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Conan the Barbarian #52
Ctb 052
Date: June, 1975
Cover: John Buscema
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Tom Palmer
Colorist: Phil Rachelson
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Roy Thomas
Title: "The Altar and the Scorpion!"

Major Characters[]

  • Conan (Last appearance in CB-51; next appearance in CB-53).

Minor Characters[]

  • Murilo (Last appearance in CB-11; next appearance in CB-53).
  • Murilo's soldiers (First appearance; many appear next in CB-53). Gezpacho and Anakus are named. Dirkov and Coppolus are killed.
  • Tara (First appearance; next appearance in CB-53). Hanumar acrobat.


  • Belverus, capital of Nemedia, and the city-state of Ronnoco, on the road south to Ophir.

Time Frame[]

  • A week. It is the first day of spring, four years after the events of CB-11.


Conan rides into Belverus searching for employment as a sell-sword. Unfortunately, he arrives just as a wild bull rampages through the street. A young acrobat first distracts the bull, and Conan finishes it off by snapping its neck. It turns out the bull was released by Conan's old acquaintance Murilo. Murilo invites Conan and the acrobat, who is actually a girl named Tara, to join his Crimson Company, who are heading to Ronnoco. On the trip, Conan gains new armor and a spiffy red cape, and Murilo entertains Conan and Tara with a tale from the time of King Kull, of a pair of worshippers of a Scorpion God who were attacked by a servant of the Black Shadow. The servant of the Black Shadow was killed by the bite of a scorpion despite the power of his magic ring, and the ring was buried underneath a scorpion shrine in a ruined city. The Crimson Company has been hired to investigate the legendary city, and they find the large crystal scorpion shrine. The scorpion comes to life, of course, but is defeated by Conan, and a passage underground is revealed. The magical ring lies on the floor of the chamber, and Conan, familiar with evil magics, warns against touching it. Murillo agrees, and takes the Company to report their findings, leaving two guards, Dirkov and Coppolus, behind with strict instructions not to touch the ring. After three days, the two guards break down and claim the ring, but both are consumed by a mysterious shadow that grows as it devours each man...



Conan Chronology
Previous Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #51
Conan the Barbarian #52 Next Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #53

Conan the Barbarian
Previous Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #51
Conan the Barbarian #52 Next Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #53