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Conan, Vol. 3: The Tower of the Elephant and Other Stories

(Conan: Dark Horse Books #3)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,147 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Eisner award-winning writer Kurt Busiek (JLA/Avengers, Astro City), Eisner award-nominated artist Cary Nord (Daredevil), and Eisner award-winning color artist Dave Stewart (Ultimate Fantastic Four; DC: The New Frontier) continue their groundbreaking run on Dark Horse's best-selling Conan series with an adaptation of one of Robert E. Howard's greatest Conan tales, "The Towe ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published July 4th 2006 by Dark Horse Books (first published May 1st 2006)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  1,147 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amazing stories yet again!
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was the first Dark horse outing with Conan I ever read, and ultimately it's a decent enough book. Each Story needs it's own individual rating in order for this TPB to be fairly judged.

Story number 1: The Horror of Uskath Hill
When we last left our brave barbarian, he had successfully triumphed over Thoth Amon's avatar, told the Bone Woman to piss off, and not only earned a healthy amount of Gold from Kalanthes for all his troubles, but also hooked up with his friends from issue 9, who are he
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars - I really liked the retelling of "The Tower of the Elephant" and the artwork throughout was gorgeous... but still there is just something about these comics that doesn't work for me. I suspect it must just be the characterization of Conan. I feel like he's just not being taken seriously enough.
anthony e.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent, as I expected.
"Know, O Prince" etc.

I was glad when I saw the title of this book because The Tower of the Elephant is my favorite Conan story. I was really looking forward to seeing it depicted in graphical form, and I wasn't disappointed. Conan enters the chamber of Yag-kosha, the last of the elephant-headed people of Yag on Earth, and finds a withered, crippled creature with an oversized head on a thin and broken body. But when Yag-kosha tells of his people's past, of their flight through the Outer Dark to E
Steve Dilks
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The main thing about this book is the art. At least, it is in the stories written by Kurt Busiek. Cary Nord brings a Frazetta like stylism to the proceedings, perhaps not as lushly detailed as that latters paintings but close enough, nonetheless.
As for the writing, I don't think Busiek has a rounded grasp of Conan's character. In this collection's opening story, 'On Uskuth hill', he makes him something of a volatile bully. Conan may have been blunt and rough mannered but his brute force was see
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Underneath all the hacking and slashing and buxom wenches lies a deeper theme in Howard's Conan stories. That of "Barbarism" vs "civilization." The "savage" Conan finds the "civilized" world less than civil.

So in this collection of stories from Conan's early life, he tries to out-bastard the bastards and become a thief in the City of Thieves. Howard's writing (interpreted here by Busiek) is always strong and the artwork is kinetic.

But even young, arrogant, Conan begins to learn that those amon
Bill Riggs
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this collection Busiek mixes his own original ideas with Robert E. Howard’s original stories to create an all new enthralling tale of Conan. Conan faces the perils of the “civilized” world, dark alleys full of thieves, a demon-haunted tomb of an ancient sorcerer and finally horror on a cosmic scale that reveals worlds beyond the reach of human knowledge. Nord’s art is a perfect match for Busiek’s writing and together they have created a groundbreaking adaptation of the classic character.
Chris Robertson
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another fine entry in this run. Great characters grow, and I liked how Conan's compassionate side was shown this time. Man, there were a lot of text boxes to read this volume: modern comic readers might need some conditioning before attempting. I had forgotten how integral those boxes used to be in driving the story. Guess I have become lazy.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Gorgeous art. Excellent translation of the cosmic horror I remember from the original story. My favourite of the TPBs thus far.
Γιώργος Μπελαούρης
tower of the elephant is one of the best comic arcs i have ever read
nuff said
beautifully done!!!
"Know, O Prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars....Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of Earth under his sandaled feet...."

Thus the world was
Chip Hunter
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, this one actually kicks it up a notch from the relatively disappointing The God in the Bowl. For most of volume three, the writing and artwork both are back up to the expected awesomeness that is the reason I read this series. Each of the original stories here is excellent, fitting in nicely with the Conan universe and staying true to the feel of what Conan tales are meant to be. This faithful rendering of "The Tower of the Elephant" does credit to the original, bringing new life ...more
Jan 24, 2015 added it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This book follows Conans' adventures in the city of thieves were we find him stealing various items and entering the Tower of the Elephant. These stories begin to show the a development in the character of Conan, adding depth to the barbarian. It begins with the Cimmerian, once again, in a tavern after a heavy night of debauchery brutalizing an innkeeper. This is a story featuring the brutal northerner, a man who is uncivilized and barbaric. he uses his strength and the mountain/frontier justice ...more
Stephen Theaker
Aug 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
A nice substantial collection. It's going over ground already covered, usually at more pace, by the Marvel comics, but the difference in approach makes it still worth reading. There seems to be more of an effort to build an ongoing narrative, which is appealing, and less verbosity in the captions, which I was ambivalent about. There was something interesting in the way Roy Thomas wrote with such elegant effusion about the adventures of a murderer and thief, but it could be an acquired taste - an ...more
Scott Lee
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
More good Conan. Busiek does a fine job through this story, although I gather he's adapting a very specific Robert E. Howard tale here. It's interesting, and Conan himself is fascinating to watch/read. The art seems less consistent to me in this volume than in the first two. I kept finding myself comparing the majority of the interiors to the gorgeous art of the prologue that opens the volume, and while there were some gorgeous moments here and there, most of it felt very rough and unpolished, v ...more
This was a very enjoyable and entertaining read. Once I started it, it was very easy to continue to the end. The stories are good, and it is interesting, to me at least, to see a young Conan who is still learning his way around the world. This time he makes his way to the City of Thieves, where he starts to make his way as a thief in his own right. Eventually, he decides to attempt to steal a jewel from the Tower of the Elephant, a feat no other thief would dare. But not all is as it seems. Ther ...more
Jack Haringa
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
There's not a great deal to say about Vol. 3 of Dark Horse's Conan adaptations by Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord that hasn't been said of the previous two volumes. These are great renderings of the classic Conan tales and the equal of previous groundbreaking adaptations (like those by Roy Thomas and talented artists such as John Buscema (whose version I grew up with) and Barry Windsor-Smith.

