Friday, January 22, 2021


Since it's the birthday of Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian, I thought I'd re-present this essay, from a few years back, about my discovery of a certain Cimmerian. Enjoy!


One afternoon in the summer of 1970, I was sitting out in front of my apartment building, flipping through one of the many Marvel Comics I regularly devoured, when I saw an ad for a new title: The image featured a half-naked guy with a sword, rock star hair and a somewhat goofy helmet. I’d never heard of this Conan, nor had I heard of his creator, Robert E. Howard—although the fact that he was mentioned in the ad at all led me to believe I should have heard of him. My ignorance prevented me from being impressed; but what did impress me was the fact that this new comic book didn’t look remotely like a super hero title. In the preceding decade, Marvel had made its name revolutionizing and re-energizing the super hero. No one bought Stan Lee’s line of books for Patsy Walker (well, maybe your kid sister did) or Two-Gun Kid (okay, I occasionally read the Westerns, but only when I was desperate for a Marvel fix), you bought it for Fantastic Four and Spider-Man. But this Conan character wasn’t wearing a mask or a cape and that intrigued me.

(Although I didn’t realize it consciously at the time, I think super hero fatigue was settling over me. In the decade that followed, many, if not most, of my favorite series didn’t star super-types at all. Oh, they nodded in the genre’s direction—they had to—but books like Swamp Thing, Man-Thing, Tomb of Dracula and Master of Kung Fu broke new ground. Even Jack Kirby’s brilliant New Gods material, which, on the surface, looked like super hero fare, was far too specific to the unique cosmic universe inside its creator’s head to be lumped in with Superman and his spawn. But all those titles were yet to appear: at the time, Conan seemed utterly unique to my spandex-saturated eyeballs.)

In the weeks between that first ad and the appearance of Conan the Barbarian #1, I decided to learn more about this Robert E. Howard guy and his helmet-headed creation (after all, if he was good enough for Stan Lee and Roy Thomas, he was good enough for me). This required a mythical journey of my own—to a mysterious place called My Friend’s Book Store. Located on Flatbush Avenue, at the end of a long, dark, and disturbingly spooky, alley that deposited me just a few doors away, My Friend’s Book Store was the kind of place a Stygian wizard might have called home: cramped, moldy, thick with dust. Towers of books—many, if not most, of them science-fiction and fantasy—seemed to rise skyward into faraway dimensions, parallel universes. MFBS was also the only place I’d ever been in my entire life where you could actually see, and occasionally be allowed to touch, precious back issues of comic books. (A six year old Fantastic Four issue seemed so ancient, and so priceless, to me that it might might as well have come from King Tut’s tomb.)

The cigar-smoking owner pointed me toward the Lancer paperback editions of the Conan stories and it didn’t take long for me to fall completely under REH’s spell. It’s not hard to see how a sword-wielding, head-lopping barbarian with a taste for blood and willing women would appeal to an angry, frustrated, hormonally-imbalanced sixteen year old; but, for me, that was only a small part of Conan’s appeal. I enjoyed violent catharsis as much as the next guy, but this was the sixties (believe me, the date might have been l970 but it was still very much the sixties): I’d been raised on “All You Need Is Love” and “Give Peace A Chance.” I’d lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and the Kennedy brothers—watched the horrific images of the Viet Nam War on the news almost every night—and realized, early on, that violence, while a great outlet for fantasy, was an extraordinarily bad choice for reality.

No, there was something else at work in Howard’s writing: his power as a literary shaman. Someone who could rip away veils of time and place, transporting the reader to antediluvian kingdoms—dangerous, mysterious, seductive, frightening—that seemed totally alien yet unnervingly familiar. Losing myself in a Howard story was like losing myself in a past incarnation. I felt as if I’d walked those streets before, seen those faces, encountered those awe-inspiring cosmic mysteries. Howard’s best work was wonderfully unsettling because it brought our assumptions about reality itself into question.

Hooked on Conan’s world, I eagerly anticipated the character’s debut in comic book form.

I wasn’t remotely disappointed.

I was already a huge fan of Roy Thomas’s work—he’d brought new levels of depth and poetry to the universe that Lee, Kirby and Steve Ditko created—but his work on Conan was something new. Free of the Stan Lee Template, inspired by Howard’s evocative prose, Roy brought his own distinct voice to these stories: His writing was muscular, lyrical and wonderfully atmospheric. Reading that first issue of Conan the Barbarian was unlike any comic book reading experience I’d ever had.

