The GeeksverseKull Hate Witch #4

Kull Hate Witch #4
Published on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 by

Kull is back in another installment of high fantasy action adventure, Kull: The Hate Witch #4.

Chapter 4 “The City of Wonders”
Script David Lapham
Pencils Gabriel Guzman
Inks Mariano Taibo
Colors Dan Jackson
Letters Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt

He heard them screaming on his track; his own tribesmen, fired with the blood lust, wild to run him down and slay him for violating their strange and bloody code of morals. But no man in Atlantis, and that means no man in the world, could foot it with Kull of the Sea-mountain tribe.”-From Robert e. Howard’s “Exile of Atlantis

The passage from inside the cover, depicts Kull as the lithe runner and athlete more than the mountain of muscle Conan. The sword slashing character that we’re shown is very Conan. Kull is clearing underbrush with his broad sword trying to keep Am-Ra from following him. Am-Ra, a blind man, follows anyway. Am-Ra is a wanderer without a home that is making himself a friend of the ever wandering Kull. Together they enter the ruins of a town. Meanwhile, behind Kull and Am-Ra another pair of travelers take the same sword beaten path.

The ever wandering King Kull of Valusia has come to these ruins to claim the head of the Hate Witch hag. The hag has taken over the valley that Kull once called home and that is not going to go unavenged.

Am-Ra sees a vision of the future, a future with Kull the thinker on the throne and Kull the soldier carrying his axe into battle. These foreshadow the offer made by the hag. Visually, the Hate Witch treads on the tropes of a raven covered witch in a way that Robert Howard surely would have approved. Kull is shown with the scars on his back from being a slave. Visually, other than the herculian sized Kull, this book is beautiful.

The action packed witch killing climax of the book is a swirl of action between the five characters. Ultimately Kull returns to the safety of his kingdom, however the last panel visual hints at trouble to come.

The script by David Lapham is traditional barbarian fare. It left me wondering what was specifically Kull about this tale. This is a Kull that has already won the crown of Valusia with echoes of Beowulf going off to battle the Wyrm when no one else would. This is the Kull that Robert Howard only hinted at in the fractured Kull stories. Kull is often eclipsed by the savage Conan. Kull’s thoughtful introspection and savagery are not both equally used in this installment of Kull The Hate Witch. Perhaps his humanity does shine through as he tries to save Am-Ra and the other two followers.

While this is a pulp barbarian tale that does the legacy of Robert Howard proud, it does ultimately leave me wondering what makes this more Kull than Conan.

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