Marvel Reveals New 'Conan the Barbarian' Reprint Collections

Conan Chronicles Cover - Publicity - P 2018
Tony Harris/Marvel Entertainment
Both 'Conan Chronicles' and 'Conan: Hyborian Tales' book series begin in 2019, alongside the already announced 'Conan: The Original Marvel Years' hardcovers.

Marvel Entertainment is continuing to lean heavily into its forthcoming Conan comic book line. In addition to the previously revealed hardcover omnibus series collecting Marvel’s 1970s comic books featuring the character, the company has announced Conan Chronicles Epic Collection, a new line of paperbacks reprinting Conan stories from other publishers.

Specifically, the first two volumes of the series — Out of the Darksome Hills, to be released next February, and The Heart of Yag-Kosha, due in April, will collect the first 40 issues of Dark Horse Comics’ 2004 Conan series, featuring work by Kurt Busiek, Timothy Truman, Cary Nord, Paul Lee and others. (Technically, the first volume collects Nos. 0-19, and the second, 20-39.)

As if two parallel book series collecting earlier Conan material wasn’t enough, Marvel announced a third, with the Conan: Hyborian Tales Epic Collections series also being unveiled. Like the Conan Chronicles, this series will focus on material published by Dark Horse when the indie publisher held the license, and will collect “various one-shots and miniseries from 2004-2016,” according to Marvel.

Marvel’s aggressive publishing plan for Conan — which also is said to include three series of new material, according to a consulting editor — closely mirrors the company’s handling of the Star Wars comics license, which it similarly inherited from Dark Horse Comics and launched in January 2015.

In that instance, the line was a significant success as audience hunger for the property grew in preparation for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With no similarly high-profile Conan movie or project on the horizon, it’s an open question as to whether or not the market wants, or can even support, such a sudden glut of Barbarian material. Expect the beginning of 2019 to be an interesting period for Marvel.