Real Name: Yakov
Occupation: Pirate, sailor, archer
Group Membership: Barachan pirates;
former member of the crews of the Red Lion and the Winged Dragon;
possibly a former member of the crew of the Falcon of Zingara
Affiliations: Conan, Milo Sigurd of Vanaheim, Goram Singh, Yasunga;
possibly formerly Captain Alvaro;
former servant of Vacharn
Enemies: Antillians/Ptahuacans (green feather-cloaked priest, Hierarch, priests of Xotli), black kraken, Esrit, Uldulla, Vacharn, Wokal, Xotli
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly served on the Isle of Na'at;
formerly mobile across various oceans
First Appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (1988)
Powers/Abilities: An experienced seaman and pirate, Yakov was a highly skilled archer.
Like most people of his era, he believed the world was flat, and that if one sailed too far, one might fall off the edge of the world.
Height: Unrevealed (there is little reference against anyone of known height; he seemed average, so perhaps 5'10")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 190 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed (only shown up close in black and white comics, where they often look dark; I'd guess brown)
Hair: Dark gray; balding on top, with a mustache
(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - 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 "red shadows" (sent by the priests of Ptahuacan) that were abducting and or slaying his people, Conan traveled to Argos and received finances to purchase a ship from Argossean king Ariostro (whose people had been similarly plagued by the "red shadow").
(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles - BTS) - In Tortage, stronghold of the Barachan pirates, Conan recruited his crew for his new ship, the Red Lion. Yakov presumably observed as Conan slew Captain Alvaro when he tried to force Conan's departure.
(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 three 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 caught up to a green dragon-prowed galley ship with a black kraken painted on its bow. At Conan's orders, the Red Dragon caught up to the ship; though its decks seemed bare, Conan ordered his archers to unleash a volley of arrows to find out if this was true; he figured by chance some of the arrows would struck a few rowers who might be hidden behind the rail. After the regular arrows thudded home on the manless deck and none of the oars missed a beat.
(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (fb) - BTS) - Anticipating Conan's next request, Yakov had his men load flaming arrows.
(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles) - After Yakov had his archers launch the flaming arrows, and as smoke began to rise from a dozen spots, a green-feathered priest of Xotli -- the ship's sole occupant -- emerged and magically extinguished the arrows. As Conan gave the order for Yakov to "give the dog more feathers" (arrows), the priest cast a vial into the water that seemed to produce a seething fire between the two ships, but Conan shrewdly ordered the Red Lion head straight into the fire, proving it to be merely illusion, after which it vanished (and Yakov remarked, "And now -- the whole thing is gone").
When the priest unleashed the red shadows, Conan commanded Yakov and his men to skewer the sorcerer; Yakov responded, "aye, aye" and, though the sorcerer could turn away the arrows with gestures of his hands, enough arrows were fired that one struck him through his left hand. After the priest magically vanished beneath the deck, Conan led his men to board the green galley. The priest reappeared in armor and summoned a number of duplicates of himself, but Conan and his men assaulted the duplicates until Conan slew the original, causing them all to vanish.
(Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles) - After seemingly endless days' travel, they finally sighted land, only to be confronted by a dragon-like ship. Though they set fire to the first ship via their catapult, a second ship caught them unaware. 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.
Eventually 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) - Conan released the dragon-creatures from within/under the Zikkurat into the city, and the 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.
(Conan the Savage#10 (fb) - BTS) - After many days of sailing farther west, many of the crew despaired. Milo and Yakov fed the fears and discontents of "the scurvier crewmen" that they were going to sail off the world's edge.
(Conan the Savage#10) - Milo accompanied Yakov, who spoke for the crewmen in favor of turning back and heading for Argos while they still could. After Conan explained they could not make it that far, Milo suggested they could turn back to Antillia. Arguing that the new rebel leaders of Antillia might consider them threats and imprison them, Conan ordered everyone back to work. Yakov swiftly fired an arrow at Conan, who dodged and then grabbed Milo by the face and shoved him down to the deck. As Milo drew his sword, Yasunga jabbed Milo in the neck with his spear, forcing him to stand down.
Appreciating they were already short-handed, Conan gave Milo and Yakov a second chance -- rather than walking the plank -- if they swore renewed loyalty, which they did. Yakov added, "From here on, we'll work like the very devil was on our tail!"
Almost immediately thereafter, they were struck by a powerful storm, during which Yasunga was thrown overboard while saving a young seaman from that same fate. Conan rallied the crew to weather the storm.
(Conan the Savage#10 (fb) - BTS) - For two more days, the Winged Dragon was buffeted by the mad tempest.
(Conan the Savage#10) - When the storm ceased, there was no wind whatsoever to fill the sails, nor was there any land visible. However, they found they were apparently being pulled along by a stream of dark waters. Conan initially encouraged the men to row to speed them along to their destination, but after the river had become so wide that only the air on their faces told them they were still moving, Conan advised they all just wait and see what happened.
(Conan the Savage#10 - BTS) - A few days later, the Winged Dragon crashed against the the rocky cliffs of the Isle of Na'at. Only Conan and Sigurd survived.
(Conan the Savage#10) - Most others, presumably including Yakov, were revived as zombies by Vacharn as his servants.
(Conan the Savage#10) - That evening, Yakov was presumably among the undead crewmen present at Vacharn's dinner, when Sigurd was brought in and bled dry by the demon-familiar Esrit as Conan watched mystically immobilized. After Conan broke free and attacked Vacharn, the necromancer forced the undead servants to batter Conan unconscious and throw him in a cell.
(Conan the Savage#10 - BTS) - In the evening, the servants rested in stone coffins, brought forth in daily resurrection to do the tasks ordained by their master, perhaps tending his gardens, tending his livestock, or diving for pearls.
(Conan the Savage#10 - BTS) - Nearly a month later, after Conan had slain Vacharn, his sons, and Esrit, Conan found the now-masterless undead army followed his orders.
Conan had the undead servants build a funeral pyre to ensure the destruction of Vacharn and his sons. Needing a small crew to help guide a boat to the mainland, Conan nonetheless preferred they not be those he brought to this accursed island.(Conan the Savage#10) - Conan therefore ordered his former crew into the fire as well.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Danny Bulanadi, Ricardo Villamonte & Armando Gil.
I saw Yasunga, Milo, and Sigurd amongst those reanimated by Vacharn, but not Yakov. Presumably he was reanimated as well...or his corpse was just lost at sea...or perhaps somehow he survived...
Profile by Snood.
Yakov should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles, story pg. 38, panel 2 (hands and bow & arrow only, leading men to launch flaming arrows)
pg. 39, panel 5 (started when the green-feathered priest's flame illusion faded);
Conan the Savage#10, pg. 5, panel 2 (face, front);
pg. 6, panel 1 (pulling sword);
panel 2 (face, at swordpoint);
pg. 21, panel 4 (partial face, with zombies)
Marvel Graphic Novel: Conan of the Isles (1988) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Danny Bulanadi, Ricardo Villamonte & Armando Gil (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Conan the Savage#10 (May, 1996) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (artist), Mike Lackey (editor)
Last updated: 02/26/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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