MARVEL Review Great Treasures Conan the Barbarian: The Movie. The secret of steel

Deluxe edition for the comic adaptation of the 1982 movie Conan the Barbariandirected by John Millius. Panini Comics It collects it in its largest format so that we do not lose detail of John Buscema’s art with remastered color.

Read to the beat of a soundtrack

if you have seen the movie Conan the Barbarian (1982) it is practically inevitable to face its adaptation to the comic without hearing in our heads the chords of some of the songs that are part of the Original Soundtrack, composed by Basil Poledouris, an American descendant of a Greek family. From the main theme, going through the one that sounds when Conan and Subotai cross the steppes or the one that sweetens us when we enter the jeweled palaces, our reading is naturally enriched by a very complete work that took the character created out of four colors by Robert Ervin Howard in 1932 on the pages of the pulp magazine Weird Tales.

The film directed by John Milius, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of the Cimmerian. It contains everything you need to understand how the character was forged, from a dramatic origin to a plot that unleashed the fury of the murderer, thief and vengeful barbarian of the north in the Hyborian Age. It was shot in Spain to reduce costs and had the participation of well-known actors in our country, such as Nadiuska in the role of Conan’s mother or a young Jorge Sanz who plays the Cimmerian when he is still a child. Places like The Enchanted City of Cuenca put a singular background to some scenes.

From celluloid to paper

The commission to carry out this adaptation to the comic fell to the most emblematic cartoonist of those who have gone through the various collections of the most universal barbarian. We could argue a lot about tastes, name Barry Windsor-Smith, Gil Kane or someone else. But few will protest if John Buscema takes over the pencils. And not only that, the script was also his, because to carry out this company, “Big John” saw the film and immediately got down to work. The dialogues were already placed by Michael Fleischer later on the composition of the older Buscema.

Quite possibly we are looking for greater fidelity when watching a film represented in graphic novel format, but Buscema chose to show us the Conan to which we were accustomed, without us seeing Schwarzenegger’s features anywhere, being the figure of the villain of the story. , Thulsa Doom, the only one with similarities to the actor who plays him in the film, James Earl Jones. However, and without many details, if we recognize the environments in which the film takes place and we are familiar with the tower of the snake worshipers in Zamora, with its sacrificial pit or the burial mound where the battle against those who form the closest core to Doom.

some inaccuracies

If we compare the cinematographic work of Conan the Barbarian with the comic, we find some significant variations, starting with the way of telling the story. In the film, that role of narrator corresponds to the small sorcerer who lives next to the mound, which Mako so aptly represents.

However, in the comic it is Conan himself who reflects his thoughts in the complementary text boxes to the dialogues, which subtracts that epic point that leads him to the mouths of others to comment on his deeds that would later be collected in the Nemedian Chronicles. . We can also see that the ending of the adventure does not end the same as in the film, stealing from us the night scene in which Conan goes in search of Thulsa Doom and ends with him and his cult of Set in one fell swoop. Here the battle of the burial mound has been grouped with the denouement and although it manages to win in narrative rhythm, we are left with that intimate moment of complete revenge in phases, without diminishing the importance of the figure of the villain.


In general we can say that it is a great adaptation. Heiress of his time, in which many films were transferred to the comic, but some details that make the cinema greater are not reflected so well in Buscema’s work. That despite an extraordinary drawing, worthy of his usual level, he falters when it comes to translating it into his script. The original color by Lynn Varley has been improved with the intervention of Deborah Peddler and gives the whole more depth, very much in line with the graphic novels of the eighties. The foldout of the flaps of this edition includes a foldout poster with the movie poster. We also count among the extras of this edition with interviews with the director John Milius, the production designer Ron Cobb and the actors Schwarzenegger and Earl Jones.

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MARVEL Review Great Treasures Conan the Barbarian: The Movie. The secret of steel