Comics – Conan the Barbarian (Vol 1 #4)

This issue titled “The Tower of the Elephant!” (1971) is an adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s short story “The Tower of the Elephant” (1933) and I want to say something snarky like, “the only improvement on the original story was the exclamation point in the title.” But the expectation that this comic is better than the original adventure classic would be unfair. In fact, this issue is very good because it sticks so close to its source. Howard strikes a wonderful balance between mystery and excitement in his story. And it’s all here in this comic including the varied deaths of men and beasts. Sal Buscema’s bold ink style works well and issue #4 takes no chances. It’s simply a faithful, though compressed, rendition of a great short story, a comic that will feel like a bit more than the 20 pages it encompasses. Rating: 669