Conan Wiki
Conan the Barbarian #4
Ctb 004
Date: April, 1971
Cover: Barry Smith
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Barry Smith
Inker: Sal Buscema
Colorist: Barry Smith
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Editor: Stan Lee
Title: "The Tower of the Elephant"

Major Characters[]

Minor Characters[]

  • Unnamed rogue.(First appearance; dies in this issue). Kothian
  • Yara (First appearance; dies in this issue). Priest.
  • Taurus (First appearance; name mentioned previously in SSOC-174; dies in this issue). Nemedian thief.
  • Yag-Kosha (First appearance; dies in this issue). Alien elephant-thingee.


  • Arenjun.

Time Frame[]

  • One night.


A slaver, boasting of his recent acquisition, catches the attention of Conan when he mentions a jewel secreted in the Tower of the Elephant. The rogue mocks Conan's interest in the impossible to obtain gem, which is never a smart thing to do. Leaving the Kothian's body behind, Conan approaches the gated Tower and observes Yara, the Tower's mysterious occupant enter. Conan does not notice the priest's feet do not touch the ground. Conan scales the wall and discovers another thief, Taurus, also in the courtyard. Taurus uses a gas to put some guard lions to sleep and the two thieves climb to the top of the Tower. Taurus, attempting to leave Conan, behind sneaks into a door, but immediately falls out dead. Conan warily enters the room, discovers it filled with treasure, but also encounters the room's guardian, a giant poisonous spider.Conan defeats the monster and descends into a lower chamber where he encounters a green humanoid creature with an elephantine head. The lonely, blind creature introduces itself as Yag-Kosha and explains to a terrified Conan his alien nature and capture by Yara. The fabled gem, the Heart of the Elephant, is what keeps Yag-Kosha captive and Yara all-powerful. He begs Conan to kill him, which Conan does. Conan then takes the gem to a sleeping Yara, who is mystically swallowed by the gem. Conan can see a fully healed and powerful Yag-Kosha inside the gem take his final revenge on his captor. With its occupant's death, the Tower begins to crumble, and Conan flees just in time to see it collapse into a pile of shards.


  • Adapted from Robert E. Howard's story "The Tower of the Elephant."
  • This story was nominated for for an Academy of Comic Book Arts award for 1971.
  • Roy Thomas was never quite satisfied with the look of Yag-Kosha (even in other adaptations and illustrations of this story), believing too many elephantine qualities were apparent.

Conan Chronology
Previous Appearance:
Savage Sword of Conan #174
Conan the Barbarian #4 Next Appearance:
Savage Sword of Conan #99

Conan the Barbarian
Previous Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #3
Conan the Barbarian #4 Next Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #5


  • Conan Classic #4
  • Conan Saga #2
  • Essential Conan
  • The Chronicles of Conan Volume One: Tower of the Elephant and Other Stories