Whoa, Marvel just picked up the Conan license which had been a stalwart at Dark Horse for more than a decade. Ouch.

Of course the moody barbarian got his start in comics at Marvel with the classic Roy Thomas/John Buscema run reinvigorating the character in the hairy-chested 70s.

Marvel hasn’t been big on licensed titles for a long time, so this is another change in direction – and bid for market share.

Conan’s stable mate, Red Sonja, is currently being published at Dynamite, however that character is owned by a different entity than Frederik Mamberg’s Paradox.   Malmberg owns the rest of Robert E. Howard’s character stable.

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But what’s next, Kull the Conqueror? Bran Mak Morn?

The run is slated to kick off in 2019.

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Marvel Entertainment and Conan Properties International are excited to announce the iconic CONAN franchise will return to Marvel next year.

 With over 650 issues from 1970 to 2000, Marvel brought fans the adventures of Conan The Barbarian, Conan the Adventurer, Conan the Savage and Savage Sword of Conan among other popular titles.

 “From Barry Windsor-Smith to John Buscema to Neal Adams, a legendary line-up of amazing artists brought Conan to life in the pages of Marvel comics,” said C.B. Cebulski, editor-in-chief of Marvel. “It’s a legacy we’re now going to live up to with the talent we have lined up for the Cimmerian barbarian’s homecoming in early 2019. We’re excited!”

 “We’re thrilled to be working with Marvel and look forward to the new adventures in store for Conan,” said Fredrik Malmberg, President of Conan Properties International. “As the most well-known and creative publisher in the industry, we think Marvel is a great fit for our stories.”

 With this deal, Marvel will again bring new and thrilling stories for Conan fans around the world. Details on upcoming comic book titles, collections, reprints, and creative teams will be shared at a later date.

 

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Dark Horse must love Marvel these days. With the Disney/Fox deal looming, it must be only a matter of time until their Fox properties (AvP, Buffy, Firefly, etc.) go to Marvel next.

    Also, seeing Thor and Wolverine in that promo image makes wonder if Marvel learned anything from their usage of licensed series like ROM and 2001 in their regular continuity. (At least, I’m assuming that’s why they’re in the picture)

  2. They probably did learn that lesson. I seriously doubt that something like a Conan/Thor crossover would ever be in continuity.

    That being said, a Thor/Conan crossover by Jason Aaron would, of course, be amazing.

    As for the Disney/Fox thing – Fox became a giant investor in Boom! last year (I think). Like a 49% share. If Disney/Fox goes through, what might that mean for a transfer of properties over to Marvel? My prediction is that Disney only moves stuff if the potential for money is greater – it’s not all about consolidation (IDW currently does Donald Duck and SW comics, for example). Could Marvel do more with Buffy or AvP or whatever?

  3. This should be an interesting experiment. Conan was a MASSIVE success in the 70s but that audience didn’t seem to transfer over from newsstands to the Direct Market. Dark Horse seemed to do a lot with collected Conan editions palatable to book stores, a place where Marvel has traditionally struggled.

    Mike

  4. How many units per month was Conan moving for Dark Horse?

    5,000?

    10,000?

    This doesn’t really seem like a game changer, more like grasping at straws by an out of touch Cebulski and Quesada.

    “Let’s get the Conan license back! He sold huge back when you and I were little kids, C.B.!”

  5. I think a Marvel published Conan series would sell more than at Dark Horse. It’s more of a brand thing at that point. You’d be putting Marvel’s recognizable talent and drawing some new attention from their reader base.

  6. Oh, good; maybe they can run Conan into the ground the way they do every other property. Gwen-nan the Barbarian? DeadCon? Fifteen of twenty books set in the extended Conan universe?

  7. Soooo, …this means some kind of transgender ‘bi-racial’ version of “Conan”…???? ‘Do NOT make mine former-Marvel.

  8. I, for one, welcome the change. The Dark Horse version was great in the beginning, but was run into the ground with the Brian Wood series. Frankly, it hasn’t been readable since. Hopefully, Marvel can get a writer and editor who understands the character and an artist who is appropriate for the material.

  9. “Also, seeing Thor and Wolverine in that promo image makes wonder if Marvel learned anything from their usage of licensed series like ROM and 2001 in their regular continuity. (At least, I’m assuming that’s why they’re in the picture)”

    ROM was last published by Marvel 32 years ago, anyone who learnt that lesson is likely dead or retired.

  10. Oh god, I can see it now. Marvel will kill him off in the first 2 years, and replace him with a random female teenager who is both smarter and stronger than Conan ever was ….. then she will get teleported to present Marvel and join The Champions so she can help them fight The Patriarchy!

  11. There was a Thor/Conan crossover in a What-If issue, can’t remember exactly which one. I loved the original Conan but that was a far different marvel. The current marvel… At 4.99 cover price with the way they tell stories I don’t see much hope for a really great comic. At least not compared to the older version.

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