Real Name: Tito
presumed Argossean citizen
Occupation: Shipmaster, licensed master shipman of the ports of Argos
Group Membership: Leader of the crew of the Argus
Affiliations: Conan, various traders, including a group in Kush;
he invoked Mitra
Enemies: Belit, Black Corsairs (notably Odongo), a number of unspecified deceitful merchants, pirates and reavers in general
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: In haste at their initial meeting, Conan called him "you Argossean dog," and Odongo cursed him as "Hyborian dog"
Base of Operations: Mobile aboard the Argus throughout the seas and various ports;
based out of Messantia, Argos
First Appearance: Weird Tales#23/5 "Queen of the Black Coast" (May, 1934);
(Marvel) Conan the Barbarian I#58 (January, 1976)
Powers/Abilities: Tito was an experienced master shipman and trader, able to navigate to distant nations without any advanced equipment.
He had some experience with a sword.
Although he seemed like a
generally nice guy, Tito was ultimately dedicated to profit, and he had
no qualms about participating in slave trade.
Height: Unrevealed (perhaps 5'9")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 190 lbs.)
Eyes: Dark (perhaps brown)
Hair: Dark gray (perhaps formerly black or dark brown)
(Conan the Barbarian I#58 (fb) - BTS) - Tito became a licensed master shipman of the ports of Argos.
(Conan the Barbarian I#58 (fb) - BTS) - On multiple occasions, Tito was "fleeced" (cheated) in suits with rich merchants.
(Conan the Barbarian I#58 (fb) - BTS) - Tito had good trade in the coasts of Kush.
(Conan the Barbarian I#58 (fb) - BTS) - Tito and the crew of the Argus beat off reavers on occasion.
(Conan the Barbarian I#58 (fb) - BTS) - Tito prepared
the crew of the Argus to sail to Kush to trade beads, silk, sugar, and
brass-hilted swords to the black kings in exchange for ivory, copra,
copper ore, slaves, and pearls.
(Conan the Barbarian I#58) - As the Argus' crewmen
completed their final loading, the Cimmerian barbarian Conan, fleeing
from Messantian guards, rushed to the end of the dock and leapt aboard
the Argus. Startled, Tito exclaimed "Mother of Mitra" before asking who
invited him aboard. Conan rudely urged him get under way, and when Tito
noted that they were bound for Kush, Conan noted that he was going
there then, too. Noting that they had no room for freeloaders, Tito
asked if the invader could pay his way, but when Conan brandished his
sword, told him he'd pay in steel, and noted that if they didn't get
under way he'd drench the galley in its crew's blood, Tito ordered his
crew ("you laggards") to hop to it and shove off.
The crew rhythmically roared their
oars, pushing the Argus to wallow out into clear water until a puff of
wind filled its shimmering sail; taking her course like a swan, she
gathered headway as she skimmed along. As the guards reached the dock,
their leader ordered them galley to turn about; when Tito and the crew
ignored this, the leader queried where were the archers, but the Argus
continued out safely.
Recognizing Conan as a barbarian, Tito told him that if they were to travel together, they may as well be at peace with each other, and they introduced themselves. After Tito explained their mission, he politely and cautiously asked Conan why the guards were pursuing him, and Conan shared how he had fought his way out of court after being placed in contempt for refusing to betray an ally. Not trusting the courts, Tito noted his sympathy for Conan's plight. He further considered that while he would have questions to answer when next he anchored in Messantia, he could prove he acted under compulsion. Tito then suggested Conan put away his sword as he and his crew were peaceable sailors with nothing against him. Noting that it was good to have a fighting man on board, Tito invited Conan to the poop deck for a tankard of ale.
With the Argus' crew complete, the
galley moved steadily southward as it hugged the shoreline with
consistently fair weather.
When they sighted the coast of Shem and the horsemen eying the galley suspiciously, Tito continued south, aware that there was scant profit in trade with the fierce and wary sons of Shem.
Similarly, they bypassed Khemi, avoiding the Set-worshipping sorcerers and people, even when a serpent-prowed gondola shot out from behind a castellated piece of land, with voluptuous, dusky women with great red blossoms in their hair calling out to the sailors.
As they began to cruise Kush's
coasts, the crew continued to regard the powerful Cimmerian with
interest, although they rarely approached him.
When they finally reached their destination, they found smoking ruins and the shores littered with natives' bodies. Tito lamented, at least, the loss of ongoing trade, and he noted that this was the work of pirates. Tito further considered that the Argus was no warship and that they typically ran rather than fought, but that they could fight off reavers unless it was the crew of Belit's ship, the Tigress. He explained to Conan that Belit was "the wildest she-devil unhanged," and that he suspected that her butchers had done this work.
The next day as they sailed, as
Tito further described Belit to Conan and noted his wish that he would
one day see her danging from the yardarm, a scout spotted the Tigress.
Exclaiming "may the gods help us now," Tito ordered his "lubbers" to
turn about and head into a creek mouth at the shore, as if they could
beach the Argus before the Black Corsairs ran them down, they may yet
escape. Sensing the Argus could not outpace the slender galley pursuing
it. Conan had Tito give him a bow and quiver to try to whittle down the
numbers before the confrontation.
Eventually Conan advised they stand and fight
rather than all dying with bows in their backs, but the desperate Tito
shouted to his crew ("dogs") to bend their backs. When the Argus was
still a mile from shore, the first crewman fell from an arrow to the
neck. Finally, the larger Tigress caught up to the Argus; while Conan
had a chance to take down Belit, some whim or qualm led Conan to
instead take out the the spearman at her side.
The Black Corsairs then boarded the Argus and assaulted its crewmen. After
taking an arrow in his sword-arm, Tito urged Conan to pull out the
arrow as they might still win the day, but before Conan had a chance,
Odongo of the Tigress finished off Tito with his axe, cursing him as a
Comments: Created by Robert E. Howard;
adapted to Marvel by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Steve Gan.
Kush was a portion of what would become Africa in subsequent millennia following additional Cataclysms.
Argos also seemed like a Hyborian counterpart to
Greece or somewhere else in the Mediterranean sea, but I think Argos
was just washed over by the waters that became the Mediterranean sea.
Profile by Snood.
Tito should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#58, pg. 3 (face, full);
pg. 7, panel 4 (face, best detail);
panel 5 (full);
pg. 14, panel 3 (wounded);
panel 4 (slain)
Weird Tales#23/5 "Queen of the Black Coast" (May, 1934) - Robert E. Howard (writer)
Conan the Barbarian I#58 (January, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (penciler), Steve Gan (inker)
First posted: 05/10/2020
Last updated: 05/10/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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