Thomas couldn’t have done it without the brilliant Barry Smith, who, more than any other Conan artist, had an intuitive, almost supernatural, ability to give visual life to the Hyborian Age. I bow to none in my admiration for the artists who followed Smith on Marvel’s Conan, especially John Buscema—whose Silver Surfer run I cherish—and Gil Kane—one of the brightest stars in my Comic Gods Firmament; in fact you could argue, convincingly, that their Conan—the character of Conan—was far more definitive. But the universe Conan inhabited? It belonged to Smith—who achieved something no other Conan artist ever has: He managed to simultaneously make the lands the Cimmerian journeyed through seem convincingly real and utterly unreal—as if we were walking through a haze of our own long-buried memories. As if one of the many wizards Conan encountered had exposed us to mystic vapors that unlocked heretofore unknown doors in our own psyches. Looking back, Smith’s early work may seem crude when compared to later efforts like “The Frost Giant’s Daughter,” “Song of Red Sonja” and “Red Nails.” But his abilities as a visual shaman were there from the very first issue.

The Thomas-Smith Conan the Barbarian was a mold-breaker: an important turning point in modern American comics. Considering the series’ lengthy run, Barry Smith didn’t really last all that long on the title; but the fact that I’m writing, so rapturously, about his work more than forty years later is proof of its enduring value. After Smith’s departure, Roy Thomas soldiered on, accompanied for most of the journey by the aforementioned John Buscema: keeping the monthly Conan comic book, and its various spin-offs, consistently smart, exciting, literate, entertaining—and true to the Howard spirit. That Thomas did it, on a variety of titles, for a full decade is a striking achievement.

But the spells that Roy and Barry wove together were, for me, the most enchanting of all.

© copyright 2021 J.M. DeMatteis


  1. I still don't get why you think Conan qualifies as a superhero. It is such an ildefined term, that it has a wide range. Batman has no powers, Hellboy and Thor fight creatures not dissimilar to Conan's (am I the only one who wants a Mignola drawn Conan comic?).

    Hell, he is an Avenger now. Seriously.

    I can't say I am a huge fan of Conan, sure I will occasionally pick up a chap issue from the back issue bin if it looks good, and will usually enjoy it... especially Savage sword... but I have never really felt a need to collect. To seek out.

    That having been said, I can appreciate the significance in comics. It opened up the doors of the 70s experiment.

    Like I said, I don't think there is as much difference in Conan and Thor as you see, but Spider-man was still a superhero and kicked off a revolution.

    As I pointed out before, The Silver Age Marvel Superheroes were still very much a product of genre. Cap was a spy series, Thor was sci-fantasy, the F.F, crazy-no-way sci-fie, Spidey a soap opera, etc., etc.

    However, I think Conan was a superhero.... he was, and the New Gods more-so... but adding that extra level of separation of the everyday opened up the minds.

    before long, you had your horror, and sci-fi returning. Fantasy and Horror.

    I also mentioned that I believed Stan wanted comics to become an art form more advanced, but not just in superheroes, but all. I can't help but wonder if he shared this the Roy Thomas, and that is why Marvel acquired the rights.

    I wish the recent return of Conan to Marvel had created the same revolution. Instead they tried to force him into the new Marvel style. AS I said, he is an Avenger.

    I don;t want to give the idea I am giving a pro OR con on the writing quality, I just think it is a less productive direction from on high, for the whole of the medium.

    I think comics need to make a genuine push to make mainstream comics more diverse in terms of genre.

    The big two have not really done this since the 70s. Sure, they have flirted with the idea.

    I know what you are going to say, "I worked for Vertigo an d Epic, and they were mainstream genre fiction. Yes... that is what I mean by flirting.

    Those stories were always separated, not intended for everyone, even pre-Vertgio the books that became eh imprint were age restricted.

    I think that is great for comics in its own right, but if those genre stories are not more available to the whole, comics will always at least seem a one-trick pony.... whether that is true or not. It may be unfair, bit the big two, minus imprints, set the pace.

    I think the big two has to make a push for getting those genre's represented without the costumes, or loincloths.

    Don't trough the whole bankbook in, rather a slow planned attempt to get it in people's hands.

    Conanled the way once...even though he does qualify as a superhero... it would be shame if that opportunity were wasted.

    Again, I am not trying to say if new stories are good or bad, just that there is a unique opportunity not being utilized.

    Savage Sword of Conan magazine...another step in the road to Vertigo. Just wanted to get that out there as well.


