Real Name: Shu-Onoru
Identity/Class: Human (Hyborian Era) magic-user; Stygian
Group Membership: The Sorcerers of the Black Ring
Affiliations: Set (his god); King Ctesphon, Helgor, Katuman, Natohk/Thugra Khotan;
formerly King Irruk and the people of Yamman
Enemies: Conan, Red Sonja,
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: A castle in Kheshatta (the City of Magicians), Stygia; Hyborian era
First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian I#85 (April, 1978)
Powers/Abilities: Shu-Onoru had a number
of unspecified magical powers, primarily via performing spells
from his vast collection of arcane lore. He can summon and banish
demons, and generate great heat within other objects. He has had
possession of the Sword that Conquers All,
although he was not an imposing physical specimen, and preferred
to lend the Sword to others to use form him. He also used vials
of fast-acting vapors, that caused virtually instantaneous
Among his lore were a number of the iron-bound books created by certain sorcerers and/or demons of past eras. These included, but may not have been limited to the books of Shuma-Gorath, Skelos, and/or Vathelos.
History: (Conan#85 (fb)-BTS) - Little is known of Shu-Onoru's past other than that he comes from Stygia, and in his elder years he was known as one of the most feared and venerated wizards in the land. He was one of the legendary Sorcerers of the Black Ring.
(Conan#85 (fb)) - As an elder wizard, Shu-Onoru
was given a gift by a younger sorcerer, out of his respect for
his power and wisdom--and because the sorcerer wanted him to pull
strings with King Ctesphon to gain him a position in the Hyborian
Lands. The gift was the young slave, Zula, who, unbeknownst to
any others was actually the last prince of the Zamballahs.
Shu-Onoru accepted the gift and assisted the young sorcerer as he
Wrongly assuming Zula to be too witless to understand or read, Shu-Onoru neglected to guard his spells from him. Not wishing the wizard to suspect his true nature, Zula continued the charade, pretending to be terrified of his master.
(Conan the Barbarian I#86 (fb) - BTS) - Shu-Onoru told Zula that a large pyramid was started outside Luxur as a model for smaller pyramids to be built both outside Luxur and Khemi, but something frightened away the Stygian builders so that they erected only the lesser pyramids.
(Conan#85 (fb)) - Shu-Onoru summoned the
nether demon Helgor, who taught him the secret of the Sword that
Conquers All. The wizard intended to present the sword to the
Stygian King Ctesphon, that he may honor him above "that
upstart Thoth-Amon." The young Zula watched the entire
ritual and then attempted to repeat it, summoning Helgor himself.
However, Zula had not repeated the ritual perfectly, and so
Helgor was not bound to his will and instead attempted to slay
him. Shu-Onoru sensed the magical activity, returned to his
sanctum, and banished the demon, saving Zula in the process.
Shu-Onoru realized he had underestimated Zula and knew he was too dangerous to keep as a slave. Wishing to enjoy his former slave's passing, the wizard placed him in a gladiatorial combat against some men from Zembabwei. After slaying the others, Zula turned his sword to Shu-Onoru, who incapacitated him with a vial of vapors. Rather than kill Zula, however, the wizard then sold him to a slave-merchant, Sheb-At, to have him broken as a slave, or killed.
(Conan#247 (fb)-BTS) - Alongside the exiles prince of Stygia, Katuman, Shu-Onoru decided to ally himself with the Veiled One, Natohk, in overtaking Khoraja and other nations. Along the way, they stopped at Yamman, where they dominated King Irruk, forcing their control of the city. Shu-Onoru prophesized that the Khorajans would send a delegation to try to win their allegiance against Natohk.
