Titan Comics to Acquire Conan the Barbarian License From Marvel in 2023 – IGN
The Conan franchise is jumping to a new comic book publisher once again. Titan Comics announced they’re partnering with Heroic Signatures (a subsidiary of new Conan owner Funcom) to release new comics and collected editions starting in May 2023.
Titan will publish several new Conan projects beginning next year, including a new Conan the Barbarian monthly series and several limited series focused on other Robert E. Howard-created characters like Solomon Kane and Dark Agnes. The Red Sonja franchise, however, will remain at its current home at Dynamite Entertainment.
No creative teams have been revealed for these books yet. These comics will accompany Titan Books’ upcoming line of Conan novels and art books. The first of those, Conan: Blood of the Serpent, is due for release in October 2022.
This arrangement brings an unexpectedly swift end to Marvel’s current Conan tenure. Marvel originally held the license from 1970 to 2000, and regained the rights to Conan in 2019. Marvel has published new stories set in the traditional Hyborian Age – like Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar’s Conan the Barbarian and the sequel series King Conan – as well as brought Conan into the present-day Marvel Universe in the ongoing series Savage Avengers.
Oddly, Marvel just relaunched Savage Avengers with a new #1 issue on June 8. It’s unclear whether Marvel still holds the rights to include Conan as a supporting character in other books, or if Titan’s new deal will require Marvel to phase Conan out of Savage Avengers in the months ahead. IGN reached out to Marvel for comment, and we’ll update this story as we learn more.
There is one piece of good news for readers who have been collecting Marvel’s current Conan lineup. Titan will continue Marvel’s line of Omnibus hardcovers that collect the classic material from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
“We have been working with Titan for a year on the prose side and established a good foundation for expanding our business together,” said Heroic Signatures president Fredrik Malmberg in a statement. “When it became clear that Heroic Signatures would publish our own comics it was natural to partner with a team that we have known for decades. Their expertise in publishing is stellar and we couldn’t be more excited to launch a barbarian horde of titles like Conan, Solomon Kane, Dark Agnes, and many more together.”
This news comes as Conan is also gearing up for a return to the small screen. Netflix is developing a live-action Conan series, with Malmberg and Mark Wheeler’s company Pathfinder Media attached to produce.
Marvel may be losing the Conan license, but they’re adding another iconic franchise to their roster next year. Marvel recently announced they’ll be publishing new Planet of the Apes comics in 2023.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.