Conan the Barbarian celebrates 300 Marvel issues with all-star special issue

Conan the Barbarian #25
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Conan is celebrating an anniversary at Marvel Comics. 

According to the publisher's math, the 25th issue of Conan the Barbarian's current series coincides with the 300th issue Marvel has published over the two eras in which they've held the character's license, and Marvel is marking the occasion with a 40-page celebratory issue in September. 

Marvel's math to 300 issues starts with 1970's Conan the Barbarian #1 by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith, based on Robert E. Howard's character.

With a main cover by Geoff Shaw, September 8's Conan the Barbarian #25 will feature several creative teams telling stories set in distinct Conan eras. 

The issue will also feature several variant covers by notable artists, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's co-creator Kevin Eastman, Peach Momoko, and the late comic book legend Alex Toth in what Marvel calls a "Hidden Gem" variant, all seen below along with a full look at Daniel Acuña's variant that pays homage to a certain famous Marvel cover. 

The main story which continues the current ongoing arc by writer Jim Zub and artist Corey Smith features Conan's return to his sea-faring ways with the queen of the seas herself, Bêlit.

"But – past, present, and future will collide in ways unexpected and strange!" reads Marvel's description.

Conan the Barbarian #25

Conan the Barbarian #25 main cover by Geoff Shaw (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"Conan on the high seas with Bêlit stands out as a golden run of the original series for me," Zub told Newsarama a few months back, talking about what stands out for him as a highlight of the original Marvel series. 

"She arrives in issue #58 and is a regular part of the cast until #100. That part of Conan's life is a montage in the original Robert E. Howard story 'Queen of the Black Coast,' but Roy Thomas and co. made it a vibrant and engaging period of high adventure for readers every month."

The special issue features three more stories, starting with an untold story from Conan's thieving Hyborian days titled 'Night of Oblivion' from writer Dan Slott and artist Marcos Martin. Then there's a story from writer Larry Hama about a "hot-headed young Barbarian," and finally a bookend story from writer Christopher Priest set in the King Conan era, as the elder Conan "must defend his kingdom from the re-emergence of Wraarl, the Devourer Of Souls!"

"Like a lot of anniversary issues, it's a way for us to celebrate and exemplify the character's best qualities while surprising readers with a couple of big twists," Zub told us in February about the special issue. "It's the culmination of everything we've been building in the previous 12 issues and I'm pumped for readers to check it out."

September features anniversary celebrations by one of Marvel's youngest and oldest characters. In addition to Conan #25, Marvel will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of Miles Morales.

Did Conan make Newsarama's list of the best new Marvel character to debut in 1970? Check out our Marvel Yearbook - the 70s to find out.

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.