    1. Can't quite wrap my head around the idea of Conan being an Avenger. Strange...!

    2. Dematteis... everyone is an Avenger now.

      Blade, Havok, Rogue, Blade, Shang-Chi, a Ghost Rider, Gwenpool (no, not a typo), Daredevil, Hyperion, A Doombot, Squirrel Girl, new Nova, Elektra, Venom, Punisher, Doctor Voodoo (the last four are on the same team as Conan) etc..

      It would be easy to pin it on the movies being such a success, but I think it started before that. In 2005, Spider-man, Luke Cage, and Wolverine all became full time members. Then Dr. Strange and Iron fist before long

      I actually think Luke Cage is a great idea as an Avengers, he is a great character, but that it would have been better utilized as a contradictory or alternative view to the traditional Avengers.

      Spider-Man... well, more and more stories had the Avengers showing up in stories. So, good or bad, the stories became increasingly Avengers stories when things got big. Think about Kraven's Last Hunt, wouldn't the Avengers have been looking for him if he were gone for so long... if he had been an Avenger at the time.

      I don't know if overall it will be a net good or ill for the company, but it is the way it is going, and for those of us reading before MCU, it is a bit different than what we knew of the characters and the universe. the old saying goes,"that big machine is always picking up speed." It is what it is.


  2. In my opinion, Spider-Man always works best as a loner, an outsider within the wider Marvel U, and his interactions with other heroes work best if they're less frequent.

    Even though I wrote MARVEL TEAM-UP for three years—and had a blast doing it—the very premise of a book like that works against the essence of Spidey.

    The trick, I guess, is to maintain the illusion of Spidey the outsider while, simultaneously, giving him adventures with lots of other heroes. But, for me, Spidey as an Avenger really doesn't work.

    And I'm STILL trying to wrap my head around the idea of Conan as an Avenger!

  3. Hey, I'm with you on Spidey as a loner. It was one of the things that first attracted me to the character.

    I think Bill Mantlo found a good logic to Marvel Team-up, where in one issue he tells Iron Man that he doesn't really like the Avengers... with the obvious exception of Cap.

    It is one of the few Team-Up moments I really remember strongly (don[t worry, the team up with Nighthawk in issue #101is one as well), and it makes pretty good sense.

    Spidey as a man on the ground level, could theoretically have an issue with guys like Iron man (who he says it to) that get the glory but leave the streets to whatever (again, not Cap).

    I can;t help but wonder is the reason why Stan had the Avengers reject Pete over a misunderstanding was because he knew that joining the team would cause problems.

    When Spider-man joined the Avengers, JMS was writing Amazing Spider-man. Word came from above that the Avengers had to become a bigger part of the book, and so Pete, MJ, and May moved into Avengers HQ. The book often did feel like an Avengers book. Sure, it was a Straczynski writing it, so it was good, but still.

    There in lies the rub. Captain America's stories are often of a spy nature, so the Avengers could not be a part. Thor was in other realms, so the Avengers could not follow. Spidey works on the streets, if a problem gets too big, why not call the Avengers?

    For that matter, when they tried to Have Jameson hate Spider-man again, and go against him on not-Fox News, the question comes up, is he is an Avengers. doesn't that mean Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor back him?

    Of course the bigger point foe me is what makes Spidey great, he is a man against the world. For the complaints, about Soider-Man not being married because it degrades the character, I would argue the man against the world nature is far more paramount.

    Almost every major hero is a joiner, Pete was different

    MY connection to this part of Spidey's lore is why I feel Homecoming and Far From Home may be well made movies, but do not feel like Spider-Man. Among other reasons. I said, this is the world we live in, as Homer Simpson said, "The war is over and the Future won, the past never had a chance, man."

    Conan was a comic most people have never heard of, and while most comic readers might be aware of, he hasn't been in print since the 90s. Well.... at Marvel. Dark Horse had some stories.

    Everything has to be part of the wider world now. Really, I just don't think Marvel wants to take too many risks. A character with a book that isn't an Avenger is a risk.

    I guess it isn't that much stranger than Two-Gun Kid joining in the 70s.

    Such is life Dematteis. I maybe over 30 years younger than you, but we both fall into pre-MCU fans. I don;t think that is factored in as much as it was.

    IS that a good thing or bad? Only time can tell.

    Also, everyone likes to say that the writers of Spider-man in the 90s hated the Spider-Marriage. But, you seem to have liked it, but did Defalco?

    He sure seems to... given that he wrote Spider-Girl.

    If so, that is about half the long term writers on the charter in the decade.


    1. I loved the Pete/MJ marriage and I'd say most, maybe even all, of us working on Spidey in my era were big fans of it.

      Even though the Clone Saga was going to end with a single, unmarried Spider-Man (Ben Riley) with a new supporting cast, we were always going to keep Pete, MJ and their baby around and bring them back into the story whenever the whim struck.

    2. Hmmmm... I wonder how the story of all the writers not liking the marriage started. Even supporters of the marriage state this.

      oh well.

      What I am curious about your Conan love is how it relates to your admitted love of Tolkien. IN some ways they are very similar, but they are also like night and day.


    3. My love of both Tolkien and Howard date to (around) the same time. I read LORD OF THE RINGS when I was fifteen, discovered Conan when I was sixteen. And, yes, there are some similarities but they're very different.

      I haven't read LOTR since then...and the last time I read a Conan story was when I was writing the comic back in I often wonder how I'd react to them today.

      I recently picked up a Conan ebook with all the Howard stories in it and I'm going to give it a read. I should do the same with LOTR.

      I will say, looking back, that what they both had in common was their ability to transport me to another place and time. I remember finishing LOTR and being absolutely heartbroken that it was over.

    4. The differences are nor too hard to figure out... Dematteis.

      I once read that Tolkien created the Middle Earth stories to give England a mythology he felt it rivalry needed... a little strange view point since King Arthur was a thing, but whatever.

      He pulled from Norse mythology, 'Merry Old England philosophy, folk lore, and of course his own experiences in war.

      Howard conversely was just entering adolescence as WWI, and grew up in Texas. There is a certain western vibe to Conan, being the traveling stranger who comes to towns and villages. The lone hero traveling with his trusted weapon as it were.

      But he similarities....Dematteis... is where I get. The Hobbit came out in 1937, and Conan in 1932. I doubt Tolkien was perusing the American pulps... Dematteis.

      So, what was igniting these ideas. Dragons, monsters, swords, vaguely historic periods represented.

      Especially with them being such outliers... Dematteis. Adventure stories were hardly full of swords and wizards.

      Was there some popular culture catalyst that became lost the the sands of time?

      More importantly, why didn't Conan inspire any Led Zeppelin songs?


    5. I just read an essay by a Howard scholar who talked about Howard's love of history and his desire to mix fantasy with nuggets of real history. Here's something similar from Wikipedia:

      "Howard loved history and enjoyed writing historical stories. However, the research necessary for a purely historical setting was too time-consuming for him to engage in on a regular basis and still earn a living. The Hyborian Age, with its varied settings similar to real places and eras of history, allowed him to write pseudo-historical fiction without such problems. He may have been inspired in the creation of his setting by Thomas Bulfinch's 1913 edition of his Bulfinch's Mythology called The Outline of Mythology, which contained stories from history and legend, including many which were direct influences on Howard's work. Another potential inspiration is G. K. Chesterton's The Ballad of the White Horse..."

      Don't know about Led Zeppelin, but there was a period where the Beatles really wanted to make a LORD OF THE RINGS movie and even approached Stanley Kubrick about directing it!

    6. Spider-Man definitely works best as a loner. He's matured since the Lee/Ditko days in terms of being able to work well with others on a short term basis but he's never going to be a joiner in my opinion. Peter is a freelancer through and through.

      This does bring up an interesting question, though. Was Marvel's changing approach to Peter's team memberships and wider associations based in part on a shift in the industry where exclusive contracts became the norm for writers on the bigger titles? Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm not aware of anyone who's been able to write a major book in the past fifteen or so years unless they were exclusive to the company. That could change the way creators identify with Peter (who I would think was very appealing to freelancers in the 70s and 80s).

      On to Tolkien and REH!

      In terms of style: Tolkien is leisurely, REH is frenetic.

      In terms of substance:

      LOTR is largely concerned with divine right and re-establishing the one true king who can trace his claim to ancestry.

      REH's heroes, on the other hand, are all about meritocracy. Conan wins the kingship through skill, discipline, hardship and a naked ambition which he considers thoroughly more honest than birthrights.


    7. Love that comparison between LOTR and Howard's heroes, David.

      Don't really know if the exclusivity issue is accurate, but it's a fascinating thought nonetheless.

      Hope you and yours are safe and healthy!

