Marvel Database

Kull of Valusia was the greatest king of the Pre-Cataclysmic Age, and a central individual of his time, much like Conan the Cimmerian some 8,000 years later.[2] He lived circa 18,500 BC,[citation needed] and originated from barbaric Atlantis.[2]

He would face many enemies, including the Commorians,[citation needed] the Elder Race sorcerers Thulsa Doom[2] and Tuzun Thune,[5] the Serpent Men,[2] Ohris Dehjmal and his followers,[6][7][8][9][10] among others.

To serve and assist him were his court: Brule the Spear-Slayer (the Pictish ambassador to the court), the elderly councilor Tu, the minstrel Ridondo, Count Murom Bora Ballin, the philosopher-slave Kuthulos, the Pictish ancient Ka-Nu,[2] as well his friend from his slave years Bakas,[10] but he had other allies, such as his fellow tribesman Om-Ra.[3]

He would became a legendary king during the Hyborian Age[11] and into at least the 2nd century AD,[12] and a character in stories Robert Howard wrote.[13]


Origin and early years

Kull was born in Atlantis. An orphan, he was adopted by the tigers of Tiger Valley.

He was eventually taken in by the Sea-Mountain people. Soon, he bested his fellow tribesmen in both martial and mind matters. A questioner and a seeker, he was singularly different from the rest of the tribe.[2]

When his fellow tribesmen tried and burned Sareeta for marrying a Lemurian, Kull killed her by throwing a dagger at her, sparing her from a slow death, while causing himself targeted by his tribe. Kull consequently fled Atlantis.[2]

Slave of Lemurian pirates

Kull was enslaved by Lemurian pirates, who had him bound the oar, to serve as a galley slave[2] and as a gladiator, where he faced a Wolf Man, with whom he forged an alliance.[citation needed]

After two years of captivity, Kull overcome a pair of drunken guards and escaped, swimming to the shore of Valusia.[2]


Fearing the wizard-priest Rotath of Lemuria, Asfodel IV hired Kull to slay him. Although the barbarian was successful, Rotath cursed both Asfodel and Kull before casting a spell that would allow him to eventually return to life during the Hyborian Age.[14]


On Valusia, Kull joined a group of outlaws in the hill country, but was eventually caught and locked in the dungeons of the City of Wonders, the capital.[2]


Due to his physique, he was sentenced to the gladiatorial arenas, where he became a sensation. Recognizing his nobility of spirit, the Valusian count Murom Bora Ballin bought him his freedom.[2]

Valusian soldier

Count Murom Bora Ballin eventually bought him a commission in the Valusian army.

Eventually, Kull's natural leadership helped him rise to the rank of commander of the king's personal regiment, the Black Legion.

He was soon embroiled in a plot to assassinate King Borna set by Kaanuub, baron of Blaal. Kull confronted Borna and killed him in a duel, receiving a scar on his right cheek during that fight, a symbol of the violence by which he seized the Topaz Throne and by which he would keep it.[2]

King of Valusia

Upon his first public processions, Kull, aided by Brule the Spear-Slayer, Pictish ambassador to the court, uncovered the threat of the Serpent-Men and inflicted upon them the first of a series of defeats.[2]

Ardyon's rule / Kull in exile

For a time, the evil sorcerer Thulsa Doom usurped the throne of Valusia,[2] posing as Ardhyon and wearing the Serpent Crown.[3] ...[15][16][17][3][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

During that time, Kull wandered, experiencing supernatural adventures.[2]


He eventually returned to Valusia and took back his throne.[2]

Kull decided to annihilate all those who offered human sacrifice to the dark elder gods, including Thuron, the king of a mountain city on the outer fringes of Valusia.[11]

The deities who later became known as the Elder Gods of the Hyborian Age intended to make King Kull of Valusia the vessel of their power, but chose instead to make the immortal cat, Sedrick (felinized by Thulsa Doom) the container of their power.[citation needed]

For this, Kull slew Thulsa Doom. Varnae, who served in the Cult of the Darkholders under Thulsa Doom, became injured during the battle. On the verge of dying, Varnae was transformed into the first vampire by sorcerers of Atlantis by using the Darkhold.[citation needed]

The Serpent-Men were eventually (almost) exterminated with Kull's help.[citation needed]

Later reign

Kull's later reign was described as a golden age, sparked by Kull who shared his time between expanding and defending Valusia from a side, and the "relentless pursuit of knowledge in a quest for the ultimate answers to the riddles of reality."[2]

The circumstances of his death remain unrevealed.


