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#1 Taranaich

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 01:38 AM

Kull tore the veil away with one motion and re-coiled with a gasp. Delcardes screamed and her knees gave way; the councilors pressed backwards, faces white, and the guards released their grasp and shrank away, horror-struck.

The face of the man was a bare white skull, in whose eye sockets flamed livid fire!

"Thulsa Doom! Aye, I guessed as much!" ex-claimed Ka-nu.

"Aye, Thulsa Doom, fools," the voice echoed cavernously. "The greatest of all wizards and your eternal foe, Kull of Atlantis. You have won this tilt, but beware, there shall be others."


And so we are introduced to Thulsa Doom: by way of Conan the Barbarian, the most famous - and misunderstood - of Robert E. Howard's villains.

Chances are, if someone has heard of Conan the Barbarian, they've heard of Thulsa Doom. Yet for all the subtleties and mastery of James Earl Jones's performance, the character who appears in the film shares little resemblance to the literary figure. Robert E. Howard fans will be aware of this, as will fans of the comic, but what do we really know about the skull-faced villain. Considering the impact Thulsa Doom has on popular perception of Howard, it's only right that we have a closer look at the original.

For instance, where does Doom come from? Is he a surviving Muvian; an "Imperial Atlantean" like Kathulos; even a Black Atlantean from the kingdoms alluded to in "Black Canaan" and the Am-ra stories? Or is he a member of the Elder Race of Men, even the "devil-race" who would give rise to Zamora, or the earliest ancestors of what would give rise to Acheron?

I've also come across some theories that Thulsa Doom and Kathulos of "Skull-Face" are one and the same: I'm not convinced, for while they share some physical similarities and are connected by the world Kathulos/Kuthulos, Kathulos doesn't seem to have the flair for the dramatic that Doom does. Doom is more like a certain other character with whom he shares a surname, and is more bombastic and theatrical than his skull-faced brother. Having said that, it's possible the two are connected by race. Perhaps down in the depths of the sea, there is a sarcophagus tied down by seaweed that contains the dormant husk of Doom, waiting for the current to sunder the fronds, and carry it to the shore, and a world ripe for domination...

And if you're wondering, I just couldn't resist putting Doom in dark red to echo his mighty, cavernous voice. :lol:

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#2 Strom

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 02:26 AM

Kull tore the veil away with one motion and re-coiled with a gasp. Delcardes screamed and her knees gave way; the councilors pressed backwards, faces white, and the guards released their grasp and shrank away, horror-struck.

The face of the man was a bare white skull, in whose eye sockets flamed livid fire!

"Thulsa Doom! Aye, I guessed as much!" ex-claimed Ka-nu.

"Aye, Thulsa Doom, fools," the voice echoed cavernously. "The greatest of all wizards and your eternal foe, Kull of Atlantis. You have won this tilt, but beware, there shall be others."


And so we are introduced to Thulsa Doom: by way of Conan the Barbarian, the most famous - and misunderstood - of Robert E. Howard's villains.


Technically the Thulsa Doom from the Marvel Kull series is the same as the original. This is a great page of info on the Marvel Thulsa Doom via Howard's creation:

www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/thulsa.htm

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#3 Taranaich

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 02:12 PM

Technically the Thulsa Doom from the Marvel Kull series is the same as the original. This is a great page of info on the Marvel Thulsa Doom via Howard's creation:

www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/thulsa.htm


Certainly Marvel's Doom is pretty much REH's adapted for comics, but in my experience, when one mentions the name "Thulsa Doom", you're far more likely to get responses along the lines of "Contemplate this on the Tree of Woe" or "Now they will know why they are afraid of the dark" or some such.

That said, there are some interesting extrapolations in Marvel's Kull, but they never seem to delve into his origins. It's pretty hard to ascertain where he's from considering he's just a corpse with a skull for a head. Perhaps looking other Thurian names could make a connection...

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#4 stonecold-mike

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:29 PM

Here's a little pinup I did of Kull and Doom.

Posted Image

Edited by stonecold-mike, 04 August 2009 - 10:44 PM.


#5 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:41 PM

i have to admit my first seeing of thulsa doom was in CTB . then i got the big B/W savage sword of conan comics from marvel , and then the kull short stories in the back of them. this made me wanna learn more about kull and thulsa doom.
after that i was like WTF, why would they do that to doom , for a movie? nnoooo..
it would be nice to try and figure out were he came from. did REH ever write dooms end?

#6 deuce

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 01:15 AM

i have to admit my first seeing of thulsa doom was in CTB . then i got the big B/W savage sword of conan comics from marvel , and then the kull short stories in the back of them. this made me wanna learn more about kull and thulsa doom.
after that i was like WTF, why would they do that to doom , for a movie? nnoooo..
it would be nice to try and figure out were he came from. did REH ever write dooms end?