    8. I won;t lie... I'm glad that Beatles movie did not come out.

      As for Conan's daddy, I find it hard to believe that someone with a strong knowledge of history would have a Puritan as a hero, as he did. I am not only saying that as the descendants of the group they tarred and feathered, then ran out of town. Though, I guess the nature of historical teaching over time is another conversation.

      The mythology book thing is interesting to me, though. I can;t help but wonder if it was some kind of reaction to the time.

      With the 20th century moving so quickly forward in the 20s, and few folks in America looking back, which is why sci-fi was just starting to take off. Also tales of city and intrigue there in.

      Which leads to the larger question if that was why Howard was so interested, some reflexive look to the past to a world moving too fast. Might explain why Conan;s world is so far in the past.

      I also can;t help but wonder if the book stoked Tolkien's mind as well. As an academic, it would make sense he would pick it up. The time line does partially line up.

      Also, in case you doubted me about Conan being an Avenger:


    9. I didn't doubt you for a moment, Jack.

      As for Conan's world being so far in the past: In the essay I recently read, they posit that Kull's world was set too far in the past, harder to relate to, and so Howard moved forward in time from there to create the Hyborian Age, which had more elements of real history woven into the fantasy. Interesting, if true.

    10. Bet you never thought you would see Conan and Deadpool toasting in chairs on the cover of an Avengers comic, did you?

      Oh... the MCU.

      They actually might be drawing themselves into a corner. They don;t own Conan (the barbarian... OR O'Brien). When Dark Horse had the rights they reprinted the old Roy Thomas ones, and the Marvel Star Wars. Meanwhile, Marvel was unable to reprint SHang-Chi or Conan stories, even when it was in What If stories.

      The real question is, what loosely historically influenced sword and sorcery type comic will YOU make?

      Also... I realized something about your SPider-Man run.

      One of the original sins of comics, that continues to this day is the treatment of mental illness. It is pretty much just used as a shorthand for explainable evil, or very bad stereotypes and inaccurate depictions. It very much continues to this day.

      However, you portrayed mental illness far more... lets say sympathetically.Especially with Harry Osborn, going into the toll it takes on his family, and himself, as well as the isolation from them pushing him further. It was not that what he did was okay, but he was n ot evil for the sake of evil. He was sick, and not seeing reality right... even if it was because of a kooky formula

      Was this an intentional redemption for the medium, or not Peter David was sort of doing something similar with Hulk... though in an admittedly more fantastical way, which ids REALLY saying something.

      They might not have been perfect, but compared to say, how Moon knight was written around the mid 2000s (the first time they officially decided he was mentally ill) and suddenly had him seeing things, hearing voices, and cutting off faces. Or... like the the vast majority of Batman comics. Maybe all of them.


    11. I guess my POV is that, no matter how we may be labelled, we ALL have our demons, we ALL have our struggles and we're all deserving of understanding and compassion. It's part and parcel of being human.

      I never saw Harry as "mentally ill"—any more than I ever saw him as a "villain." I saw him as a three-dimensional human being wrestling with the fallout of a supremely dysfunctional childhood.

      Seeing fictional characters as "villains" or "crazy people" doesn't allow for deep exploration or nuanced portrayals. Same applies to life.

      It's not easy, sometimes it seems impossible, but it's worth the effort.

    12. Well, from where i was standing, he was having a clear break with reality... and you did send him to a mental institution.

      I also think that accepting a character has a mental illness or disorder can allow for a deeper understanding. Especially if it is handled responsibly.

      Tat having been said, I do get your point.

      Speaking of comics that interpreting things with inner demons (literal and figurative), Immortal Hulk is a pretty good comic out right now. It i like if Peter David's Hulk, Steve Gerber's Man-thing, and Alan Moore's Swamp Thing had a baby.

      But by the subtle clues you dropped I have realized that the sword and srcery like fantasy tale you will right will either be about a group in Ancient Rome that has to covertly take care of monsters and magic to ensure the strength of the empire

      Or be vaguely inspired by pre-Czarist Russia and center around a monk/magician who Has visions of what the future of the land will become.

      Or just Genghis Khan with a new name, and fewer acts of crimes against humanity, and with like Dragons, giants, and wizards and stuff.

      You make it too easy Dematteis.


    13. I've said, for years, that if I ever got a chance to write the Hulk I'd got for a Wein-Wrightson Swamp Thing-ish horror vibe; so IMMORTAL HULK sounds like it would be right up my alley. I've heard very good things about it.