Pre-Cataclysmic Age

After Kull's rule, his name became the word used to qualify Valusia's sovereign. His line seemingly ended with Valusia when the Great Cataclysm hit the City of Wonders and caused the death of Volonius the Seventh.[32]

Hyborian Age

Kull remained known during the Hyborian Age, notably in Conan's racial memories.[11]

Antiquity (circa 200 AD)

The memory of Kull remained circa 200 AD through the Picts Gonar (descendant of the eponymous Pict shaman ally of Kull), and Bran Mak Morn, king of the Picts (descendant of Brule).[33]

Modern Age

Robert Howard wrote stories about King Kull circa 1932.[13] It is unknown how Howard came to know of Kull.


While treating women with compassion and chivalry "beyond all reason", he stood away from the role of lover.[2]

On what was thought his deathbed, Death seduced and was seduced by Kull, and returned him to life.[34]



King Kull did not possess any known superhuman powers/abilities, however, during his time spent as a gladiator, pirate, assassin, and king, he engaged in intensive and extensive regular exercise. This imbued Kull with peak human[citation needed] attributes of strength,[citation needed] speed,[citation needed] stamina,[citation needed] durability,[citation needed] agility,[citation needed] and reflexes.[citation needed]


King Kull was an excellent all-around armed and unarmed combatant,[citation needed] extensively trained in the warfare of the Thurian Age.[citation needed] Kull was also highly intelligent and prone to lose himself in philosophical contemplation.[citation needed]





Throughout his adventures, Kull preferred a battle axe as his weapon of choice.[citation needed] Later as King, Kull would favor a broadsword in addition to his axe.[citation needed]




  • Kull (Kull of Atlantis, King Kull of Valusia) was created by Robert E. Howard and first appeared in "The Shadow Kingdom" (Weird Tales, 1929).[35]
  • Kull was one of the characters featured in the series of Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.

    Marvel Value Stamp #21


See Also

Links and References


  1. Savage Sword of Conan #172; A Groaning in the Earth
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 Handbook of the Conan Universe #1; Kull's entry
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Savage Sword of Conan #9; When a Tiger Returns to Atlantis
  4. 4.0 4.1 Savage Sword of Conan #190; Death and Life in Tiger Valley
  5. Conan the Barbarian #25; The Mirrors of Kharam Akkad
  6. Savage Sword of Conan #121; Pieces of Horror
  7. Savage Sword of Conan #132; The Sea King
  8. Savage Sword of Conan #135; Fools' Night
  9. Savage Sword of Conan #140; Nightmare
  10. 10.0 10.1 Savage Sword of Conan #165; Siege
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Conan the Barbarian #52; The Altar and the Scorpion!
  12. Savage Sword of Conan #42; Kings of the Night: Bran Mak Morn's adventures are set circa 200 AD, according to Gonar's entry in "A Kull Glossary" (Savage Sword of Conan #14)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Savage Sword of Conan #200; Barbarians of the Border
  14. Conan the Barbarian #37; The Curse of the Golden Skull!
  15. Kull and the Barbarians #2; The Teeth of the Dragon Chapter One
  16. Kull and the Barbarians #2; The Teeth of the Dragon Chapter Two
  17. Kull and the Barbarians #3; The Omen in the Skull
  18. Kull the Destroyer #16; The Tiger in the Moon
  19. Kull the Destroyer #17; The Thing from Emerald Darkness
  20. Kull the Destroyer #18; The Keeper of Flame and Frost!
  21. Kull the Destroyer #19; The Crystal Menace!
  22. Kull the Destroyer #20; The Hell Beneath Atlantis!
  23. Kull the Destroyer #21; City of the Crawling Dead
  24. Kull the Destroyer #22; Talons of the Devil-Birds
  25. Kull the Destroyer #23; Demon Shade!
  26. Kull the Destroyer #24; Screams in the Dark
  27. Kull the Destroyer #25; A Lizard's Throne
  28. Kull the Destroyer #26; Into Death's Dimension!
  29. Kull the Destroyer #27; The World Within!
  30. Kull the Destroyer #28; The Creature and the Crown!
  31. Kull the Destroyer #29; To Sit the Topaz Throne!
  32. Savage Sword of Conan #226; Of Kings and Cataclysms
  33. Savage Sword of Conan #42; Kings of the Night
  34. Marvel Graphic Novel #47
  35. Savage Tales #2; Robert E. Howard: Lone Star Fictioneer
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