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CSBG Archive

Death and sex in comics – Dark Horse’s Conan series

I was re-reading the trades of Conan recently (as the final trade of the first series, “The Hand of Nergal,” recently showed up), and I thought to myself, “Boy, Conan kills a lot of people in this series. I wonder how many he kills?” I really should stop myself when I start thinking.

I thought, “You know, a lot of people die in comics. I wonder how many?” With that in mind, I thought of a project to track deaths in comics. And, because Conan gets laid quite a bit, why not track sex too? This goes back to Americans’ squeamishness about sex but acceptance of bloody violence I’ve occasionally ranted about here. I’m sure the death in comics far overwhelms the sex, but why not check it out?

With that in mind, I decided to write posts about those two things. This will be an interminable project, I’m sure, because I have a lot of comics. It’s going to be completely random, based on whatever comics I choose to read. This time it’s Conan. The next time it might be, I don’t know, Tiny Titans. Okay, probably not, as I don’t buy that book, but you never know!

Please note that I’m not making any value judgments on this at all. I’m simply cataloguing the number of deaths and the number of times anyone gets laid. Some definitions are in order:

First, I will usually point out corpses, even if we don’t see the person get killed. The exception to this is in the aftermath of a big battle, when we see corpses piled up. That’s too difficult, and I want to look at people being killed, not necessarily people being dead (unless, as I point out above, we know how they died – some people in Conan are strangled, so even though we don’t see them get strangled, we see the corpse). I will NOT count people about to be killed, as in the battle scenes in Conan. Who knows if the victim was actually killed or if he managed to get a sword up and block the swing? Therefore, the actual number of dead might be smaller than you think. I counted demons and undead, but not animals. Also, I try very hard to count everyone, but I will probably miss some. It’s an unscientific process, after all. For the sex part, most of the time it’s implied (unless the comic is Faust or Omaha the Cat Dancer or something like that). Only once in Conan do we actually know our hero is having sex, because Busiek writes Arianne having an orgasm and talking about losing her virginity. The other times it’s all implied, but I think we can agree that Conan is gettin’ busy quite a lot. He’s Conan, after all!

So let’s check it out! And, in case you can’t figure it out on your own, SPOILERS APLENTY in these posts! Seriously. I’m listing people who die, after all. And when I list “people” Conan has killed, remember that this includes demons and undead and such. I just use the generic term “people,” even if it’s a giant spider.

Death in Conan #0-50. I am not counting the new series, because I haven’t read it yet. I’m also skipping issue #40, as it’s a one-off that hasn’t been collected yet. What’s up with that?

Conan #0: Conan beheads a soldier when the Chronicles call him a “slayer.” Later he beheads a fat dude (it’s a pattern) and throws his head to the masses below. He leads troops into battle and kills an opponent. Five corpses are visible at his feet. We’ll count those because it’s implied he killed them all.
Deaths in this issue: 8. Number of people Conan kills: 8. Beheadings: 2. [Note: I’m sure I missed some beheadings. So there are probably more. I just thought it would be fun to track beheadings, as Conan enjoys them.]

Conan #1: Conan beheads a Vanir who’s about to rape an Aesir woman. He chops the arm off a soldier who accosts him, which probably kills the man, as I can’t imagine medicine is that advanced back then. Conan chops another reaver in half. In a flashback, we see Conan’s grandfather’s raids on Hyborean lands, and someone has been killed by a spear. Finally, a Hyperborean leaps from the cliff.
Deaths in this issue: 5 (probably; definitely 4). Total deaths: 13. Number of people Conan kills: 3. Total number of people Conan has killed: 11. Beheadings: 1. Total beheadings: 3.

Conan #2: On the first page, we see two dead Aesir and three dead Vanir. Conan kills a Vanir soldier. Conan probably kills the two frost giants. He’s bad-ass, so let’s assume it.
Deaths in this issue: 8. Total deaths: 21. Number of people Conan kills: 3. Total number of people Conan has killed: 14. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 3.

Conan #3: The Aesir and Vanir fight again. In the wide panel shot, we see only one person actually getting killed, a Vanir getting beheaded (not by Conan). Thalfar is killed when the Hyperborean slaves attack. Many are killed in the battle, but we only see the aftermath.
Deaths in this issue: 2. Total deaths: 23. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 14. Beheadings: 1. Total beheadings: 4.

