Marvel to Reprint 1970s 'Conan the Barbarian' Comics

Conan the Barbarian Cover - Publicity - P 2018
Courtesy of Mike Deodato/Marvel Entertainment
'Conan the Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years' is the first project set for when the company gets the license for the character back.

Marvel Entertainment doesn’t officially get the comic book license for Conan the Barbarian until January 2019, but the House of Ideas has already announced its first Conan project: an archive collection of its very first Conan comics from the 1970s.

Conan the Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus Vol. 1 will feature the first 26 issues of Marvel’s original Conan the Barbarian series, along with contemporaneous material featuring the character, including material from Savage Tales Nos. 1 and 4, and the fourth issue of horror anthology title Chamber of Darkness. (According to Marvel, material from 1990s reprint series Conan Classic will also be included.)

The material in question is actually already available from current Conan license holder Dark Horse Comics, which published it as part of its Chronicles of Conan collected editions series back in 2003. It was also released under the title The Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives — Windsor-Smith being the artist of the stories — in 2010. Marvel’s new printing will, according to the publisher, see the material “painstakingly restored.”

This announcement follows a recent interview with former Marvel editor Ralph Macchio, in which he stated that he will be working as a consulting editor on Marvel’s Conan projects, with three separate series of new material planned from the publisher.

If true, this, combined with the reissuing of archive material, suggests that Marvel’s Conan plans will mirror its Star Wars publishing plans — a smart move, given that Marvel’s Star Wars titles were a massive boost to the company’s bottom line when the license returned to Marvel in January 2015.

Conan the Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus Vol. 1 will be released in January 2019.