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Sunday, December 09, 2018 

So that's why Marvel regained the Conan license...

Seems like Marvel arranged to reacquire the license for Conan the Barbarian just so they can now feature Robert E. Howard's adventurer in an Avengers story:
The upcoming Marvel Entertainment comic book series Avengers: No Road Home is going to offer something that even the big screen Avengers can’t this March, with the publisher announcing that a special guest star will be appearing in the title as of the sixth issue: Conan the Barbarian.

"It all starts when The Scarlet Witch enters the Hyborian Age, and continues when the Avengers take their fight to the Queen of the Night," reads the Marvel release announcing the unexpected crossover. "And while Conan and the Avengers will fight together, the question remains…whose side is Conan really on?"
Who cares? As somebody who got burned huge on Marvel by the mid-2000s, it's hard to care, especially when Joe Quesada still clings to his prominent position behind the scenes. For now, suppose the estate that owns the rights to Conan decides eventually to discontinue the agreements if sales receipts aren't enough? That could mean Marvel would be unable to reprint a lot of these current appearances in paperback. It reminds me that one of the Marvel Epic Collections reprinting Power Man & Iron Fist doesn't include the 73rd issue of the 1977-86 series, because that issue featured a guest appearance by ROM: Spaceknight (the story may have even crossed over into the 1979-86 toy-based series proper), and so far as I know, they still do not have the copyright permits needed to reprint that story as part of their own products. Undoubtably, that's one of the reasons why, over the years, most comics based on licensed merchandise ultimately were not connected to mainstream superhero universes directly, as it would surely complicate their ability to reprint the material at ease without having to wade through so much copyright/contractual red tape.

As for this new Avengers tale, one of the writers credited to the project is somebody who may come as turnoff:
The sixth issue of Avengers: No Road Home — which introduces Conan in a story by Al Ewing, Mark Waid, Jim Zub and Sean Izaakse — will be released March 20. The weekly series launches in February.
Oh dear. After all the trouble he's caused since goodness knows when it began, I don't think Waid's name will be very encouraging to consumers anymore. Most of his recent Marvel efforts haven't been very impressive anyway, and if he's the main writer in charge of this new Avengers tale, that's why it's more likely to be an artistic bummer.

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Haven't you forgotten how Conan and Red Sonja (or at least some of the concepts and characters made when Marvel last had the license) have crossed with the X-Men and Spider-Man in the past, among others?

As for the writers on that new project, Ewing's a hack, Waid's lost his way like all the rest of the Old Guard, and Zub and Izaakse are just nobodies brought in to pad out the strip.

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