Conan #4: A gladiator is killed in the ring behind Conan. Conan beheads his opponent. A Hyperborean leaps to her death. We see ten slaves follow her, but there are at least 19 ready to jump. In the Hyperborean catacombs, Conan pushes one guard onto another’s sword, then stabs the remaining one. He finds Gorm dead. He breaks the neck of the spell overseer.
Deaths in this issue: 26. Total deaths: 49. Number of people Conan kills: 4. Total number of people Conan has killed: 18. Beheadings: 1. Total beheadings: 5.

Conan #5: The Hyperborean sorcerers kill four of the vanquished foes and drain their life force. In a flashback, the first Hyperborean suicide occurs. We see another a page later. The Aesir revolt begins, and the first guard gets a knife in the throat. We see, from a distance, three more guards die in the arena. Conan beheads a guard during the revolt.
Deaths in this issue: 11. Total deaths: 60. Number of people Conan kills: 1. Total number of people Conan has killed: 19. Beheadings: 1. Total beheadings: 6.

Conan #6: During the revolt, we see one guard with a sword through him. Three Aesir men are killed by the Hyperborean sorcerers. Conan kills two guards on the stairs. Aishti’ana dies when he commits suicide. So does Iasmini. So does Niord. So do at least 12 other household slaves.
Deaths in this issue: 21. Total deaths: 81. Number of people Conan kills: 2. Total number of people Conan has killed: 21. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 6.

Conan #7: Conan kills Sjarl. He then sticks his sword through Einar’s mouth. Janissa kills a guard sneaking into Dion Pirenus’ villa. Once she is caught, she kills three guards with knitting needles, then four more. Then she kills Dion Pirenus.
Deaths in this issue: 11. Total deaths: 92. Number of people Conan kills: 2. Total number of people Conan has killed: 23. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 6.

Conan #8: A Cimmerian is killing a Vanir on page one, but we only see him and the blood spray, not the victim. On the second page, we see another Cimmerian killing a Vanir. Fialla kills the Vanir who’s about to kill Conaldar. Two more Vanir die before the Cimmerians drive them off.
Deaths in this issue: 5. Total deaths: 97. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 23. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 6.

Conan #9: Nobody dies. Holy cow!
Deaths in this issue: 0. Total deaths: 97. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 23. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 6.

Conan #10: Kallian Publico is dead at the beginning of the issue. Nobody technically dies in the issue, but I’ll count him.
Deaths in this issue: 1. Total deaths: 98. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 23. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 6.

Conan #11: Conan beheads Aztrias Petanius, the man who hired him to rob Kallian’s house. It appears that Conan kills two of the guards, because when everyone flees, two are left. This does not appear to include Arus, whose head he stomps on. Promero the clerk is killed by the snake or dies of fright. Conan kills the snake, and even though it’s not remotely human, I’ll count it.
Deaths in this issue: 5. Total deaths: 103. Number of people Conan kills: 4. Total number of people Conan has killed: 27. Beheadings: 1. Total beheadings: 7.

Conan #12: Janissa kills a bunch of demons. I’m not going to count them because it’s very hard to tell how many she kills.
Deaths in this issue: ? Total deaths: 103. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 27. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 7.

Conan #13: Davo explodes (but doesn’t, apparently, die) and becomes the host of Thoth-Amon. Thoth-Amon knocks a guard off the cliff. He knocks another off while crushing two others. He crushes another before being knocked off the cliff himself. At least three stay behind and are killed off-panel as Conan, Janissa, and Kalanthes ride to Hanumar.
Deaths in this issue: 8. Total deaths: 111. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 27. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 7.

Conan #14: On the first page, four corpses lie behind the trio. Four more lie in front of them. Conan is killing one of the possessed, while Janissa is killing another. On the next two pages there are two more, different corpses. Conan eventually kills Davo.
Deaths in this issue: 13. Total deaths: 124. Number of people Conan kills: 2 (verified; he probably killed some of the corpses at the beginning, but I won’t speculate). Total number of people Conan has killed: 29. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 7.

Conan #15: In a flashback, Connacht kills a random soldier. An Aquilonian kills a Cimmerian in a retaliatory raid. Connacht kills a comrade during an argument. A Cimmerian is killed in the ensuing blood-feud. Conan rips the wolf leader’s throat out with his teeth. I won’t count that, but it’s pretty hardcore.
Deaths in this issue: 4. Total deaths: 128. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 29. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 7.

