In this issue, a new lord is crowned and Thulsa is sent on a quest. But will the quest get him further toward his goal of correcting his mistakes, or will his old mistress finally get her revenge? The origin of one of Robert E. Howardâ€™s greatest creations continues!
After defeating the charlatan wizard last issue and coming face to face with his old mistress, Ancasta, this third issue picks up moments after the last left off. In the throne room of the city of Maracanda, Thulsa and his companion Mallius are seemingly at the mercy of the crazed Atlantean sorceress. Ignoring Mallius, she focuses all of her energies on Thulsa, the man supposedly responsible for the sinking of Atlantis and the scaring of her face. Guess which one seems to upset her more? There is a nice little exchange where they get to show just how much they dislike each other, or as Thulsa says, â€œIt does not matter what happens to me now. My name will always be your DOOM!â€
But as with most revenge crazed ex-lovers, Ancasta has focused her attentions a little too tightly, and Mallius is able to slip up behind her and drive a spear through her. No surprise that this doesnâ€™t kill her but simply drives her off, screaming promises of a bloody revenge the whole way, with the amulet.
Mallius demands to know who Thulsa is and Thulsa tells him some of his story. Born into slavery, he did not know his parents; he is not even sure if his people still exist. He apparently had many masters in Atlantis, but Ancasta used him the most. Bidding his time to escape, he finally had found the opportunity, but he took the time to attack Ancasta after seeing her beating another slave. After throwing a brazier full of coals in her face, he managed to escape. When Malluis asks about how she thinks that he was responsible for destroying Atlantis, Thulsa begins to tell of how he awoke on the shore with the amulet missing. The charlatan had stolen it, and they eventually came to their current events.
Upon returning to the ruins of the city of Maracanda, Mallius discovers that he has been made the Lord of the city. After he announced to all present that Thulsa is responsible for the destruction around them, it looks like the mob will take their frustrations and fears out on our anti-hero, but Malliusâ€™s wife steps forward, stopping them. She tells the crowd that Thulsa is mighty and that they do need his help, but to rebuild, not to create a new Atlantis. Bowing to his wife, but refusing to allow Thulsa to stay in the city, Lord Mallius sends him on a mission to bring a legendary object back from an abandoned monastery to the god Valka. What is the object? No one knows; it is a legend after all. Seeing as how Mallius has lost at least one other group of men investigating it, he does not seem to have high hopes to see Thulsa again. As he reaches the he is set upon by Ancasta, must dodge stone lions, and converse with mummified monks regarding the ancient Sword of Valka. Will Thulsa have to battle the ancient god?
As with the previous issues, Arvid Nelson has a good story going here. Picking up right after the destruction of Atlantis, we get to see a different side to the Robert E. Howard creation. This series is not based on any of Howardâ€™s stories, but is instead an original creation by Nelson and Executive Editor Luke Lieberman. The art by Lui Antonio is still as good as the first time I saw it, and the Alex Ross covers still knock me out.
So why am I not enjoying it as much as before?
There is something that I just cannot place my finger on. Maybe it was the way that Ancasta reappeared in the second half of the book, seemingly only to give a little flesh to a quick fight sequence. I understand the she is the villain and she has to be around for conflict. But she has proven that she can appear where ever Thulsa is at a moment, so that seems to make the timing, and intellectuality, of her attack seem weak. She starts off as a bad-ass, crazy-evil sorceress bent on revenge, and suddenly turns into crazy ex-girlfriend wanting a second chance.
This issue was slightly disappointing to me. I really hoped to see some more of the dark side of Thulsa peek out, but it just was not to be. Was Thulsa being completely honest when he told of his history and flight from Atlantis? This is Thulsa Doom, one day to be a major arch-enemy to Kull and Conan, necromancer and mastermind, what do you think?
Still a good issue, and hopefully will lead to more. Thulsa Doom #3, earnsÂ 3 out of 5 stars.