Hey Gin-Wulf! Nope, but Lin Carter tried to write the end of TD. :rolleyes:

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#7 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 01:32 AM

:blink: i dont like when another writer tries killing off someone elses character
so to me he still lives ;)
thank you deuce

#8 amster

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 01:52 AM

:blink: i dont like when another writer tries killing off someone elses character
so to me he still lives ;)
thank you deuce


Then I suggest you avoid Conan of Aquilonia, where Thoth Amon meets his end (in the lamest of fashions, I might add).

...but in Lin Carter's defense, Riders Beyond the Sunrise is not that bad, as far as posthumous collaborations go (ducks to avoid projectiles :ph34r: ). Maybe I'm still sore over LSdC's obit of him, but IMO, when it comes to writing Sword and Sorcery, LC was as far ahead of LSdC as REH was ahead of LC.

Edited by amsterdamaged, 05 August 2009 - 02:28 AM.

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--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#9 deuce

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 01:58 AM

:blink: i dont like when another writer tries killing off someone elses character
so to me he still lives ;)
thank you deuce


Then I suggest you avoid Conan of Aquilonia, where Thulsa Doom meets his end (in the lamest of fashions, I might add).

...but in Lin Carter's defense, Riders Beyond the Sunrise is not that bad, as far as posthumous collaborations go (ducks to avoid projectiles :ph34r: ). Maybe I'm still sore over LSdC's obit of him, but IMO, when it comes to writing Sword and Sorcery, LC was as far ahead of LSdC as REH was ahead of LC.


Hey Amster! I think you might mean "Thoth-amon". ;)

As for "RBtS", IMO, it's maybe the weakest of LC's Kull completions. The story ends up like "He-Man vs Skeletor".

I'm no "LC-hata". He was a great editor and some of his books are good, cheesy fun. I would rather hang with him than Spraguey.

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#10 amster

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:38 AM

Hey Amster! I think you might mean "Thoth-amon". ;)


You're right. My bad. I went back and edited it.

As for "RBtS", IMO, it's maybe the weakest of LC's Kull completions. The story ends up like "He-Man vs Skeletor".


I see your point. I guess I'm just a sucker for the (admittedly) cliched climax where the conflict is settled with a good old fashioned sword fight. I'll admit, its been a decades since I read it, so I might view it differently now. Maybe I'll just whip out my Lancer edition and give it another try. ;) You have to admit, its more satisfying to than to have the hero get thoroughly beaten, only to be rescued at the last minute by his bratty little son. LSdC had a fetish for having his hero win by losing.

...but I digress. 'don't want to turn this into another hater thread. ;)

I'm no "LC-hata". He was a great editor and some of his books are good, cheesy fun. I would rather hang with him than Spraguey.


Yeah, from what I've heard, he'd be cool to party with, along with KEW. B)
Posted Image
Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#11 Fernando

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 02:49 AM

About LC's last meeting between Kull and Thulsa Doom, I agree with AD... it was not too bad. The only things I've hated - and which made me burn that pastiche in a St. John's fire, in last July 23 - were some Lin Carter's changes - specially when HIS Karon says that only a man can cross the Stagus. <_<

Mr. Carter would do, IMO, a far better work if Kull and all his 400 warriors fought - and defeated - Thulsa Doom and a great horde of devils leaded by the skull-faced sorcerer (if I'm not wrong, Karon said that there were fiendish forms of life lurking at Stagus' east). B)

#12 deuce

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 07:46 PM

Al Harron has written a piece on the Age of Kull's most famous skull-faced sorcerer here:

http://www.thecimmerian.com/?p=4777

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#13 Kortoso

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:52 PM

Do you not know that there is a place where such things may be discussed?

http://www.dynamitee...ent.com/boards/

;)

I see a Red Sonja forum. I don't see a Thulsa Doom area yet, however.... :rolleyes:



#14 deuce

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:56 PM

Do you not know that there is a place where such things may be discussed?

http://www.dynamitee...ent.com/boards/

;)

I see a Red Sonja forum. I don't see a Thulsa Doom area yet, however.... :rolleyes:


Quite right. ;) I'll direct any further such discussions thataways.

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#15 Evil Thoth-Amon

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 11:58 PM

I would like to see Thulsa Doom as the main villain of the new Conan movie... because we will never have a decent Kull movie. And because i prefer him to any invention of the screenwriters.

But not a cool black guy with muscles and snake-related powers. No, no, no, no. I want nasty necromancer-lich with a skull face. A terrible warlock with lots of black magic, an army of demons and fire instead of eyes.

REH never wrote the end of Thulsa Doom. Maybe he survived thousand of years after the death of King Kull. Conan never find him in any of the original stories. Why don?t kill the villain in his first adventure?

And, you know, have it in the movie will validate for the great public the Howard?s vision of the character, in opposition to the Millius one.

Edited by Evil Thoth-Amon, 24 August 2009 - 11:58 PM.

