First of all I'd like to say thanks to Pat of Silver Age Comics and Paul D Brazil of You Would Say That, Wouldn't You? for giving this site a plug on their own blogs - although Pat has libelled Booksteve terribly by making out he's to blame for this site. Paul currently has a short story crime anthology out, that he's edited, in aid of the Children 1st charity.
But that's the present. And, because I hang around with intellectuals, I know that any history professor'll tell you the past is a far more exciting place to be.
That professor'll no doubt reveal that the past was a world of muscle-men in loin cloths, monsters, demons and sorcerers. It was a land of helpless wenches, duplicitous princesses and narked-off witches.
It's also a world of warrior women.
That leads me onto today's topic of debate. I think we all love a good warrior woman but that raises the issue of just who was the best of Conan's various fighting females?
I was going to launch a poll straight off but quickly realised there'd no doubt be someone I'd missed off. And so I'll do my usual thing of throwing it out to you the reader to give your opinions before I launch that poll.
Off the top of my head, I can think of three main warrior women from the Conan-verse: Bêlit, Red Sonja and Valeria. Speaking personally, I was never a fan of Bêlit, finding her a bit annoying, especially in her insistence on being in issue after issue after issue. I also worried that all that fur had to itch. Plus she ended up dead in the original Robert E Howard tales, which was the kind of downer you don't really need from your heroines.
But when it comes to Valeria and Red Sonja I've always been genuinely torn. I encountered Red Sonja first but I've always suspected that, whatever the origins of her name, Roy Thomas based Red Sonja very strongly on Valeria. Valeria also gets brownie points for having been in Barry Smith's masterpiece Red Nails. Then again, The Sonj was in Bazzer's last story in the monthly Conan the Barbarian mag, which was pretty classic-tastic too. Valeria always seemed a bit more mentally stable to me than Sonja but, then again, I suspect Sonja'd flatten her in a fight.
Anyway, that's my thoughts on the matter. But what about you? Conan's warrior women - who's your favourite?
Top of the Pops: 15th December, 1977.
5 months ago