The Cast: Conan, Rune
The Catalyst: A demon from the stars has been summoned by The Brotherhood of the Spider and that in turn has brought King Conan and Rune to their doors.
The Convergence: King Conan and his men are on a mission to put a stamp of finality upon The Brotherhood of the Spider after a failed assassination attempt and so here they are in Minas-H’Rath to do just that. Inside the tower, the high priest is trying to bring forth B’eethra, to bring chaos to the land. This also sends a signal to The Dark God, Rune who is still looking to regain his full strength and what better feast than a giant monster called forth through space and time. It soon comes down to a battle between a king and a god which ends up being no battle at all.
The Critique: The second and final meeting between Conan and Rune, the first taking place in Conan vs. Rune, finds the Cimmerian much older and now a king in his own right and Rune still searching for something that will bring him back to his full strength os that he might be the creature they call The Lord of the Void once again. Chuck Dixon and Alcatena do a great job with the story, packing it full of action and horror though what most would have thought to see, did not actually happen. As one might expect, Conan does bring home the win in this final confrontation but he does so through cunning and smarts, the man having learned throughout his life that some battles are won through other means and so he takes advantage of the situation when Rune’s back is literally turned. There is no big fight, no grand clash between the forces of good and evil like in the previous story by Barry Windsor-Smith. This probably worked out for the best as an older Conan facing off against Rune at the height of his strength and powers would probably be no fight at all and thus making for a much sadder story when it was all said done. Still, what did appear was a lot of fun and quite thrilling too, seeing a final resolution to something Conan was unable to do years earlier. The writing is sharp and on-point and the artwork is beautiful, Alcatena driving home the horror with Rune and B’eethra while making Conan look as kingly and as regal as possible. It does make one want to read either a Conan or Rune series by the duo, the pair a great match as evidenced by this tale, though it has been many years since this book was published. One might say this was the third crossover between the two but Conan #4 in which Rune appeared, never actually saw the two come into conflict in any way, the villain simply making a cameo. As it is, a closing chapter not necessarily needed after Conan vs. Rune but one well worth a read if given a chance.
The Credits: Chuck Dixon – Writer, Alcatena – Artist, Vickie Williams – Letters
Companies Involved: Marvel Comics, Malibu Comics
Chronology: November, 1995