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Classification: Terrestrial ant-human hybrid humanoids

Location/Base of Operations: Near town of Meshken (Hyborian era)

Known Members: Thok (mutant), others

Affiliations: Meara (queen/mother-general, sorcerous mutate)

Enemies: Conan, Fhala, LaRoughe, Vhalken and his castle staff

First Appearance: Savage Sword of Conan I#70 (November, 1981)

Powers/Abilities: Ant-Men are ant-human hybrids. Humanoid in form, they make up in numbers what they lack in fighting skills; while some handle spears, they are not thrown. Presumably, their have a slightly harder chitinous-based exterior (similar to ants), but this easily breaks to a well-swung blade. They communicate via clicks. Despite their bulbous compound eyes, they appear to be similar to ants with poorer eyesight (i.e., see more movement rather than resolution) compared to average humans, relying more on scent.

Traits: Ant-Men exhibit collective behavior and respond immediately to their queen's demands and emotional state. Like ants, they demonstrate eusocial behavior in that there is a division of labor. The only apparent female is the queen, living (by choice in this case) to reproduce while Ant-Men defend the nest and carry the newly birthed eggs to the nursery. (Another tier, zombie-like hollowed-out adult male human corpses--controlled by ants inside-- feed the queen sugar and defend the outer perimeter.) The Ant-Men defend the inner nest from perceived threats. They appear to all be infertile males.

Type: Bilaterally symmetric humanoid bipeds
Eyes: Two
Fingers: Four (including opposable thumb)
Toes: Four
Skin color: Caucasian plus dark brown/black heads
Average height: 6'5"


(Savage Sword of Conan I#70 (fb)) - A colony of fierce ants in the middle of a river in Khauran province was sometimes used by the vindictive King Vhalken to kill those who had wronged him. At one point, the ant colony's queen died just as Vhalken staked his unfaithful wife Meara and her former husband LaRoughe next to the nest. But Meara, who longed for sons and an empire, had learned magic, and she agreed to become the colony's queen if they would be her army. LaRoughe was lowered into the nest as well, but as prisoner.

(Savage Sword of Conan I#70 (fb) - BTS) - Meara was fed special gelatinous food and, combined with her magicks, mutated into a monstrous form with a giant trailing egg sac. LaRoughe was kept in sexual servitude and forced to mate with her. The resulting eggs birthed into Ant-Men, human-sized ant-human hybrids, who built a large underground nest that stretched beneath the river. The Ant-Men defended the inner nest and carried the new eggs from the queen to the nest's nursery. The Ant-Men responded to her commands and emotional state (presumably via pheromones). Meara intended her Ant-Men to become her army, first vengefully against Vhalken. Meara also proudly birthed a large egg she knew would be a powerful male warrior she named Thok. Meara additionally had a second tier of ants that would capture adult human males using captivating whining stridulation and hollow out their bodies so that their corpses could be controlled by the original smaller ants; these "zombies" would collect sugar to feed the queen and defend the outer nest perimeter.

(Savage Sword of Conan I#70) - Meara and LaRoughe's daughter Fhala, accompanied by adventurer Conan, searched for LaRoughe. Captivated by the stridulation, they wandered to the nest and fought past the zombie-ant sentries. Inside the nest, Conan and Fhala fought past Ant-Men and were shocked to see the sight of the inhuman queen ant-human being fed while she also birthed eggs. The pair found and freed LaRoughe but Meara saw them escaping and ordered Ant-Men stop them. Overwhelmed by numbers, Conan broke the tunnel ceiling to flood the nest with river water. Other Ant-Men rushed to save Meara but all the Ant-Men perished, as well as Meara. Soon after, Thok burst free and attacked Conan, but was stabbed in the eye and crushed under a toppled statue. The churning river washed away any trace of the nest and its inhabitants.

Comments: Created by Bruce Jones, John Buscema, Steve Mitchell.

This reminds of the later "Aliens" film (1986) with xenomorphs as ants and Ripley as Conan (if Conan said "get away from her, you wench!").

This profile was completed 09/15/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary's celebratory event.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

Ant-Men have no known connections to:


Fhala was the daughter of Meara and LaRoughe. Her mother wanted a son instead, as well as wealth and power, so she left Fhala to be raised by her father. As Fhala grew up, she became skilled in the use of the whip and roved locally, never settling down. However, hearing her father had disappeared as well as the men in the town Meshken, she investigated and found only women plus the newly arrived adventurer Conan. Aggression between Fhala and Conan turned to attraction and they quested to find her father, going first to Vhalken's castle. Narrowly escaping Vhalken's anger, they were both drawn to the captivating and disorienting stridulation from a massive ant's nest nearby in the middle of a river and overcame zombie-like men that were actually men animated by ants crawling inside the corpses. Soon, ants swarmed over Fhala's body, biting her, until Conan pushed her under the river water to expel the ants. Handy garlic gave a deterring scent to the ants. The pair continued into the giant mound where they discovered Ant-Men, who served a monstrous ant-human queen (Meara deformed) and they eventually found her father. They freed him and fought past Ant-Men, all recognizing that Meara was irredeemable. Conan had to cut open the tunnel and let the river water flood in so that they could escape. But they were finally confronted by Meara's giant Ant-Man monster son Thok, who was killed by Conan and a toppling gold statue. Fhala, LaRoughe and Conan watched as the entire nest fell into the river, the entire nest drowned.



--Savage Sword of Conan I#70


LaRoughe was husband to Meara and father of daughter Fhala. When Meara left him soon after birthing Fhala, he had to raise Fhala by himself, training her in using the bullwhip as a skill. Once she was an adult, he let her roam free while he searched for his wife. Following rumors she was queen at Castle Vhalken, he posed as a peasant and they met. Unhappy that Vhalken was sterile, she happily rekindled her physical relationship with LaRoughe but the two were caught in bed by Vhalken. The duo were taken and placed on stakes to be eaten alive by fierce ants on a nearby island. Instead, Meara used magic and became the ants' new queen, mutating monstrously and LaRoughe was forced into sexual servitude so she could birth eggs that would become hybrid Ant-Men. He was tied up inside the nest and force-fed until the mutated Meara needed him again. Eventually, Fhala found him with the aid of the adventurer Conan. Once they freed him, they escaped and, recognizing Meara was irredeemable, left her to drown with her Ant-Men as Conan destroyed the nest.








--Savage Sword of Conan I#70


Meara was married to LaRoughe and longed for power and wealth fueled by conquest led by sons; she was disappointed with her firstborn being a daughter Fhala and she left soon after birthing. She made her way to Castle Vhalken, first seducing the sorcerer there and learning dark magic from him. Eventually the king succumbed to her wiles and took her as his new wife; however, he could provide no children and she grew deeply unhappy. Later, LaRoughe found her and the two rekindled a physical relationship but they were discovered by Vhalken, who vengefully had the pair placed on stakes on an island inhabited by fierce ants, hoping they would be eaten alive. But the ant colony had just lost its queen and Meara used her magicks; the ants carefully lowered her into their colony, feeding her special gelatinous food and copious sugar, and she mutated into a giant monstrous ant-human hybrid form with a trailing egg sac that could barely move, yet she was their new queen. LaRoughe was kept prisoner and forced into sexual servitude so that she could birth scores of eggs that hatched into Ant-Men she intended to make into an army. She had her ants slowly steal gold from Vhalken's treasury so that he could not pay his own men and so that she could vainly have a giant gold statue of herself in her human form. However, she was most proud of a giant Ant-Man she had birthed called Thok and was being carefully nurtured. Eventually her daughter, accompanied by adventurer Conan, found Meara while freeing her father. Fhala was shocked to learn that the monstrosity was her mother. Meara tried to stop the trio's escape by commanding her Ant-Men against them, but Conan broke open the tunnel under the river and drowned the nest, including Meara.






--Savage Sword of Conan I#70


Thok was a giant mutant Ant-Man whom Meara was most proud of. More ant than human and all aggression, it was born from one of ant-queen Meara's eggs and nurtured with a special diet of gelatinous food. As it grew, it caused rumblings in the giant nest. When Conan, Fhala and LaRoughe caused the destruction of the nest, Thok broke out and almost cleaved Conan in half with its mandibles. Its armored form resisted Conan's sword strokes until the warrior stabbed one of its eyes and he broke free. A giant statue nearby toppled onto Thok, squashing and killing the beast. Soon the river swallowed the Ant-Men's nest and washed away any trace.











--Savage Sword of Conan I#70


Vhalken was king of Khauran province and lived in his castle. Meara, desiring power and wealth, seduced him and eventually he had his wife beheaded so he could marry Meara. But the new queen wanted sons to conquer in her name and Vhalken was sterile. Eventually Meara's first husband LaRoughe found her and, unhappy with Vhalken, she took him to bed. Vhalken found them together and was enraged. He had the duo tied to stakes on an island populated by fierce ants where he hoped they would slowly die; instead Meara became a monstrous ant-human and birthed Ant-Men she intended to attack Castle Vhalken. She began by having her ants steal from Vhalken's treasury so that he could no longer afford a sizable army. Conan and Meara's daughter Fhala arrived at that point, searching for LaRoughe, but learning their motive, ordered their deaths instead. Conan and Fhala escaped from the few soldiers Vhalken had left in castle.











--Savage Sword of Conan I#70

images: (without ads)
Savage Sword of Conan I#70, p26, pan1 (main image)
   p30, pan1 (Ant-Man with spear)
   p29, pan1 (Ant-Men with eggs)
   p7, pan2 (Fhala with whip)
   p18, pan3 (Fhala with ants)
   p38, pan3 (LaRoughe aged)
   p35, pan2 (LaRoughe headshot, bound)
   p28 (Meara, ant mother-general)
   p34, pan2 (Meara, human)
   p46 (Thok, full body)
   p48, pan1 (headshot, side view)
   p13, pan2 (Vhalken)

Savage Sword of Conan I#70 (November, 1981) - Bruce Jones (writer), John Buscema (pencils & inks), Steve Mitchell (inks), Louise Simonson (editor)

First Posted: 09/15/2021
Last updated: 09/19/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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