Conan #16: In a flashback, Ingus-Kutha is killed, although we don’t see the deathblow. Conan kills the three demons on Uskuth Hill, although it’s not shown.
Deaths in this issue: 4. Total deaths: 132. Number of people Conan kills: 3. Total number of people Conan has killed: 32. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 7.

Conan #17: We don’t see Conan kill any of those accosting him at the beginning, but the narration reads that “blood painted Conan’s blade.” Later, at least nine men accost him in the Square of the Ferret, and he kills them all. Then he kills Raffir.
Deaths in this issue: 10. Total deaths: 142. Number of people Conan kills: 10. Total number of people Conan has killed: 42. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 7.

Conan #18: On the splash page, three soldiers are getting killed, including the guy who found Conan’s helmet. A Vanir man is killed off-panel. Yuvan is shot through the throat with an arrow. The archer is almost immediately killed. Fedor is killed by a boar. The scout is beheaded by the Khitai, although we don’t see it, only his head. One of Orzhas Kreznau’s soldiers kills the woman who was begging for mercy. Orzhas is beheaded in the revolt. In the second story, Conan has just killed a demon on the summit of Tor-Nagath. The guardian attacks Conan, slips in the blood, and falls on his own spear. (Ironically, the girl in this story is the only one whose nipples we ever see, even though many women are naked in this series. The fact that it’s drawn by Bruce Timm makes it even more unusual.)
Deaths in this issue: 12. Total deaths: 154. Number of people Conan kills: 1. Total number of people Conan has killed: 43. Beheadings: 2. Total beheadings: 9.

Conan #19: The Hounds of Marduk kill two random soldiers. The big slug-thing of Tiamat eats two soldiers. The big slug-thing kills five Hounds of Marduk. The big slug-thing kills Tianna.
Deaths in this issue: 10. Total deaths: 164. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 43. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 9.

Conan #20: On the first page, a mugger kills somebody. Conan kills Kardos the Kothian. In a flashback, Yara kills the “hostile prince” with his gem, turning him into a spider and then stepping on him. A guard lies dead in the garden of the Tower of the Elephant, killed by Taurus, the Prince of Thieves.
Deaths in this issue: 4. Total deaths: 168. Number of people Conan kills: 1. Total number of people Conan has killed: 44. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 9.

Conan #21: The spider in the Tower kills Taurus. Conan kills the spider. Taurus and Conan had already killed a bunch of lions below, but while I’ll count the spider (because it’s big and demonic), the lions were just lions.
Deaths in this issue: 2. Total deaths: 170. Number of people Conan kills: 1. Total number of people Conan has killed: 45. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 9.

Conan #22: Conan kills Yag-Kosha. Yag-Kosha kills Yara in a fun fashion. At least 8 soldiers are dead at the gate when Conan leaves.
Deaths in this issue: 10. Total deaths: 180. Number of people Conan kills: 1. Total number of people Conan has killed: 46. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 9.

Conan #23: In a flashback, we see Brita’s Vale. Six soldiers are killed. In Conan’s vision, three soldiers are getting killed, which I’ll count even though it’s not actually happening. Conan later guts Raggar.
Deaths in this issue: 10. Total deaths: 190. Number of people Conan kills: 1. Total number of people Conan has killed: 47. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 9.

Conan #24: Nobody dies. Again. Holy cow!
Deaths in this issue: 0. Total deaths: 190. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 47. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 9.

Conan #25: Conan kills a guard at the Eastern Caravansary. Later he kills Osshur. Conan’s horse falls into a ravine and dies. So sad!
Deaths in this issue: 2. Total deaths: 192. Number of people Conan kills: 2. Total number of people Conan has killed: 49. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 9.

Conan #26: Conan kills an Irakzai raider on the first page. Carmaina is hanging in the garden, either by Wazir-induced suicide or by direct intervention by the Wazir. Two Irakzai raiders are shot with arrows when they attack the town. During the battle, we see three soldiers dying. Conan beheads a Irakzai.
Deaths in this issue: 8. Total deaths: 200. Number of people Conan kills: 2. Total number of people Conan has killed: 51. Beheadings: 1. Total beheadings: 10.

Conan #27: Conan beheads Selim Shah … or does he? In a different account, Conan beheads Jhal Aftul. Selim Shah kills an Afghuli before he and Conan escape.
Deaths in this issue: 3 (Okay, Selim Shah probably doesn’t count, but we do see Conan chop his head off). Total deaths: 203. Number of people Conan kills: 2. Total number of people Conan has killed: 53. Beheadings: 2. Total beheadings: 12.

