Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/ClassMagical human-animal hybrid creation;
    Hyborian era (circa 10,000 BC);
    Argossean citizen

Occupation: Dungeon guard;
    briefly served as a warrior

Group Membership: The jailers of Messantia's castle's dungeon

Affiliations: Messantia's dungeon's guard captain, Mitra (god he worshipped/invoked), presumably King Tanolos;
    unwittingly an unidentified sorcerer of the Black Ring (granted him power and used him as a pawn) and his striped alley cat;
    indirectly the Black Ring, Set

Enemies: Conan, Yusef, unidentified Black Ring sorcerer;
    indirectly Ibis, Karanthes

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Man-tiger, thing, were-creature;
    jailer; "dog" (taunt by Conan)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly a dungeon in the castle of King Tanolos in Messantia, Argos

First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian I#67 (October, 1976)were-cat-hyborian-messantia-catform-face.jpg

were-cat-hyborian-messantia-fullytransformed-face.jpgPowers/Abilities: A hybrid human-feline, he presumably possessed enhanced speed, strength, agility, and balance.

    He also presumably had superhuman olfactory and auditory senses (as well as superhuman noctural vision). 

    He also had sharp claws and teeth. His claws were dense and sharp enough (and he was strong enough to apply the force) to rend solid stone.

    He could survive and continue to fight despite a sword piercing his chest, at least for perhaps a minute or more.

    His mind was "more cat than man."

    As a human, he had some experience with a sword.

Height: Unrevealed; approximately 5'10, in both forms
Weight: Unrevealed; (human) approximately 180 lbs.; (were-cat) approximately 210 lbs.
Eyes: (Human) unrevealed (only dark, small pupil-sized circles are seen against white sclera); (were-cat) red? slit-like feline pupils against yellow irides (with no visible sclera)
Hair: (Human) bald; (were-cat) orange

(Conan the Barbarian I#67 (fb) - BTS) - The guard-captain of King Tanolos of Messantia's castle's dungeon was set to promote an unidentified jailer out of the dungeon.

(Conan the Barbarian I#67 (fb) - BTS) - A rogue named Yusef slew the guard-captain and was subsequently imprisoned in the dungeon.

(Conan the Barbarian I#67 (fb) - BTS) - The unidentified jailer in Messantia's castle's dungeon brought the meals to prisoners, including Yusef.

(Conan the Barbarian I#67) - As the jailer approached with the night's meal, Yusef asked him if it was more of the usual slop, and the jailer called Yusef a pig and noted he was lucky to get anything. Explaining that Yusef's slaying of the guard kept him trapped in the dungeon, the jailer told Yusef if it was up to him, he would have just run him through and and get it over with.

    Having been sent by Yusef's lover, Tara of Hanumar, to rescue Yusef, Conan confronted the guard, ordering him to release Yusef. Surprised into dropping the plate, the jailer asked how Conan had gotten there, but Conan refused to tell, ordering the guard to swiftly do as he said.

    The guard refused, drawing his sword and warning Conan that if he took one more step, one of them would taste the other's sword.

    However, at that very second, the guard was affected by the magics of an unidentified Stygian sorcerer of the Black Ring, who was seeking to prevent Conan (and Red Sonja and Bêlit) from obtaining a page of the Iron-Bound Book of Skelos, stolen from Thoth-Amon by an unidentified thief.
    Utilizing the energies of a striped alley cat, the sorcerer transformed the guard into a feral wild-cat, who dropped his sword and leapt at Conan.


    Shocked by the transformation and the sudden attack, Conan was knocked on his back by the cat-man, whose curved claws dug into his shoulders.

    Thirsty for blood, the were-cat's saliva dripped from his fangs, but Conan kicked it off of him (possibly by kicking him in the tenders). 

    The were-cat surprised Conan by landing on his feet and dove at Conan again, and Conan narrowly had time to grab his own, fallen sword and thrust it upward.

    Impaled through the chest, the were-cat roared, then writhed and spat in pain, but nonetheless pulled itself back up to his feet and charge Conan anew.

    With no time to do anything else, Conan rushed forward and caught the creature in a bear-hug, trying to crush its ribs.

    Considering past encounters with similar creatures and realizing he was likely caught between feuding gods, Conan fiercely strangled the creature, whose claws rent the stone beneath them in its death-throes.were-cat-hyborian-messantia-dead-faces.jpg

    The dead were-cat reverted to its human form, which remained dead.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema.

    He is referred to on the cover as "the man-tiger," but the cat that was used to empower him was described as a striped alley cat, and his transformed body was more like a panther than a tiger. No stripes, anyway. Conan refers to him as a were-creature and a thing, while the narration text calls him a man-tiger and a were-cat.

    I'd consider the jailer, who was later transformed into the were-cat, as one of the sorcerer's lackeys. Why? Two hints:

  1. The men who became beasts willingly underwent the transformation (and retained their intelligence or part of it). Otherwise, the sorcerer could have transformed anyone to suit his purposes, including Red Sonja, Conan or Bêlit;
  2. The jailer was very near to the old man who had stolen the page of the book of Skelos. Maybe he had been paid to kill the prisoner, or to torture him to glean any knowledge about the page.
  3. I'm not sure about this, as the jailer had wanted to get promoted out of the dungeons, and he was completely surprised by Conan's arrival.
    Perhaps he could only affect either willing OR weak-willed or sufficiently evil people.
  4. I'm not sure why he went after Conan when Sonja had the page, especially since they had been opposing each other and then hard parted ways.
    Perhaps he knew, like any true fan, that Conan and Sonja would eventually join forces and oppose his efforts.

    This was an expansion of a sub-profile originally done by Spidermay...I was working on a profile on the unidentified Stygian sorcerer of the Black Ring from this story and decided their were too many images to keep the various animal-men in sub-profiles. As I was halfway done with the sorcerer's profile and mostly done with the animal-men's profiles, Markus pointed out the main profile to me. Bad me.

Profile by Snood.

The were-cat should be distinguished from:

were-cat-hyborian-messantia-cat-magic.jpgwere-cat-hyborian-messantia-cat-magic-close-up.jpgalley cat

    The unidentfied Stygian sorcerer of the Black Ring held a striped alley cat in his hands as he watched Red Sonja take the page from the Iron-Bound Book of Skelos and flee with Conan.

    For whatever reason, the sorcerer chose to follow Conan rather than Sonja, and as the Cimmerian barbarian took a diversion to free Yusuf from King Tanolos' castle's dungeons, the sorcerer followed him into the dungeon.

    The small cat purred as it watched and as the Stygian sorcerer pet him, and then the sorcerer used the cat's energies/etc. to transform an unidentified jailer into a were-man.

--Conan the Barbarian I#67

Note: It's unrevealed whether the alley cat was killed or otherwise harmed in the spell that empowered the were-man. If it survived that, it's subsequent fate is unrevealed.

images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#67, pg. 7, panel 2 (cat magic-source, profile);
        pg. 10, panel 4 (cat magic-source, face);
            panel 8 (jailer, human form, mostly full);
        pg. 11, panel 4 (were-cat face);
        pg. 12, panel 1 (were-cat full profile);
            panel 2 (were-cat, mostly full, mostly front-view, leaping);
        pg. 13, panel 8 (jailer, dead, face)

Conan the Barbarian I#67 (October, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (artist), the Tribe (embellishers)

First posted: 07/16/2018
Last updated: 07/16/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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