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Conan the Barbarian #20
Ctb 020
Date: November, 1972
Cover: Barry Smith
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Barry Smith
Inker: Dan Adkins
Colorist: Barry Smith
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Roy Thomas
Title: "The Black Hound of Vengeance"

Major Characters[]

  • Conan (Previous appearance in CB-19; next appearance in CB-21).

Minor Characters[]

  • Fafnir (Previous appearance CB-19; next appearance in CB-161).
  • Balthaz (Previous appearance CB-19; dies in this issue).
  • Yezdigerd (Previous appearance CB-19; next appearance CB-23).
  • Melissandra (Previous appearance CB-19; next appearance CB-21).
  • Eannatum (Previous appearance CB-19; next appearance CB-21).
  • Kharam-Akkad (Previous appearance CB-19;; next appearance CB-21).


  • Makkalet.

Time Frame[]

  • One day.


Conan looks for his friend Fafnir after the city of Makkalet is taken. Fafnir has been dragged from the water, but has lost an arm, and Conan keeps vigil over his friend's sleeping body. This is interrupted, however, with a mission from Balthaz, who takes Conan and a few others into the town. A few random encounters with guards hinders their progress towards the temple, but they finally make it inside. Conan is seperated from the Turanians, and while he roams the hallways, Balthaz and his men make their way to the roof and light a signal for Yezdigerd. However, Balthaz's men are suddenly and mysteriously slaughtered. Meanwhile, Conan encounters a young woman, who calls herself Caissa, inside the temple, as well as Kharam-Akkad, who lets loose a skeletal warrior after Conan. The battle carries outside the room, and Conan realizes smashing a mirror will destroy the beast, as he knows from the previous day's battle the wizard Kharam-Akkad's use of mirrors in his magics. Inside the room, however, it is revealed that Caissia is queen of Makkalet, and she begins to berate Kharam for hiding the statue of Tarim, the object of worhsip Yezdigerd desperately wants. Conan finds a mirrored room containing the statue, but falls through a trapdoor and confronts the Black Hound. Conan mangesto choke the great beast with its own chains and kills the creature. Conan stumbles away, weak and injured, back to the ships of Yezdigerd, only to find that Balthaz has already fled back and ordered all the dead, including Fafnir, who Balthaz knew was not deceased, thrown overboard. Conan calmly walks over to the arrogant Balthaz, and swiftly pulls out Balthaz's sword and stabs him in the heart. Yezdigerd calls for Conan's death, but the Cimmerian slaughters a good portion of the army before he gets to the prince himself, and slashes at him, scarring the royal face, before diving into the ocean.



Conan Chronology
Previous Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #19
Conan the Barbarian #20 Next Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #21

Conan the Barbarian
Previous Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #19
Conan the Barbarian #20 Next Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #21