amra-hyborian-redhead-ctb61-mostlyfull-with-sholoAMRAamra-hyborian-redhead-ctb62-face

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human;
    Hyborian era;
    Aquilonian citizen

Occupation: Ruler of own society, composed of lions and of human servants and/or wives/mates

Group Membership: Ruler of the lions and people of the Lair of the Lions

Affiliations: Sholo the elder, Sholo the younger, other unidentified lions
    worshipped the "god of the maned ones" (possibly Sehkmet, the Lion-God);
    formerly Makeda;
   
briefly Belit, Conan the Cimmerian, and the Watambi
    served by various brides, members of the lion-worshipping jungle tribe, and offered tributes by the Riders of the River-Dragons (although most of these served him out of fear of death)

Enemies: Belit, Conan the Cimmerian, Dwellers in Darkness, Makeda, Riders of the River-Dragons, the Watambi tribe; lion-worshipping jungle tribe; unidentified pirates, unidentified lion he slew for threatening Belit, unidentified moth creature
    indirectly the men who wished to kill his father

Known Relatives: Unidentified father (deceased);
    unidentified lioness (adoptive mother), Sholo the elder (adoptive brother, presumed deceased), Sholo the younger (adoptive nephew); not really the adoptive brother of the slain lion cub whom he replaced, but some sort of relationship exists

Aliases: "First Among Lions" (translation of name), Lion-Lord, Lord of Lions

Base of Operations: Lair of Lions, south of Kush in the Dark Continent;
    formerly unspecified location in Aquilonia

First Appearance: (Mentioned) Conan the Barbarian I#60 (March, 1976);
    (seen)
Conan the Barbarian I#61 (April, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: Amra is large, strong, and swift, although not superhumanly so. Highly skilled with a knife, he was virtually a match for the mighty Conan in terms of strength, ferocity, and fighting prowess.

    Having grown up with lions, Amra could predict the actions of lions, sense their coming moves, and evade their teeth, raking talons, and their physical mass/strength, allowing him to consistently slay a lion that opposed or challenged him, armed with only a knife.

    Amra could move as silently as a stalking leopard. He likely had many cat-like skills.

    Amra commanded servitude from all he encountered, and, having grown up to some degree as the leader of his pride, he took what he wanted when he wanted it, whether it was possessions or people, although he had little use for things of material wealth. If he wanted a woman as his mate, he would make her his, regardless of her wishes. He was not above punching out a woman who struck him.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6'5"; he is very close to Conan in size)
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 275 lbs.)
Eyes: Blue-green (see comments)
Hair: Red

History:
amra-hyborian-redhead-ctb62-father(
Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - As a young boy, the child who would become Amra was the son of an Aquilonian lord who fled his native land to escape enemies "with royal-sounding names.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb)) - His father took him via horseback over roadless lands and then hurriedly out to sea in a southbound boat with many men.

    When the ship was attacked by Barachan pirates, the youth was told to hide. Though the pirates were driven off, the boat was left with too few to man the boat, and when a storm struck, only the youth and his father survived, cold and wet, clinging to what little remained of the vessel.

    His strong father got them to the shore alive, and they saw there the remains of those who did not make it. Perhaps hoping to find civilization and a new ship, the father took them north into the jungle, where they encountered black tribesmen who slew the father and took the boy with them.

    As the tribesmen -- who on some level worshipped lions -- believed slaying any type of lion would grant them a lion's courage, they slew a young lion cub they encountered, but the cub's death squeal drew the unusual pride of jungle-dwelling lions who slaughtered the warriors. However, before the lions could slay the youth, the mother of the slain cub leapt to his defense, apparently wanting the manling to replace her lost cub. The youth shared the mother with her surviving cub, a black-furred lion the youth named Sholo (which meant "black" in the river dialect).

    The youth eventually grew to manhood, still running with the lion pride, now joined by Sholo's son, also named Sholo. The man and the lions prowled the jungle, exploring farther inland than ever lions had gone, and they found a city built by the lion-worshippers in days they themselves had forgotten. There Amra and his pride brought tribesmen they could carry away alive to be his servants, or, if they refused, to be the pride's next meal. The tribesmen called the red-haired man "Amra," which among their people meant "First among lions."

    Amra explored this Lair of Lions, finding a wealth of long-neglected treasure, the value of which he recognized from his youth, although to him, it meant nothing. He also found a great tomb-like wall on which were symbols he could not read (and he believed no man now living could read); Amra felt the symbols carried the secrets of some unknown mystery.amra-hyborian-redhead-ctb62-servants

    The Riders of the River-Dragons (a tribe who rode crocodiles) and others regularly sent women to become Amra's brides as tributes so that he did not send Sholo and the

pride against them.

    While the male servants all eventually perished or fled, Amra allowed the women to live for as long as they served and amused him, which was generally not long.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 (fb) - BTS) - Amra believed the "god of the maned ones," who had preserved him when men and beast alike would have slain him as a child.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 (fb) - BTS) - Amra had an immense stone lion carved by a skilled tribesman in the image of his "god of the maned ones" in exchange for a few more weeks of life.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 (fb) - BTS) - Amra tortured and slew some of those captured to serve as his slaves to ensure the others feared him sufficiently.

(Conan the Barbarian I#61 (fb) - BTS) - Amra's roars, more fearsome than the cats with which he ran, split the jungle and terrified those who heard them.

(Conan the Barbarian I#61 (fb) - BTS) - Sholo and other lions serving Amra attacked and slew members of the Riders of the River-Dragons.

(Conan the Barbarian I#61 (fb) - BTS) - Sentries of the Dragon-Riders were often choked to death or stabbed in the gullet by a man or shredded by the claws of silent lions.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - After Makeda, former princess of the Moonhawk tribe, became one of Amra's mates, she eventually rose to the role of mistress of the Lair of the Lions. Makeda's fierceness pleased Amra more than most of his mates. When other wenches sought to replace Makeda in Amra's affections, Makeda wooed Amra away from them or, failing that, she slew the women.

(Conan the Barbarian I#60 - BTS) - The Riders of the River-Dragons feared Amra and brought him slaves and tribute.

(Conan the Barbarian I#60 - BTS) - When Belit and her crew, the Black Corsairs, including her mate Conan, visited the Watambi tribe, south of Kush, the Riders of the River-Dragons captured some of the Watambi and also abducted Belit, who had passed out from wine consumption.

    After Conan, the Black Corsairs, and the Watambi drove off the Riders, a captured Rider revealed that they had sought slaves to satisfy Amra. Conan demanded to know who or what was Amra, but the Rider perished before he could answer. Watambi leader Ombassa told Conan of the legend Amra as a wild man who ran with the great cats and that his name meant "lion." amra-hyborian-redhead-ctb63-lion-fight

    Upon learning of Belit's abduction, Conan vowed to find and slay the Dragon-Riders.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - Amra watched the Dragon-Riders as they brought Belit toward him.

(Conan the Barbarian I#61 - BTS) - After Tindaga, the leader of the Dragon-Riders urged his devil-brothers forward to avoid risking the further wrath of Amra, Belit mocked his fear as she rubbed her bonds against a crocodile's spine. Eventually wearing through the ropes, Belit leapt into the water, swam to shore, and escaped before the Riders could catch up with her.

(Conan the Barbarian I#61) - That evening, as Belit rested atop a large rock/hill, she was assaulted by a giant moth that threatened to eat her. When Amra's strong hand grabbed the moth's head and then he decapitated it with his knife, Belit initially assumed it to be Conan. She was shocked to see the red-headed man who introduced himself as Amra.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62) - When Belit looked at Amra and the black lion Sholo and noted how the Dragon-Riders had sworn Amra had turned into the black lion, Amra replied that the Dragon-Riders were spineless hyenas, but he allowed to think they ruled the river-beds because they brought him the things he wanted, like her; this made Belit realize that he had been trailing the Dragon-Riders since they picked her up. Belit had many questions, but Amra instructed her that there was no time to talk as they must reach the lair of the lions before daybreak. When he told her that she was to be his mate, Belit angrily challenged him, leading Sholo to charge her, but Amra forced Sholo back. When Amra pulled Belit in for a kiss, she noted his strength perhaps matched Conan's before slapping him away, after which he angrily punched her out and he carried her to a cave.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - Amra brought Belit to a cave where he bound her wrists and lit a fire.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62) - When Belit awakened, Amra acknowledged that they should talk a bit. Realizing she would get nowhere being hostile, Belit questioned how a savage that ran with the lions and spoke the dialect of the river-folk, like the Watambis, had a Hyborian accent. Amra explained that his father was Aquilonian, and he told her his origins.

    After Amra noted that she was the first woman of his own kind ("white"/Caucasian/whatever), he suspected she would last longer as his mate than most, Belit warned him that he would regret abducting her as the jungle tribes revered her as a goddess. Familiar with the name, Amra considered that she would make a fitting mate for him, for as long as she lived.

    Amra arrived with Belit at the Lair of the Lions, his roar cowering lions distrustful of the woman by his side. Within the city, a jealous Makeda charged Belit, who, her hands still bound, kicked her back. When Makeda drew her dagger, Amra stopped her, instructing her to leave quickly and never return or he would release her from his protection, and she would become a meal for his lion pride.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - The vengeful Makeda rushed to the tomb-wall. Having learned how to read the symbols on its walls, she performed a spell to awaken and release the monstrous beings imprisoned below the city for allegedly a million years.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 - BTS) - Having followed Belit's trail toward the Lair of the Lions, Conan encountered Makeda, who confirmed the presence of Belit within the city before informing him how she had released creatures that would kill everyone within the city.amra-hyborian-redhead-ctb63-vs-conan.jpg

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - As Amra lead Belit to the top of the lion altar where the great cats would be the only witnesses of the wedding rites, Conan urged Makeda to show them the fastest path to the altar, while both the Watambis and Conan wondered how he (Conan) would fair against Amra.

    Standing below the giant lion statue, Amra implored the lion-god to look down with favor as he took a new bride. Belit, however, denounced Amra as a wild animal for failing to heed her when she said she already had a mate, one she warned would cut him to ribbons. As Amra angrily grabbed her by the hair, Belit called him a filthy jackal, and he retorted that he should feed her to his lions for calling him that.

    While Amra insisted that she was his and that her mate would die if tried to reclaim her, Belit's efforts to free herself from her wrist-bonds unleashed a trickle of blood that caused a younger lion to leap at her. Roaring more loudly and leaping more swiftly, Amra landed atop the lion and stabbed it repeatedly in the neck until it fell dead. Silently, Belit feared whether Conan stand against such a being.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - Conan slew the lion guarding the entrance and then led the Watambis into the Lair, after which Makeda noted that while Amra could have slain the lion with but a knife, she hoped Conan could kill slay Amra to win her revenge for her.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - Apparently sensing the intruder, Amra was surprised when the stone below Belit fell away and she dropped into the hands of a monstrous horde. Amra immediately engaged the six-limbed spidery gnomes, and he snarled with pleasure to learn, at least, that they were flesh and blood. They creatures swarmed out and even over the lions, who fought back until Amra jumped down through the portal and urged Sholo and the others to follow him to recover his chosen mate.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - The lions apparently could not (or refused to) fit through the passageway to follow their master.

    A group of "unbound ones" swarmed over Conan, Makeda, and the Watambis, who fought back fiercely and slew them, although at least one of the Watambi perished in the struggle.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - Drawn be Belit's cries, Conan led the Watambi to her, make their way to her just as Amra arrived as well. Both Conan and Amra slew the creatures in great numbers, eventually fighting back-to-back; Belit soon freed herself and joined the struggle, and the Earthspawn eventually conceded defeat and fled back to their uncharted depths, leaving Makeda and others dead.amra-hyborian-redhead-ctb63-stabbed

    Though Conan offered to depart with Belit peaceably, Amra insisted Belit remain his and challenged Conan to fight to the death for her. Conan passed off his sword and received a knife from Anaki of the Watambi to make it a fair match.

    Conan and Amra fought fiercely, matched in size, strength, and ferocity, eventually locking themselves into a prolonged, rigid struggle, until Amra leapt forward and knocked Conan to his back. After another extended period of struggling, Conan finally buried his knife in Amra's chest, and Amra fell, dead.

    As Belit and the Watambi cheered, Conan silenced them, noting he had just slain a brave man and that if they had met another day they might have been friends.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - As the Lair of the Lions began to collapse around them, Conan, Belit, and the Watambi fled.

    The lions fled the lair separately.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - In the jungles, Sholo approached Conan and the others, ultimately lowering its head as if to acknowledge Conan as the new lord of lions. Sholo then shook his mane, roared his newfound allegiance to the night, and then turned away and vanished into the jungle without looking back at Conan or his knife.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - The Watambis told Conan that it was said that there must always be an Amra, first among lions, and that Conan had now claimed that title.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Steve Gan.

    In case you don't know your Conan history that well, Conan was known by the Black Corsairs, the crew of Belit's ship, as well as many Kushites, as "Amra, the Lion."
    Courtesy of Wolfram Bane:

    Amra speaks in the first person. "No one strike Amra!"

    For his eye color, my son says blue-green; my wife and I say blue; and my daughter says green...

    It is at least implied that the demon-dwarf creatures (Dwellers in Darkness/Earthspawn/unbound ones/six-limbed spidery gnomes/demon-dwarves/dark-dwellers) were the spawn of the Earth mother. Despite having six limbs, they were called "spidery," so perhaps they were spawn of Omm or an offshoot of the spider-people.

    Amra's main lion was called Shulo initially in Conan the Barbarian I#62, then Sholo consistently after that.

    This profile was completed 02/28/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Amra
should be distinguished from:


Amra's father

amra-hyborian-redhead-ctb62-father-adriftamra-hyborian-redhead-ctb62-father-jungle-trek
(
Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - Amra's father was an Aquilonian lord.

     He developed unspecified enemies (whom his son later recalled as having "
royal-sounding names").

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb)) - As these enemies apparently eventually sought his death, the man fled his native land with his young son.

    The man carried his son via horseback over roadless lands to a seaport.

    He then hurriedly traveled with his son out to sea in a southbound boat with many men.

    When the ship was attacked by Barachan pirates, the father told the youth to hide.

    Though the pirates were driven off, presumably with the father participating in this struggle), the boat was left with too few to man the boat.

    When a storm struck, only the father and the youth survived, cold and wet, clinging to what little remained of the vessel.

    The strong father got them to the shore alive, and they saw there the remains of those who did not make it.

    Perhaps hoping to find civilization and a new ship, the father took them north into the jungle.

    However, they encountered black tribesmen who slew the father and took the boy with them.

--Conan the Barbarian I#62

Note: The best image of Amra's dad is in the main profile here:

We don't know the father's name (we don't even known Amra's original name).

     We don't know what happened to the mother of the boy who would become Amra.
amra-hyborian-redhead-ctb62-father-death
  • Was she killed by the father's enemies, leading the father to flee with his son to save his life?
    While there's no information to support or contradict this, that's the version I like.
  • Did she die in childbirth or sometime before the father had to flee his enemies?
  • Was the child born out of wedlock?
  • Perhaps there's some more fantastic explanation, like he was the child of some goddess that had a dalliance with the father...or something...
  • Regardless, the mother wasn't even mentioned, and it seems unlikely that we'll ever get any further explanation, but one never knows, does one? No, one does not...


images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#61, last page (full body, with Sholo, standing over Belit);
    #62, pg. 7, panel 3 (roaring at Sholo);
        pg. 9, panel 2 (ship);
            panel 3 (youth with father);
            panel 4 (pirates);
            panel 5 (shipwreck);
            panel 6 (youth with father, wreckage);
       pg. 10, panel 1 (arriving on island);
          panel 2 (father carrying through jungle);
          panel 3 (father death);
          panel 4 (lion-worshipping tribe);
          panel 5-6 (Sholo the elder's brother; approach & death);
          panel 7 (jungle lions);
          panel 8 (Sholo the elder's mother);
       pg. 11, panel 1 (Sholo the elder with mother and pre-Amra youth);
          panel 2 (pre-Amra adult with Sholo and other lions);
          panel 3 (discover Lair of the Lions);
          panel 4 (lion-worshipping tribe made slaves of Amra);
          panel 5 (treasure of the Lair of the Lions);
          panel 6 (Lair of the Lions, tomb wall);
       pg. 12, panel 1 (Amra & Sholo with Amra's female slaves/brides);
          panel 4 (Amra face);
    #63, pg. 4, panel 5 (Amra vs. lion);
        pg. 13, panel 5 (vs. Conan);
        pg. 16, panel 1 (stabbed)


Appearances:
Conan the Barbarian I#60-63 (March-June, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (penciler), Steve Gan (inker)


First posted: 09/06/2021
Last updated: 09/04/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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