Cormac Fitzgeoffrey (Howard, R., E.)

With Cormac Fitzgeoffrey Howard stepped to the era between the third and the fourth crusade, having his ex-Crusader roam the unstable holy lands in a search of an adventure, as the half Irish giant isn't welcome to his homeland anymore, having caused bad blood there. This over six-foot tall, mail wearing combatant is a sullen, humourless man, whose most noteworthy characteristic is that he's extremely muscular.  Other than that, he's one of those Howard's non-characters, that feel like they'd be easily replaced with someone like Conan for an example. And as far comics go, the two completed stories and the one synopsis was adapted into Conan tales.

Out of the two complete stories, the Blood of Belshazzar is the more interesting one. While Cormac is a pretty uninteresting case in it, the setting is intriguing enough to make it stand out. In this tale, Cormac has entered a den of rogues led by a cruel man called the Butcher. He's hoping to find something of value he can use to ransom one of his few friends who's being held hostage. In the end, the multinational rogues end up turning against each other in their lust for a cursed ruby that has given its name to the story.

Hawks of Outremer is a pretty straightforward revenge tale, where Cormac seeks justice for his dead friend. There's very little any ingenuity about the story itself, as it's mostly just a vehicle for Howard to describe how brains and blood are splattered all over the place by not only Cormac but Richard Lionheart as well. In the end, Cormac even meets Saladin and finds himself admiring the great lion of Islam, despite he despises Muslims in general.

The third story, left in a synopsis stage, is called the Slave-princess and was later on completed by another writer. In this tale, Cormac rescues a slave, whom he notices has a resemblance towards a dead princess. Of this, I assume, hijinks ensue. And by hijinks I mean a lot of sword chopping, blood, guts and brain matter splattering all over the place.

There's really very little else to say about Cormac Fitzgeoffrey. If you want to read bloody tales set somewhere between the 3rd and 4th crusade, you are set, if you don't expect anything grand of them. Other than that, they're quite skippable. Cormac really isn't Howard's finest hour what comes to character creation.


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