Conan #28: Conan beheads a demon. Janissa kills a demon. Rovann kills a demon off-panel, although we see its green blood. Janissa kills another demon. Rovann kills another demon. Conan kills a demon by stabbing upward through its jaw. Rovann lies dead at the end, killed by the demons (but everyone thinks he ran off like a coward and fell to his doom).
Deaths in this issue: 7. Total deaths: 210. Number of people Conan kills: 2. Total number of people Conan has killed: 55. Beheadings: 1. Total beheadings: 13.

Conan #29: Conan sets a trap for Nestor and the soldiers sent for him. Nestor springs the trap and starts an avalanche. Apparently everyone dies except Nestor. From the previous chapter, it appears there are at least 27 of them. Mass murder, Conan-style!
Deaths in this issue: 27. Total deaths: 237. Number of people Conan kills: 27. Total number of people Conan has killed: 81. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 13.

Conan #30: Conan kills the three-eyed giant toad. I guess that counts. But no humans in this issue.
Deaths in this issue: 1. Total deaths: 238. Number of people Conan kills: 1. Total number of people Conan has killed: 82. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 13.

Conan #31: In a flashback, a priest rips the heart out of a sacrificial victim. Conan chops one of the dead kings in half. Conan kills five undead soldiers, while Nestor kills two. It appears that six undead soldiers turn to dust when the sun strikes them. Surna is bitten by the snake that Conan brings out of the temple, but he doesn’t die right away.
Deaths in this issue: 15. Total deaths: 253. Number of people Conan kills: 6. Total number of people Conan has killed: 88. Beheadings: 5. Total beheadings: 18.

Conan #32: Conan kills the bull who is chasing Arianne. I won’t count it, but it’s a pretty cool scene. Conan accidentally kills Giall.
Deaths in this issue: 1. Total deaths: 254. Number of people Conan kills: 1. Total number of people Conan has killed: 89. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 18.

Conan #33: Conan kills a bunch of wild dogs. As usual, they don’t count. The priest of Anu’s men attack the priests of Tarantia. They kill five bodyguards. Conan kills all the attackers – there are six of them.
Deaths in this issue: 11. Total deaths: 265. Number of people Conan kills: 6. Total number of people Conan has killed: 95. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 18.

Conan #34: Conan kills four of the Zamorian hill bandits. He later kills the Spider King’s son/brother, Uun’tha. This causes the Spider King’s structure to collapse, which kills him and at least 18 others. Nestor kills Egrun and the other dude by shooting them with arrows. Conan returns the favor by killing a Zamorian who is sneaking up on Nestor. He kills another bandit as they flee. Three Zamorians die when Conan chops the bridge down.
Deaths in this issue: 31. Total deaths: 296. Number of people Conan kills: 29. Total number of people Conan has killed: 124. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 18.

Conan #37: Surna finally dies. Nobody else dies. Holy cow!
Deaths in this issue: 1. Total deaths: 297. Number of people Conan kills: 1 (technically, the snake kills Surna, but let’s blame Conan, shall we?). Total number of people Conan has killed: 125. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 18.

Conan #38: Conan kills one of the soldiers sent to arrest him. Nestor kills one of the soldiers sent to arrest him. Nestor is executed by hanging in the market square. Conan kills two of the priests of Anu’s attendants. Conan kills three guards of the priest. Conan beheads the priest, then throws his still-living head in the fire.
Deaths in this issue: 9. Total deaths: 306. Number of people Conan kills: 7. Total number of people Conan has killed: 132. Beheadings: 1. Total beheadings: 19.

Conan #39: Conan is in the process of killing three undead soldiers on the splash page. Later he slices seven of them with one sword stroke. Janissa destroys five undead skeletons. Conan kills four soldiers in one stroke. Conan kills the bat demon. Janissa kills the scorpion demon. Conan and Janissa each kill a bug demon.
Deaths in this issue: 23. Total deaths: 329. Number of people Conan kills: 16. Total number of people Conan has killed: 148. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 19.

Conan #41: Conan kills one of the soldiers sent to arrest him. The secretary who sold secrets to Murilo is killed, but we only see his ear. Conan kills Jiara’s lover. The ape-man kills the Red Priest’s servant (and dog), but we only see the corpses.
Deaths in this issue: 4. Total deaths: 333. Number of people Conan kills: 2. Total number of people Conan has killed: 150. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 19.

