The Chronicles of King Conan 1: The Witch of the Mists and Other Stories

chronicles of king conan volume 1 the witch of the mists and other stories cover trade paperback
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Solid sword and sorcery comic book storytelling

Slow paced stories that are a somewhat predictable

Comic Info

Comic Name:   King Conan

Publisher:   Dark Horse/Marvel

Writer:   Roy Thomas

Artist:  John Buscema/Ernie Chan/Danny Bulanadi

# of Issues:   5

Release Date:   2010

king conan #1 cover john buscema art

King Conan #1

Reprints King Conan #1-5 (March 1980-March 1981).  Conan wears a heavy crown.  Ruling Aquilonia with his Queen Zenobia, Conan now finds his barbarian days behind him and keeping a kingdom could be even harder.  When his old nemesis Thoth-Amon resurfaces and threatens to destroy him, Conan sets off with his son Prince Conn to stop the threat of him once and for all.  Plus, Conn learns of his father’s early days as king and the danger his mother faced at the hands of a demon.

Written by Roy Thomas, The Chronicles of King Conan Volume 1:  The Witch of the Mists and Other Stories is a Dark Horse Comics reprint of Marvel Comics’ King Conan series.  The collection features art by John Buscema, Ernie Chan, and Danny Bulanadi.

I didn’t really read King ConanConan the Barbarian (in general) was a solid read, but a slow and methodical book that often fell into repetition.  Though I didn’t read Conan a lot, occasionally King Conan stories popped up in Conan.  This collection of King Conan shows the pluses of the story and also what sets it apart from Conan the Barbarian.

Conan the Barbarian was pretty formulaic at times.  Conan would meet a witch/wizard/warrior and have to fight him.  King Conan still has a lot of this formula, but it also has some more layers.  Conan is “past his prime” in adventuring style and has multiple responsibilities…but you can’t take the barbarian out of the king.  Despite having a queen and children, Conan still has a lust for life that is now tempered…and that tempering is what makes the comic interesting.

king conan #4 cover thoth-amon

King Conan #4

Prince Conn is a nice flipside to Conan’s more behaved manner.  Conn has that youthfulness that Conan once had but also lives in the shadow of his father.  He still wants the adventure and because he’s still sharp and young he also seems more adept at spotting danger at times (like with the Serpent Men).  Unlike the Conan the Barbarian Conan, Conn is younger and still learning which teams him nicely with Conan for the series.

The book also smartly uses Thoth-Amon as the villain in the first story arch.  Thoth-Amon is as close as you can get to a “super-villain” in the Conan universe.  The book needs a big villain to kick it off and the multi-issue attempt to stop Thoth-Amon is a good start (though Thoth-Amon kind of goes out like a chump).

King Conan was a solid comic book and the nice collections of Dark Horse are a great home for the character.  I think the comic in many ways is easier to take than Conan the Barbarian and even a little smarter at times.  The volume starts the next leg of the story and ends the book in a cliffhanger (of sorts…it is a flashback), and leaves you waiting for the next volume.  The Chronicles of King Conan 1:  The Witch of the Mists and Other Stories is followed by The Chronicles of King Conan 2:  Vengeance from the Desert and Other Stories.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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