(Conan#247) - When the Khorajan delegation,
including Conan, Red Sonja, and Shu-Onoru's former slave Zula,
arrived in Yamman, they were ambushed by the Shemites under his
influence. Shu-Onoru himself used a globe of vapors to drop the
last of the delegation (guess which three were still up and at
it). The wizard led them to Irruk and Katuman, who scoffed at
their offer, inspiring Conan, Sonja, and Zula to break free and
fight anew. However, Shu-Onoru summoned Helgor to fight them, and
between the demon's might, and Katuman, wielding the Sword that
Conquers All, the three warriors were defeated once again.
(Conan#248) - As Katuman entertained himself by trying to force the three warriors to fight themselves, Shu-Onoru took Helgor to impress Natohk's delegates. Zula used magical skills he had gained from his former master to dupe and drive off Katuman, but Shu-Onoru and Helgor then returned. The wizard sent his demon to slay them, but Conan used the Sword that Conquers All, dropped by Katuman in his panic, to slay Helgor. Zula himself slew Shu-Onoru, although the vengeance did not satisfy him as much as he had long hoped.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema.
After Shu-Onoru's death, Zula took his place in the Black Ring, taking his castle, as well. If you read Savage Sword of Conan#205, you'll see that they re-read Conan#85 and re-produced the details of the castle in great detail.
It's interesting to note that while there were
iron-bound books of a number of other demons/sorcerers in the
Hyborian Era, the works of Chthon, one of the most powerful of
the demons, and one of the Elder Gods, existed only in the form
of scrolls. The Chthon Scrolls were eventually bound to become
the Darkhold many millennia later.
Another such iron-bound book is the Book of Kathulos.
Helgor has no known connection to:
Shu-Onoru's familiar. He was summoned Later, he
could be summoned by Shu-Onoru from any location, and regarded
the wizard as his master.
(Conan#85 (fb)) - He was seen initially when first summoned "from the nighted depths, where great Raama bound you of old" by Shu-Onoru, at which point Helgor only obeyed/assisted him because he spoke the proper words and stood amid the sorcerers' circle. He served the old wizard, and conferred to him the secrets of the Sword that Conquers All. Later, the wizard's servant, Zula, summoned him in hopes of controlling him. Helgor would not be controlled by Zula and would have slain him if Shu-Onoru had not banished him back to the netherworld from which he came.
(Conan the Barbarian I#247-248) - In Yamman, Helgor helped Shu-Onoru and Katuman lord it over King Irruk, and to defeat Zula, Conan, and Red Sonja. Helgor chomped at the bit, wanting to kill Zula, but Shu-Onoru held him back at Katuman's request. When the wizard finally set Helgor against the warriors, Conan had claimed the Sword that Conquers All, and used it to slay the demon...for awhile anyway.
(Savage Sword of Conan#205 (fb)) - Zula briefly summoned Helgor before the Black Ring in a successful effort to prove his worth and abilities.
(Marvel Graphic Novel: Ravagers out of Time - BTS) - Gonar invoked Helgor and many other demons and gods to perform a powerful spell which destroyed an enemy sorcerer, Rotath of Lemuria.
Helgor possessed superhuman strength and durability, and was immune to most attacks. He was vulnerable to magical attacks, such as from the Sword that Conquers All.
--Conan the Barbarian I#85 (Conan: The Ravagers Out of Time - BTS
images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#85 (April, 1978) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Ernie Chan (inks), Archie Goodwin (consulting editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#86 (May, 1978) - by Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (penciler), Ernie Chan (inker), Archie Goodwin (consulting editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#247 (August, 1991) - Roy Thomas (writer), Gary Hartle (pencils), Mike DeCarlo (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#248 (September, 1991) - Roy Thomas (writer), Mike Docherty (pencils), Ernie Chan & Gerry Talaoc (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Conan: The Ravagers Out of Time (1992) - by Roy Thomas (writer), Mike Docherty (pencils), Alfredo Alcala (inker), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
First Posted: 12/01/2002
Last updated: 07/15/2007
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Conan and many associated characters are
™ and © Conan Properties INC and/or the estate of
Robert E. Howard.
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters