Savage Tales is the title of three American comics series, two of them black-and-white comics-magazine anthologies published by Marvel Comics (the first under their Curtis Magazines imprint), and the other a color comic book anthology published by Dynamite Entertainment.
The first of the two volumes of Savage Tales ran 11 issues, with a nearly 2 1/2-year hiatus after the premiere issue (May 1971, then Oct. 1973 - July 1975). It marked Marvel's second attempt at entering the comics-magazine field dominated by Warren Publishing (Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella), following the two-issue superhero entry The Spectacular Spider-Man in 1968. Starring in the first issue were Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery pulp-fiction character Conan the Barbarian, adapted by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith (as Barry Smith); the futuristic, Amazon-like Femizons, by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist John Romita; the swamp creature Man-Thing, plotted by Lee and Thomas, scripted by Gerry Conway and drawn by Gray Morrow; the African-American inner-city defender Joshua, in the feature "Black Brother" by Dennis O'Neil (under the pseudonym Sergius O'Shaughnessy) and penciler Gene Colan; and, after Conan had been spun off into his own Savage Sword of Conan, the jungle lord Ka-Zar, by Lee and artist John Buscema.
Thomas, who would shortly thereafter become Marvel editor-in-chief, recalled in 2008 that
“ ...there were several things that led to Savage Tales being cancelled after that first issue. [Publisher]] Martin Goodman had never really wanted to do a non-[Comics] Code comic [i.e., not bearing the Comics Code Authority's parental seal of approval, essentially required on mainstream color comics of the time], probably because he didn't want any trouble with the [Code administrator, the Comics Magazine Association of America] over it. Nor did he really want to get into magazine-format comics; and [Marvel editor-in-chief] Stan [Lee] really did. So Goodman looked for an excuse to cancel it. ”
When the magazine eventually began publishing again years later (after Goodman had left the company) in the wake of a Conan-inspired sword-and-sorcery trend in comics, it starred the likes of Conan, fellow Robert E. Howard hero Kull of Atlantis and John Jakes' barbarian creation, Brak. As of issue #6, the magazine cover-featured Ka-Zar.
The series featured painted covers by notable comics artists incouding John Buscema (#1-2), Pablo Marcos & John Romita (#3), Neal Adams (#4-6), Boris Vallejo (#7, #10), and Michael Kaluta (#9). A 1975 annual, consisting entirely of reprints, mostly from Ka-Zar's four-color line series, sported a new cover by Ken Barr.
Volume 2, published after the abandonment of the Curtis Magazines name, ran eight issues (Oct 1985 - Dec. 1986). It featured adventure and action stories with a militaristic slant. Stories in the first and fourth issues, a feature called "5th to the 1st" and produced by writer Doug Murray and artist Michael Golden, were the forerunners of their color comic series The 'Nam.
Infernal Man-Thing (1)