      I did write a sword and sorcery short story when I was in my late teens/early twenties, about two young adventurers named Dukenrik and Jonnwalli. I later used them in several issues of CONAN when I was writing it.

    14. The Wein-Wrightson comparison does not feel quite right. It gets a bit more... cosmic than that. But not in space.

      I'm just glad he also included the Peter David stuff. For such a seminal and beloved run by so many, a lot of writers want to ignore the really interesting psychological work he did on the character.

      You have all these ideas Dematteis:

      -Hulk like a Wein-Wrightson Swamp Thing.
      -Fantastic Four set up like Star Trek, but across more than just space.
      -The Giffen Dematteis Thing/ Human Torch Book, played for laughs.
      - Ben Reilly on the Road continued

      I would give money in exchange for these comic books.

      I wish you would take some of these ideas you talk about to the Marvel office. I'm not sure if you are aware, but they make comics there (for another couple weeks). I know, knock me over with a feather.


    15. You're close, Jack. Keith, Kevin and I have talked for years about how we'd LOVE to do an FF mini. I think it's perfect for us. And, yes, I'd write Ben again in a heartbeat.

      But all that's up to Marvel, not me.

    16. Dematteis, We've been through this with the MCU.

      Just show up at the Marvel offices and say, "Hey Nerd!, I created Sunshine... that's right Devil-Sayer's addict friend from Defenders in the early 80s. Also Frog-Man, and you better believe White Rabbit was one of mine as well. I'll be writing several books now. You. Are. Welcome."

      Then... BOOM! The second Marvel revolution begins.

      Of course, while I would love to read those stories, I think I would prefer you flex that muscle in becoming an editor for Marvel.


    17. I get to flex my editor muscles through my writing workshops and my story consulting.

      I've been a freelancer for too long to be sitting behind a desk all day, let alone commuting! (You know, if commuting comes back into fashion after the pandemic.)

      I'm planning a twelve part Ira "Sunshine" Gross mini-series where he fights White Rabbit and Frog-Man. How did you know?

      But seriously, in the past year there have been action figures of both Froggie and White Rabbit. I never would have dreamed. (And, yeah, I own both figures!)

    18. I'm confused, isn't Frog-Man a good guy? Why would he be fighting an ex-hippie with a villain...ess?

      I actually do want to get that Frog-Man action figure myself. If for no other reason so that when people come over and see it, I can shock them with a surprisingly in depth history and emotional history of the character.

      I really do love the character (and Sunshine for that matter), not just what you did, but also the Tangled Web Story that expanded on his story.

      A synopsis, if you are interested and unaware:

      For the record, there is also a Venture Brothers character named "Brick Frog" that looks very similar. see:

      I can certainly understand the Freelance mentality. Lord knows I fear the day I have to take a job in an office.

      Though, I won;t lie, I think you editing SPider-Man would be a good thing for the character.


    19. I've said it before, I'll say it again: I think Frog-Man is ripe for his own ongoing series. He's more of a "regular kid" than even Peter Parker. There's pathos in his relationship with his dad. There's comedy. Room for high school hijinks. Superhero adventure.

      And I'd write it in a heartbeat!

  4. Mr. Dematteis! I am a long time fan of yours and have close ties to some other authors and illustrators in the comic world. I am a comic book historian and educator trying to get comic lore to be instructed in schools, similarly to how Greek Myth, for example, is taught to students. Similarly to how some English teachers speak about Conan the Barbarian and Lord of the Rings stories as well.

    I was wondering if you could answer some Vertigo lore related questions for me. I would like to clear things up and get some incite into the ongoing's of some of your stories. Some comic enthusiast's on some other websites really stumped me with some questions and I think it is very important to hear the source's thoughts on these subjects. Is it okay if I ask some questions?

    1. Hi, Michael. I'll be happy to answer a few questions. Use the email address in the "workshops" section of this site to contact me. Thanks!

    2. Great, I've sent a message. Thank you so much!

  5. There’s something that’s always perplexed me for years about Chaos War: Thor #2. There’s a scene in which Thor (or more accurately Donald Blake) prays to ‘the creator of all gods and men’ and gets temporarily empowered and easily defeats Glory. Does this mean Thor prayed TOAA and was able to temporarily tap into his limitless power, which he used to defeat Glory ?

    1. He prayed to the One God who contains all gods.

    2. Thank You for responding ! Is that the same as TOAA or is that a different entity ?

    3. In my view, God is God. I don't think in terms of different entities.