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#16 korak

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 08:58 AM

I think someday there will be a great King Kull movie than will win the academy awards!

I've been reading the new Thulsa Doom mini-series by Arvid Nelson, and find it somewhat interesting to figure out where he is going with it, and how he plans to connect this incarnation of Doom with the original Howard Doom. He may end up not trying to, but I am still hopeful that we are going to see some flashbacks explaining his origins and possibly even a silhouette of Kull thrown in for good measure, even though they can't actually use Kull's name, I am assuming.

Just saw a cameo of King Kull in the Tomb of Dracula Omnibus from Marvel-- he has a couple of panels around issue 26. when Dracula has to face up against an ancient talisman.

But the thing is, as much as I hate the Milius movie, how do we really know that Thulsa Doom was not a black guy? Brule, of course, we KNOW he ain't black, but how do we know that Doom wasn't not a black guy?

Severins didn't depict him as one, but then you have to remember that his HUMAN face was just an illusion anyway...!

#17 Taranaich

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 02:55 PM

I've been reading the new Thulsa Doom mini-series by Arvid Nelson, and find it somewhat interesting to figure out where he is going with it, and how he plans to connect this incarnation of Doom with the original Howard Doom. He may end up not trying to, but I am still hopeful that we are going to see some flashbacks explaining his origins and possibly even a silhouette of Kull thrown in for good measure, even though they can't actually use Kull's name, I am assuming.


I'm presuming that's what Arvid's hoping to do.

But the thing is, as much as I hate the Milius movie, how do we really know that Thulsa Doom was not a black guy? Brule, of course, we KNOW he ain't black, but how do we know that Doom wasn't not a black guy?


While we don't know Doom wasn't black - I am perfectly willing to accept the possibility - we also know that he had a skull for a head, flaming orbs for eyes and a cadaverous body. That's what's bugging me about this Doom.

Now, there are certain possibilities to remedy this: perhaps Kull actually succeeded in slaying Doom, but just prior to the Cataclysm he was resurrected to his human, healthy form, or at least the projection of it a la Xaltotun. However, it's the tying to Conan the Barbarian that bothers me, as well as the use of Howard's name: Conan the Barbarian and Howard's work, regardless of the respective merits, are just incompatible.

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#18 korak

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 10:20 PM

I'm presuming that's what Arvid's hoping to do.

While we don't know Doom wasn't black - I am perfectly willing to accept the possibility - we also know that he had a skull for a head, flaming orbs for eyes and a cadaverous body. That's what's bugging me about this Doom.

Now, there are certain possibilities to remedy this: perhaps Kull actually succeeded in slaying Doom, but just prior to the Cataclysm he was resurrected to his human, healthy form, or at least the projection of it a la Xaltotun. However, it's the tying to Conan the Barbarian that bothers me, as well as the use of Howard's name: Conan the Barbarian and Howard's work, regardless of the respective merits, are just incompatible.


Yes, I agree that the basic premise of connecting anything to that movie is a dumb idea, that's a given. That said, it is interesting to see what he is going to do with this. Sure, he has skull head, but didn't the Severins also give him the ability to appear human? This was a very powerful necromancer who could not be killed by a sword (already dead) and who could vanish at will. There are several options here.

He could have taken over the body of a young black, as did the shaman in Hills of the Dead; this could be Thulsa Doom "Junior," his son or successor; and you mention a good one, Xaltotonic resurrection. Or, just Thulsa Doom deciding to appear to be a black man instead of a skull-face.

We may not find out until the last issue. How many issues is it supposed to be? I did not see any indication in issue #2 about that.

#19 korak

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:39 AM

Just read the new Thulsa Doom #3 and thought I would post a couple of quick comments.

I really love the artwork, it reminds me of a good Heavy Metal story, very pretty and vivid and spectacular art with great women too. Great lost civilizations depicted.

Still not sure if Arvid is going for a pay-off or not. Some evidence this issue that actually points away from the Howardian Kull Thulsa. We'll find out next issue if there is to be a big pay-off.

I don't get it if there isn't. If he makes no connection at all with the original Thulsa Doom, then why in the world is it called Robert E. Howard's Thulsa Doom? Because the one in the Conan movie sure isn't Howard's Doom! But maybe he will, one more issue and I'll know.

In any case, ironically I am enjoying this series a lot more than I liked the Thoth Amon series by Dark Horse. I hated everything about that series. This is enjoyable to read because of the spectacular Cataclysm artwork. I hope there is a pay-off, but I don't want to get my hopes up, considering how we got paid off (not) in the last issue of Arvid's Shadow Kingdom series.

#20 Almuric

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 04:43 AM

Of course the skull-head is cool, but I always start wondering about silly things. Does he polish it? Does he brush his teeth? How does he breathe? Can he take it off? Is it actually *his* skull? :lol:
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard