Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Solomon Kane (Marvel Comics)

Go To
Solomon Kane is a series of comic book stories published by Marvel Comics. The title character is an adaptation of author Robert E. Howard's hero Solomon Kane, a 16th century Puritan wanderer.

Kane travels the world, confronting both human and supernatural evils, seeking justice and vengeance on behalf of those who have suffered. Fuelled by his faith but never evangelical, in many stories Kane also carries a magical staff entrusted to him by his African ally N'Longa, a powerful ju-ju man.

Although most of the stories stand alone, some connect Kane to the other Howard characters licensed by Marvel, and also to the wider Marvel Universe.

Marvel published their first Solomon Kane story in 1973, a direct adaptation of Howard's "The Skulls in the Stars". As with most subsequent Kane tales, it was a back-up story within the black and white anthology comic Savage Sword of Conan. It was followed by a mix of adaptations and entirely new tales (including one that featured Dracula and another that used Castle Frankenstein as a setting).

At the end of 1976, a two-part Solomon Kane story, a direct adaptation of Howard's "Red Shadows", was also printed in Marvel Premiere, a full color Rotating Protagonist comic.

In 1985, Kane finally starred in his own six-issue limited series, which mixed new stories with adaptations of Howard's tales - all of which had already been adapted once in the earlier comics. The last Solomon Kane story in Savage Sword of Conan was printed in 1994, finally bringing Kane face-to-face with Conan the Barbarian himself.

Marvel subsequently lost the license to Howard's characters and Kane, along with his other creations, moved to Dark Horse Comics, who released their own, very different, adaptations.

In 2019, the rights returned to Marvel and Kane appeared as one of the protagonists of the crossover series Conan Serpent War, but no other new stories were released.

In 2023, the comic rights to Howard's characters moved once again, this time to Titan Comics, who have announced that they will release their own Solomon Kane stories.

Solomon Kane contains the following tropes:

  • Comic-Book Adaptation: The comics are adapted from Robert E. Howard's stories. Some are direct adaptations, some are entirely new material, and a few take unfinished fragments as a starting point for an original story. At least one is also a sequel to one of Howard's tales.
  • Covers Always Lie: One Marvel Premiere cover shows Kane defending himself from a huge Killer Gorilla while an African tribeswoman in a leopard skin Fur Bikini cowers in the background. There's no such woman in the story - and the gorilla saves Kane's life by attacking the hunter who ambushes him, then leaves peacefully.
  • Fight Dracula: One story, "Castle of the Undead", pits Kane against Dracula himself. He wins - barely - but his code of honor forces him to spare the vampire's life.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Kane and Dracula duel with swords, with Kane eventually gaining the upper hand. It's not until Kane lands a lethal blow that Dracula reveals a normal sword can't kill him.
  • Murder Into Malevolence: In "Skulls in the Stars", the demonic apparition is the ghost of mad Gideon, abused and murdered by his cousin Ezra. He's killing travellers because, just as confused as he was in life, he can't find his murderer.
  • No-Sell: In "Skulls in the Stars", Kane shoots and stabs the murderous apparition he meets on the road, with absolutely no effect. Bare-handed grappling is actually more effective than weapons.