Conan #1

Conan the Barbarian #1, October 1970

The comic that many claim marks the end of the Silver Age and the start of the Bronze Age. It came out from Marvel at the same time that Kirby’s revamped Jimmy Olsen was published by DC — and the previously almost unthinkable defection of Marvel co-creator Kirby to DC must surely indicate some kind of sea change.

With Conan, Marvel ushered in a new kind of comic. It’s difficult to imagine the Cimmerian’s adventures being published in the 60s. This pointed the way to a more brutal type of storytelling, with bloody action, death and gore (though still fairly tame here) to the forefront. In some ways I guess it could be considered comics’ ‘death of innocence’ — or a coming of age, depending on your point of view!

Cover by Barry Smith (the ‘Windsor’ was still a few years away), and John Verpoorten.