red_lion-ship-hyborian.jpgred_lion-ship-hyborian-aboveviewRED LION 

Crew: Conan (captain), Milo, Sigurd (first mate), Goram Singh, Yakov, Yasunga; many unidentified

Purpose: Saving the world from the Red Shadows and other assaults of the Antillians/Ptahuacans

Aliases: None

Affiliations: King Ariostro

EnemiesAntillians/Ptahuacans (green feather-cloaked priest, Hierarch, priests of Xotli), black krakenXotli;

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly mobile in the Western Ocean between Tortage, Argos and Ptahuacan 

First AppearanceConan of the Isles (1968);
    Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (1988)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Red Lion ship was a sailing ship that had a crew of perhaps 12-30 men.

    It was capable of making intercontinental trips and could store the provisions for such a journey.

    It had paired sails, the first of which was emblazened with a red lion.

    There were numerous archers on board, led by Yakov, and the ship was also equipped with a  catapult from which they could launch fiery pitch (specifically, a mix of fiery tar-and-lamp oil) onto a nearby ship. Milo manned the catapult. The crew were also experienced swordsmen.


(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) <Roughly four decades after Yasunga had sailed on the Tigress> - Instructed by the Mitraic priest Epimetrius the Sage to travel to the uttermost reaches of the Western Ocean to save the rest of the world from the threat of the "red shadows" (sent by the priests of Ptahuacan) that were abducting and or slaying his people, Conan traveled to Argos.

    The Conan met up with his old ally Sigurd, and secretly received finances to purchase a ship from 
Argossean king Ariostro (whose people had been similarly plagued by the "red shadow").red_lion-ship-hyborian-oblique.jpg

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles) - In Tortage, stronghold of the Barachan pirates, Conan purchased a ship he named the Red Lion and then began recruiting his crew. 

    Amongst the crowd was Yasunga, whom had sailed under Conan and Belit decades before.

    Alvaro, captain of the Falcon of Zingara, upon which Yasunga and others in  the crowd had been sailing, chastised Yasunga and the others for listening to this "crazy old fool." 

    Alvaro tried to force Conan's departure, and Conan soon slew Alvaro, earning him respect and a substantial crew, including Yasunga.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - Three dawns at sea later, the Red Lion and its crew were assaulted by a black kraken (either under control of the priests of Ptahuacan or just preying on those who traveled in that direction). 

    At least two crewmen perished before Conan blinded the creature, enabling the Red Lion to escape it.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles) - After a long time heading west, they were attacked by a Ptahuacan priest and his ship; after the crew boarded the ship, the priest duplicated himself into a number of warriors. 

    Nonetheless, the crew battled the duplicates until Conan slew the wizard, after which Ptahuacan ship sank.red_lion-ship-hyborian-grumbler.jpg

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles) - After endless days travel, seomeof the crewmen balked upon realizing the extent of their journey, feeling the world ended just beyond the horizon and that they would sail right off its edge into a pool of sunset fire. 

    Conan countered this partly by reminding them of the loot to be found amid the age-old Atlantean ruins of Antillia...and partly by stating that he would personally pitch any further grumblers overboard for the krakens to devour. 

    To protect them from further uncertain threats, Conan had the ship's carpenter rig a catapult.

    The crew finally sighted land, only to be confronted by a dragon-like ship, which they destroyed/sank via catapulting fiery-pitch; but a second such ship assaulted them before they could turn their catapult. red_lion-ship-hyborian-dragonships.jpg

    Wearing air helmets, the Ptahuacans assaulted the Red Lion's crew with gas that knocked out most of the men; ultimately, Conan stole an air helmet and dove overboard to escape, hoping to later rescue his crew.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - The Ptahuacans brought the unconscious crewmen into their ship, bound them in an unbreakable glass-like chains and imprisoned below the deck, and they towed the Red Lion back to Ptahuacan.

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - Awakening, the captured crew was disappointed to not find Conan by their side. Sigurd encouraged his men that they still lived, which gave them the chance to fight their way to freedom. After arriving at Ptahuacan, however, the crew found their "glass" chain bonds to be unbreakable. Two of the crewmen perished from untreated wounds.red_lion-ship-hyborian-towed.jpg

    After an unspecified time, the guards herded the prisoners to join a line stretching up the steps of a Zikkurat where those at the front were sacrificed by the priests. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles) - Eventually, Conan released the dragon-creatures from within/under the Zikkurat into the city, and Yasunga, Milo, and the other crewmen took advantage of the guards' shock, battering them. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - Using a "glass" sword he had taken from a guard, Conan cut the chains holding his former crewmen. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - The Ptahuacan's god-demon Xotli assaulted Conan, who used Epimetrius' amulet to summon Mitra, who destroyed and/or consumed Xotli.

    As the Ptahuacan's revolted, Conan and his crew stole a golden Ptahuacan dragon ship, "The Winged Dragon," and departed for new adventures.

Comments: Created by L. Sprague DeCamp & Lin Carter;
    adapted by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Danny Bulandi, Ricardo Villamonte & Armando Gil.

    The "Lion" part of the name was an homage to Conan's name on the Black Coast, Amra.

    We know at least two crewmen perished in the Black Kraken's assault; at least one died from red shadows sent by the feathered priest; two men perished from untreated wounds in Ptahuacan. At least one crewmen was seen to be fallen after the battle with the priet's duplicates. Most captured by the Ptahuacans presumably were rendered unconscious by the gas attack, but some resisting may have died. I don't know if any were sacrificed to Xotli before Sigurd was rescued.

    I didn't see the Red Lion mentioned or shown after the Ptahuacans towed it back to land. Presumably the Red Lion remained damaged by the Ptahuacan's dragon ship's fire, etc., and was not seaworthy when Conan and the others escaped. Or, perhaps, the Winged Dragon was just more accessible and/or superior, and so they took what was their quickest way out.

Profile by Snood.

The Red Lion has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles, story page 25, panel 1 (right slight oblique);
        pg. 27, panel 1 (assaulted by black kraken);
        pg. 33, panel 3 (left oblique);
        pg. 39, panel 2 (upper view);
        pg. 48, panel 2 (superstitious grumblers)
        pg. 51, panel 5 (between two dragon ships);
        pg. 55, panel 3 (towed)

Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (1988) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Danny Bulanadi, Ricardo Villamonte & Armando Gil (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)

Last updated: 01/07/18.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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