At last weekend’s C2E2 convention, Dark Horse Comics announced that it would continue telling the epic tale of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Cimmerian with the return of legendary writer Roy Thomas. Thomas introduced the comic-reading public to Conan in 1970, when he began the highly successful Conan the Barbarian for Marvel Comics, a title he wrote for ten years. Conan and comics fans will also remember the former Marvel editor in chief’s classic tales from lauded runs as a writer and editor on The Savage Sword of Conan and as the writer of King Conan. Now, in 2010, Thomas returns to the character he helped ingrain into the consciousness of the comics community with Conan: Road of Kings.
“Conan the Cimmerian is one of the most important people in my life—even if he never really existed—and it was a genuine thrill to be asked by Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson to scribe a year’s worth of his darkly epic adventures,” Thomas said.
Continuing where Conan the Cimmerian #25 leaves off, Thomas’s Conan: Road of Kings will tell a twelve-issue epic about the next stage in the adventurous hero’s illustrious life, beginning with a new #1 issue. Featuring art by Mike Hawthorne (Fear Agent), Road of Kings begins this December.
“Conan: Road of Kings picks up the barbarian on the Vilayet Sea, at nearly the easternmost edge of Robert E. Howard’s map of the Hyborian age, and has twelve breathless issues to deliver him—black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand—to the westernmost shores of that age undreamed of,” Thomas continued. “To reach his destination, he must travel the fabled Road of Kings that winds its way through the civilized kingdoms—but along his path lurk inhuman monstrosities, malevolent sorcerers and not a few power-crazed men and women who are determined to see to it that he doesn’t make it.
“Dynamic artist Mike Hawthorne and I intend to make Conan’s westward odyssey a chapter in the Cimmerian’s life that readers won’t soon forget,” Thomas explained. “This will be a quite different take on Conan’s life than the one I pioneered at Marvel in the seventies and the nineties, with new adventures, new antagonists, even new and alternative sides to characters you thought you’d met before.”
The current Conan creative team of writer Tim Truman and artist Tom s Giorello are set to continue their adventures with the Cimmerian, as well. Jumping ahead in Conan’s timeline, King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel features the adventurer years in the future—after he’s become the king of Aquilonia—and adapts one of Robert E. Howard’s original Conan tales. This four-issue miniseries will hit comic shops in early 2011.
Dark Horse Comics is also slated to continue its run of successful Conan reprints with King Conan Volume 1 on sale August 25, The Savage Sword of Conan Volume 8 on sale September 22, and Conan: The Newspaper Strips Volume 1 on sale September 8, all featuring the writing talents of Thomas alongside other greats, like Doug Moench, John Buscema, Gil Kane, Ernie Chan, and more!