Conan #42: Nobody dies. Holy cow!
Deaths in this issue: 0. Total deaths: 333. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 150. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 19.

Conan #43: In a flashback, we see three ape-men getting killed by Nabonidus’ “Stygian archers.” The ape-man has killed the priest’s bodyguard, but again, we only see the corpse. The ape-man kills Petreus and three of his fellow Nationalists.
Deaths in this issue: 8. Total deaths: 341. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 150. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 19.

Conan #44: Tilbar kills the man guarding Nestor’s corpse. Conan kills the ape-man (“a man … not a beast”) and then he kills Nabonidus.
Deaths in this issue: 3. Total deaths: 344. Number of people Conan kills: 2. Total number of people Conan has killed: 152. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 19.

Conan #45: Conan and his soldiers kill five Aquilonians. An Aquilonian kills a Cimmerian in a flashback. Bruan is gutted. Donal is eviscerated and hung from the tree.
Deaths in this issue: 8. Total deaths: 352. Number of people Conan kills: 2. Total number of people Conan has killed: 154. Beheadings: 1. Total beheadings: 20.

Conan #46: The battle of Venarium. Too many dead to count. At least 21 on the page, including a woman and her child (not pictured, but definitely killed). Alcibiades and Arianne are also killed. Connacht dies.
Deaths in this issue: 24. Total deaths: 374. Number of people Conan kills: ? Total number of people Conan has killed: 154. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 20.

Conan #47: The undead of Yaralet kill a family when the boy sees them. There appear to be three of them. Bakat gets an arrow through his head when the undead army attacks the caravan.
Deaths in this issue: 4. Total deaths: 378. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 154. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 20.

Conan #48: When the undead army attacks, we see Conan killing one of them while a soldier gets killed. Then Conan chops one of the bad guys in half. Conan kills four more, then Stremm shoves a spear through the head of another. Nestor, back from the dead, kills Tilbar. Back on the battlefield, three more undead “die” before Stremm gets killed. Conan, alone, kills at least eight more before he succumbs.
Deaths in this issue: 21. Total deaths: 399. Number of people Conan kills: 17. Total number of people Conan has killed: 171. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 20.

Conan #49: Lots of corpses, and a vulture, naturally, has an eye in its mouth (you can never have a vulture in a comic book unless it has an eye in its mouth). However, nobody actually dies in this issue. Holy cow!
Deaths in this issue: 0. Total deaths: 399. Number of people Conan kills: 0. Total number of people Conan has killed: 171. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 20.

Conan #50: Conan kills two undead, while Than kills one. They burst into the chamber where Atalis is about to sacrifice Iniri, and Conan kills three undead while Than kills one. Atalis kills Than and rips his heart out. Atalis stabs himself in the chest and puts his heart in Than’s body (that doesn’t count, I just thought I’d mention it). Conan kills the undead commander. Conan kills Atalis (or Than’s body with Atalis’ heart). Then he kills Nestor. I guess that counts, even though Nestor is already dead. And that’s it!
Deaths in this issue: 11. Total deaths: 410. Number of people Conan kills: 8. Total number of people Conan has killed: 179. Beheadings: 0. Total beheadings: 20.

Sex in Conan #0-50. Again, we only have confirmation of two of these sex acts, but I think we can agree they all happened. And again, I’m sure Conan got much more sex than is shown in the series.

Conan #1: Conan gets busy with Henga.
Sex: 1. Total sex: 1. Partners for Conan: 1. Total partners for Conan: 1.

Conan #4: Conan gets busy with Iasmini.
Sex: 1. Total sex: 2. Partners for Conan: 1. Total partners for Conan: 2.

Conan #16: In a flashback, Conan basks in the afterglow of sex with Jiara and the other chick.
Sex: 1. Total sex: 3. Partners for Conan: 2. Total partners for Conan: 4.

After Conan #17: Conan nails Tianna at some point.
Sex: 1. Total sex: 4. Partners for Conan: 1. Total partners for Conan: 5.

Conan #20: On the first page, two shadowy figures are having sex.
Sex: 1. Total sex: 5. Partners for Conan: 0. Total partners for Conan: 5.

Conan #24: Conan nails Surna’s youngest wife. Utor nails Jiara.
Sex: 2. Total sex: 7. Partners for Conan: 1. Total partners for Conan: 6.

