It should be published monthly!

Still No essay by Fred Blosser!

No letters page!

No mention that Conan the Barbarian will soon appear in Mortal Kombat 1 as a fighter.

No advert for the Tabla Paradis X Conan Triptico from Paradis skate shop in Madrid, Spain.

No advert for a Chia Pet Emerald Lotus!

I give it a 9/10. It needed a story by Christy Marx. Support the Conan economy by purchasing this periodical! Do it! You won't regret it.

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