King Conan is a collection of five fantasy short stories by American writer Robert E. Howard featuring his sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It is also the name of two separate comic book series featuring the character.

King Conan
King Conan.jpg
Cover of first edition
AuthorRobert E. Howard
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesConan the Barbarian
GenreSword and sorcery
PublisherGnome Press
Publication date
1953
Media typePrint (hardback)

The book was first published in hardcover by Gnome Press in 1953. The stories originally appeared in the 1930s in the fantasy magazine Weird Tales. The collection never saw publication in paperback; instead, its component stories were divided and distributed among other "Conan" collections.

Chronologically, the five short stories collected as King Conan are the fourth in Gnome's Conan series; the novel Conan the Conqueror follows.

ContentsEdit

ComicsEdit

Marvel ComicsEdit

Marvel Comics published 55 issues of a King Conan series from 1980-1989 (retitled Conan the King from #20-onward).

Dark Horse ComicsEdit

In 2011, Dark Horse Comics started a new Conan comic book, named King Conan; the Cimmerian, now old and alone on his throne of Aquilonia, recalls his previous years adventures with the young royal scribe; his tales are set after he got the throne. Dark Horse adapted several Howard's short stories plus The Hour of the Dragon. Until now, the list includes, in the following order:

  • "The Scarlet Citadel" (2011)
  • "The Phoenix on the Sword" (2012)
  • "The Hour of the Dragon" (2013)
  • "The Conqueror" (2014) (Originally, Dark Horse wanted to make 12 issues of The Hour of the Dragon, then they decided to split the story into two, publishing the second part with the alternate name of the novel.)

ReceptionEdit

P. Schuyler Miller received the collection favorably, praising Howard's ability "to make the preposterous doings of his superhuman hero so real."[1]

Everett F. Bleiler found that the original text of "The Black Stranger" "is much superior to the adaptation" provided here. He characterized the collection overall as "a weak selection", although singling out two scenes as effective.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Reference Library", Astounding Science Fiction, February 1954, pp.155
  2. ^ Everett F. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, Kent State University Press, 1983, pp.260-61
Preceded by Gnome Conan series
(chronological order)
Succeeded by