Conan #25: The issue begins with Conan in bed with Jiara. Presumably he was banging her the night before. Come on, he’s Conan! Of course he hit it!
Sex: 1. Total sex: 8. Partners for Conan: 1. Total partners for Conan: 6 (Jiara doesn’t count, as we’ve already counted her).

Conan #26: Conan gets busy with the girl in the tent.
Sex: 1. Total sex: 9. Partners for Conan: 1. Total partners for Conan: 7.

Conan #32: Conan sits next to a naked Caollan. Obviously they’ve been having a good time. Later he deflowers Arianne.
Sex: 2. Total sex: 11. Partners for Conan: 2. Total partners for Conan: 9.

Conan #33: Conan nails Jiara to shut her up. Those women – they’ll shut up if you have sex with them!
Sex: 1. Total sex: 12. Partners for Conan: 1. Total partners for Conan: Still 9.

Well, that’s more sex than your average comic-book character, but still not anywhere near the amount of killing in these comics. Let’s break down the totals!

Number of sentient beings that die or are killed (Connacht might be the only one who dies a natural death): 410. Average per comic: 8.2 (remember, there are 50 issues, because the zero issue is included but not #40).
Number of sentient beings that Conan kills: 179. Average per comic: 3.58. Not bad at all, young Cimmerian!
Number of sex acts seen or heavily implied: 12. Average per comic: .24.
Number of times Conan gets lucky: 10. Average per comic: .2. Once every five issues isn’t bad, considering he’s often out thieving and killing.
Number of partners Conan has: 9. Henga, Iasmini, Jiara, Jiara’s friend, Tianna, Surna’s youngest wife, the girl in the tent, Caollan, and Arianne.

This, obviously, has more death and sex than your standard DC or Marvel superhero comic series. We shall see, however, how it stacks up to other series. What will the next series be? No man can say!!!!!

25 Comments

I don’t get it. Does this make the comic good or not good or… did I miss an earlier post?

Krod: It’s not a comment on whether the book is good or not. It’s just a list. For fun!

But, the book is good. Particularly the Carey/Nord stuff.

I think you should add on to this post or make a post talking about whether or not you like this comic. I actually do own one of the trades and it’s all I have read of this series.

I have the Rogues in the House trade. And I did enjoy it, but did not think it was worth the cover price for its length. Maybe it would have been worth it if I had bought it off of Amazon.com.

I wonder what I would think of this series if I had already read some of these stories in the original Robert E. Howard writings.

I always like stuff like this. I once tried to keep count of everyone Ogami Ito killed during the Lone Wolf and Cub movies. I had 568 over 6 movies (including 149 in the final film)

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 13, 2008 at 1:39 pm

“I always like stuff like this. I once tried to keep count of everyone Ogami Ito killed during the Lone Wolf and Cub movies. I had 568 over 6 movies (including 149 in the final film)”

Just out of curiousity, did you do the same with the manga, and if so, what was the body count?

Wait a minute … Bruce Timm drew a Conan comic?

By the way, I did enjoy your list. I may try it with my Jonah Hex comics from the 70s – 80s.

Very Joe Bob Briggs. I like it!

Krod: Well, I own all the trades, so yeah, it’s a good comic. I thought the final trade, when Truman took over as writer, was a bit weaker than the Busiek stuff, but it’s still a good read. Dark Horse trades tend to price higher, it seems, than DC and Marvel, but I’m sure you can find them relatively cheap on-line. And the issues that Busiek did with Greg Ruth, which tell Conan’s “origin,” are fantastic.

Fortress Keeper: Timm drew a four-page story in that issue. It’s “Conan’s Favorite Joke,” so it’s not like they could really draw it out too much.

Thank you thank you. I’m working my way through that series now and it’s nice to know there’s a total waiting for me.

Ha, nice work there. Conan is the man. I read a few of the early stories and they were very well done, it was a good book.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 13, 2008 at 5:21 pm

I dunno Greg, Conan is still a teenager, or just past – I’m pretty sure you’re talking him down by only counting one ‘act’ per lady!

“Just out of curiousity, did you do the same with the manga, and if so, what was the body count?”

I haven’t read the manga. Granted, for the films I did have to assume that anyone who just got a limb cut off would die unless otherwise stated since the blood flew like the fountains at the Bellagio.

Nice list. Now, numbers for Preacher, please!

