Marvel to Expand Relationship With 'Conan' Owners

The comic book publisher will feature more characters created by Robert E. Howard in the near future.
Esad Ribic/Marvel Entertainment
The comic book publisher will feature more characters created by Robert E. Howard in the near future.

Marvel Entertainment has announced that, following its launch of a new line of comics based on Conan the Barbarian earlier this year, a new agreement has been reached with Conan Properties to publish comics based on other characters from the back catalog of Conan creator Robert E. Howard.

“With their world-building and storytelling expertise, we’re happy that Marvel now will go deeper into the Howardverse to explore more of all his fantastic characters, and spinning new, exciting yarns,” Conan Properties executive vp Joakim Zetterberg said in a statement released by Marvel.

Added editor Mark Basso, “Our readers cannot get enough of Conan, and luckily, we have plenty more to give them.”

Although specific titles or projects have not been disclosed by the publisher, Marvel’s announcement named “Dark Agnes, Solomon Kane, and a few more surprises” would be appearing in upcoming Marvel titles. It’s unclear whether this would mean new series for the Howard characters, or if the characters would be appearing in existing Marvel titles given that Conan is now interacting with the regular Marvel timeline in the Savage Avengers comic book series.

Marvel had previously published comics featuring Solomon Kane in the 1980s, when the company first had the license to Howard’s characters.

Marvel launched two ongoing Conan series, Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword of Conan, at the start of this year after regaining the license from Dark Horse Comics. Although the series launched well — Conan the Barbarian No. 1 was the fourth most-ordered comic book of January, according to Diamond Comic Distributors — both titles have cooled significantly in terms of single-issue sales, with estimates for July placing Conan the Barbarian at around 36,000 copies ordered in the North American market, just above a third of its launch numbers (100,000 estimated).

Details on Marvel’s plans for additional Howard releases will come “at a later date,” according to the company.