Nord's artwork is stellar, and in The Tower of the Elephant it is complemented at the climax of the collection
Heath Lowrance
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm still really enjoying this series. I like how Busiek and Nord have managed to weave their own stories into the fabric of REH's work without missing a step so far. It's all quite seamless. In this one, Conan decides to teach these so-called civilized folks a thing or two and sets out to become the greatest thief working in the City of Thieves. A tall order, but in no time at all he succeeds. The Howard story adapted this time is "The Tower of the Elephant", which brings young Conan into conta ...more
Jon Schafle
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy
Continuing Conan's adventures, the barbarian resumes his travels through the world of 'civilized' men and finds work as a thief, using his impressive skills to survive on the streets and plunder unsuspecting merchants and priests. This volume also contains the famous story of the Tower of the Elephant, a tale that had the flavor of H.P. Lovecraft. Both Howard and Lovecraft were active at the same time and were actually friends as well as admirers of each other's work, so it comes as no surprise ...more
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Conan the Thief

This volume of the new Conan series had been my favorite thus far as I am a fan of Conan as a thieving rogue. I was always intrigued by the idea of a hulking muscled barbarian thief running across roof tops and those were always my favorite tales of Conan when I was young. It was a lot of fun to see a modern retooling of the character, especially with the outstanding artwork. The more volumes of this I read the more I love the surly cimmerrian all over again.
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord really tapped into the true spirit of Conan here. I read the original Tower of the Elephant story back in the summer and I was delighted at how sophisticated it was. This isn't just a big dummy that kills things, Conan is fearlessly uncovering pieces of his dark, strange world, and I'm so happy to be along for adventures that I would never have the balls to face. This is just another dose of awesome in what seems to be one of the greatest adventure comics ever.
Timothy Boyd
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The new Conan comic series does good justice to the Robert E. Howard stories. While the art does come and go in quality at time, overall it is a good. The adaptations of the original stories is well done. The fill in stories are also well done and follow the flow of the Character's life as written by Howard. Recommended to comic fans and Very recommended to Howard and Conan fans.
Feb 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Yeah, I read a Conan comic book. What about it? Before you make your condescending remark, let me tell you who else not only reads Conan comics, but collects them.

POTUS. That's right, your Golden Boy Obama. Ah, snap!
Dan Schul
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Darkhorse Comics adaptation of Conan the Barbarian.

Some of the stories are adaptation of some of Robert E. Howards best stories, others are original stories by the Darkhorse Writers. A very nice collection of stories if you like the sword and sorcery genre.
Quinton Baran
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good art and story (faithful to the original), to link up the first published account of Conan. I really enjoyed the afterward, with the accompanying "A Probable Outline of Conan's Career" by P. Schuyler Miller & John D. Clark, PhD, with the response by Robert E. Howard. ...more
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I can't imagine any Conan fan wanting more than Kurt Busiek's scripts visualized by Cary Nord's gorgeous artwork. I'm not a Conan fan, but those are enough for me. Dave Stewart's colors alone would be enough for me, even if they were in Ziggy,
Book collector
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Featuring one of the most famous of the original tales, one of my personal favourites of Howard's this is an excellent adaptation of the tower of the elephant. The new stories continue to impress but for me it's the tower story that is the best. Fantastic art throughout.
Nov 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Busiek continues Conan's journey, and this volume is just as good as the rest. This is great fantasy.
May 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Definitely see the Lovecraft traces. Know that two authors Howard and Lovecraft debated through letters. Enjoy the tips of the hat so ta speak.
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Kurt Busiek is an American comic book writer notable for his work on the Marvels limited series, his own title Astro City, and his four-year run on Avengers.

Busiek did not read comics as a youngster, as his parents disapproved of them. He began to read them regularly around the age of 14, when he picked up a copy of Daredevil #120. This was the first part of a continuity-heavy four-part story arc;

Other books in the series

Conan: Dark Horse Books (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Conan, Vol. 1: The Frost Giant's Daughter and Other Stories
  • Conan, Vol. 2: The God in the Bowl and Other Stories
  • Conan, Vol. 4: The Halls of the Dead and Other Stories
  • Conan, Vol. 5: Rogues in the House and Other Stories
  • Conan, Vol. 6: The Hand of Nergal
  • Conan, Vol. 7: Cimmeria
  • Conan, Vol. 8: Black Colossus
  • Conan, Vol. 9: Free Companions
  • Conan, Vol. 10: Iron Shadows in the Moon and Other Stories
  • Conan, Volume 11: Road of Kings

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