Burgas, it’s not so obvious that because you own them you think they’re good! Comics fans, and the reviewers too often buy comics they know are not good! ;) Don’t ask me why…

I was thinking maybe there was a complaint of the violence in Conan stories I had missed by not following comics news/opinion. I miss a lot of that drama.

Have you done any posts reviewing the series?

If different writers and artists have been on the series: does the quality change much? Are they all based on original Howard stories? Because if they’re all based on the Howard stories, I’d think any comics craftsman could make them into decent comics.

The one I have (Rogues in the House) is by Timothy Truman and Cary Nord. There was also another artist somewhere near the end. I liked Nord’s art though. I bought it on a whim when I went in the comic shop looking for something to read for an afternoon—nothing in particular. Conan was what I found, so I paid store price, not Amazon.com price, for it. I liked it, but not store-price-liked it. And I don’t know if I’d buy it on Amazon because of my only passing interest in the comic.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 13, 2008 at 10:25 pm

There was also another artist somewhere near the end.

Greg Ruth did a number of fill-ins throughout the first series chronicling the adventures of Conan before he left his people, if that’s what you’re thinking of… it’s great looking stuff.

Maybe you could try this with GI JOe. I mean, with all the gun fights someone has to get killed, right? And sex? How about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. There has to be some hot Man on Man action between Shipwreck and Gung Ho. Just saying.

I agree with Djed. Preacher was made for a list like this. The second TPB might be one of the few comics with more sex than death.

Interesting about the sex part since i have read the comics listed and the stories they are based on by REH.

He sure as hell didnt have Conan having sex as much. Although in other stories that hasnt become comics yet i know Conan fought and killed even 20 enemies in a story. Thats l his record so far me in a story of the 13 stories i have read. They are much more about horror,sorcery,mood than the comics of course so he doesnt get to go and around kill as much.

Interest list because i dont remember him killing as much really because usual action heroes in comics kill as much or even more. The sex part 99% did happen off panel so of course on the list it looks much more than you when you read it.

Krod: Most of the series is based on Howard’s stories or, in the case of Nestor, a reference in a Howard story. Of course, I’m going by the introductions to the trades, because I’ve never read the Howard stories. Busiek wrote almost all of the series, with a short story by Mike Mignola in there, and Truman taking over near the end. Both Mignola and Truman emphasized the sorcery aspect of “sword-and-sorcery” more than Busiek, but they’re all good stories. The artist you’re thinking of at the end of Rogues in the House is Tomas Giorello, who drew the final trade and is now drawing the new series. He’s not bad, but I like Nord more.

I haven’t reviewed any of these because I didn’t buy them in single issue format. I buy a lot of trades, so I’d be overwhelmed if I tried to review them all. Now that the series is done (I know there’s another series, but it has a different focus), I might review the whole thing, but I enjoyed the series a lot. I don’t know how they compare to the original stories, but I’ll say if you weren’t too taken by Rogues in the House, I’m not sure you’d like any of the other trades. They’re all about that level of quality in terms of writing and art.

Another interesting comparison would be Jonah Hex. Lots of death, and a surprising amount of sex.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 14, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Most of the series is based on Howard’s stories or, in the case of Nestor, a reference in a Howard story.

There’s a bit of padding given to the stories though – they use something like Tower Of The Elephant as a tent pole for about six issues – that stories in there, but you also get a few other adventures Conan had in the city just before the story starts.
So it has the Howard stories, you just see adventures in-between them as well.

[…] Death and sex in comics – Dark Horse’s Conan series from Comics Should Be Good! […]

More suicides than I would have thought

You’re a sick, sick, delightful man Mr. Burgas! Keep up the good work!

You’ve already gotten requests for Preacher, which is a good choice for a future entry. Miracleman (Marvelman) also comes to mind. Then again, with Miracleman, you would probably have to count rape as sex, which is a horrible thought to contemplate. Also, when Kid Miracleman rampages through London, you’d have to use population statistics rather than John Totleben’s illustrations in the comic to count the total dead.

According to wikipedia, the population of London during the early to mid 1980’s (during the time Miracleman takes place) was around 6.8 million. In the comic, Kid Miracleman is said to have demolished half the city. That would imply that Kid Miracleman kills roughly 3.4 million people in the down time between issues 14 and 15 of the comic. When the numbers get that big, counting each one becomes superfluous.

“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”

Come to think on it, didn’t Alan Moore also write a story where millions of people in New York City were killed during a staged alien attack? What was that one called? It had something to do with watch makers…

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