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Savage Avengers #22: Review

Jul 2021
Gerry Duggan, Patrick Zircher

Story Name:

Chapter 22: A waking nightmare

Review & Comments

4 stars

Savage Avengers #22 Review by (July 24, 2021)
We've learned in the current Avengers series that many powers like Black Panther's and the Iron Fist go back to (at least) 1M BC. Ghost Rider's is 1 of them, and the 1st GR rode a fiery mammoth. Now we meet the Hyborian Age version who I believe neither we nor Conan have seen before. (But then the Hyborian Age was much longer than any 1 man's lifetime, even Conan's.)

Nightmare was allegedly killed by Loki in his (2019)#4 and was annoyed to find himself in Heaven. Maybe he got kicked out.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Savage Avengers #22 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue New Yorkers were plagued by nightmares which made them violent. Conan tried to help some but was attacked by Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) whose nightmares involved Kulan Gath and he sensed that the Barbarian had a connection with the wizard. During the fight Conan was seemingly transported back to Hyborian Age Aquilonia.

There are young women with a sun emblem on their brow dancing in the streets and handing out flowers. Conan tries to establish what year he's in by asking 1 of them about the current ruler, but she doesn't seem to understand what he means. The flower is infested with spiders and smells bad.

And then the Cimmerian is attacked by a man on a giant spider. Both of them have fiery heads and the man wields a chain. He accuses Conan of invading his nightmares and being an associate of Kulan Gath. And he is a Spirit Of Vengeance complete with Penance Stare - he's a Ghost Rider who the people seem to worship. Conan drags the man off his steed but the spider stabs him with venom and he falls unconscious ...

...and awakes trussed up in a spider-web with someone else hanging beside him. He breaks free and cuts the other loose as well, who turns out to be Johnny Blaze without his GR power. Grabbing a blade from a nearby skeleton he turns to face the werewolves which infest *his* nightmare. Conan's tame Venom symbiote takes the form of a black axe and battle is joined. But soon both men are bitten and overwhelmed ...

... and in the next scene they're sitting on horses with hangman's nooses round their necks. And facing them is Nightmare on his steed Dreamstalker who claims that all of the above and the previous issue were his attempts to contact Conan. The Cimmerian says he doesn't fear dreams so Nightmare fires a pistol to spook their horses and leave the pair dangling by the neck. And he says that every man has fears ...

... and we see that Conan's is to die old in bed with his boots off and unable to lift his sword. But then the youthful Barbarian confronts Nightmare who now explains that Kulan Gath has taken over his realm. But he knows that KG's nightmare is the Cimmerian himself who's killed him before and may be able to do it again. Now Nightmare lets Conan out of the dream, but with the advice to go see Dr Strange.

Now he and Blaze really do wake up in an alleyway. Conan says he's going to talk to Dr Strange. Johnny asks to be included when Kulan Gath gets his comeuppance. Strange had already given the Cimmerian direct access to his Greenwich Village house. After knocking he enters the front door to see the Dr with Shuma-Gorath as a patient.

Patrick Zircher
Patrick Zircher
Java Tartaglia
Valerio Giangiordano (Cover Penciler)
Valerio Giangiordano (Cover Inker)
Frank D'Armata (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Travis Lanham.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider

(Johnny Blaze)

Plus: Shuma-Gorath.

> Savage Avengers: Book info and issue index

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