Speculator Corner: Robert E Howard's Savage Sword #1

Marvel Comics is launched its big Robert E Howard crossover series last year, Conan: Serpent War. With Soloman Kane, Conan and Dark Agnes. And now in February, Marvel Comics will be launching Dark Agnes, a new series by Becky Cloonan and Luca Pizzari in February 2020.

Dark Agnes de Chastillon was the protagonist of three stories by Howard set in 16th Century France, which were not printed until a long time after the author's death. The character of Agnes was beaten by her father and almost forced into an arranged marriage. She avoids this by killing the bridegroom and running away. She meets Etienne Villiers, who at first attempts to sell her to a brothel, and Guiscard de Clisson, a mercenary captain who trains her as a swordswoman. When de Clisson is killed, Agnes heads for Italy with Villiers. Like the later character Red Sonja, who was based on another Howard character, Red Sonya of Rogatino, Agnes has red hair and a short temper. But while Red Sonja's skill in the handling of swords is a divine gift, Agnes's skill is a mixture of innate talent and training.

And if, like Marvel, you don't have the rights to publish Red Sonja, Dark Agnes will fill that role very nicely. But mneither Conan Swrpent War nor Dark Agnes will be the character's first appearance in comic books. For those wanting to track that down, you'd need to go back to 2010 when Dark Horse held the license, for Robert E Howard's Savage Sword #1.

Dark Agnes

And part one of a story by Marc Andreyko, Robert Arkins, Rebecca Buchman, Michelle Madsen and Richard Starkings.

Dark Agnes

That tells one version of her origins…

Dark Agnes

…and shows off her final form as well.

Dark Agnes

How the new version of Dark Agnes will shape up, we have yet to see. But if anyone wants to delve further back into her comics history, Robert E Howard's Savage Sword from 2010 to 2011 may be the way to go. And speculators, you have Larry Docherty to thank for tipping us off on this one.

Dark Agnes #1 is published by Marvel Comics in February.

(W) Becky Cloonan (A) Luca Pizzari (CA) Stephanie Hans
Forced into an arranged marriage, Agnes de Chastillon took matters into her own violent hands to free herself from the yoke of a life she never wanted.  Now, the woman known as DARK AGNES, along with her mercenary partner ETIENNE VILLIERS, make their way through 16th century France as sellswords on their way to join the wars in Italy, where the real money is!  But when Etienne is captured by the DUKE OF ALENCON's forces and set for execution, it's up to Dark Agnes to save the day!  But what evil designs are being enacted on Agnes, and will she doom herself by saving Etienne?
An all-new story following up Robert E. Howard's tales, the swashbuckling saga of DARK AGNES in Marvel Comics starts here!
Parental Advisory In Shops: Feb 05, 2020 Final Orders Due: Jan 13, 2020 SRP: $3.99

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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