Conan the Adventurer is an American animated television series adaptation of Conan the Barbarian, the literary character created by Robert E. Howard in the 1930s. Produced by Jetlag Productions and Sunbow Productions, the series debuted on September 12, 1992, ran for 65 episodes and concluded on November 22, 1993. The series was developed by Christy Marx who served as the sole story editor.
The series was produced in association with Graz Entertainment for the first 13-episode season, and Jean Chalopin’s Créativité et Développement for the remaining episodes. The series also spawned a small toyline in 1992 created by Hasbro. This first incarnation of Conan in cartoon form performed much better than its follow-up cartoon, Conan and the Young Warriors, which lasted only 13 episodes.
Conan lived in Cimmeria with his parents throughout his childhood. While out with his grandfather one night on a trek, “fiery tears” or meteors dropped from the skies. Conan collected them and brought them back to his family. Conan’s father, the village blacksmith, used the ore from the meteors to forge Star Metal and used it to create various tools and weapons that would never rust or break or dull. He sold them, but his finest work, a magnificent sword, he kept for Conan. It was laid in a crypt and covered over with a heavy stone slab. Conan’s father told his son that only when he was “man enough” (i.e., strong enough) to push off the stone slab, could he rightfully claim the sword.
Meanwhile, the evil Serpent Man wizard Wrath-Amon learned of Star Metal and that in addition to its strength that it possessed the power to open portals between dimensions. He thus sought Star Metal to release his deity Set from “the Abyss” to which he long ago had been banished by the combined powers of virtually every living wizard then on Earth for trying to enslave the human race. As part of his search, Wrath-Amon sought out Conan’s family. Conan’s father told Wrath-Amon that he had sold all of the Star Metal but the wizard refused to believe it (The wizard was right for aside from the sword, it was revealed in a later episode that Conan’s father had hidden pieces of Star Metal with other villagers). Wrath-Amon used the spell of living stone upon Conan’s family.
Conan by then had gone to claim his Star Metal sword to attack Wrath-Amon and his followers. When the Star Metal sword got near Wrath-Amon it disrupted his magic and showed his reptilian face. To this, he said, “Those who see the true face of Wrath-Amon must perish!” (this scene is similar to one in the film). Having chased away the wizard, Conan then turned to his family and swore in the name of their god Crom to find a way of releasing them from the spell.
Conan’s adventures thus begin as he searches Hyboria looking for a way to cure his family and free the land from Wrath-Amon’s tyranny Wrath-Amon’s henchmen are also shapeshifting Serpent Men. When Conan’s Star Metal sword is close enough to them it broke the spell that disguised them and revealed their true form to be Serpent Men; when Star Metal made contact with the Serpent Men it banishes them to the Abyss with Set. Spies and agents of Set and Stygia, many of them also Serpent Men, were present in many cities, nations and tribes throughout the land in the age of Conan.
As compared with the original Conan stories and the Marvel Comics such as King Conan, Conan Saga, Conan the Barbarian and Conan the King, the cartoon Conan displays a higher degree of modern morality. While the original Conan is a thief, a killer, and a womanizer, the cartoon Conan has more in common with sword-wielding cartoon characters such as He-Man. At one point he refuses to join a pirate crew on the grounds that it is wrong to steal, he refuses to strike unarmed or defeated opponents. He is a kind and caring character, albeit a little naive, who stands up for his friends and what he sees to be right and is very respectable. The show also reduced the violence of the original to cartoon levels, deliberately making the Serpant Men “banished” with any touch of the heroes’ weapons rather than actually struck.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this television series: