Conan (1970) #85
"Of Swordsmen and Sorcerers" is written by Roy Thomas with art by John Buscema and Ernie Chan. Featuring the origin of Zula, the black barbarian! As our story begins, Conan and his newfound companion Zula are winging their way over the land called Stygia on the backs of giant hawks. Grateful for having been freed by Zula from his prison cell in Harakht, Conan has agreed to follow Zula to Kheshatta, the City of Magicians.
During the journey, Conan relates how he came to be caught in a dungeon cell in the city of hawkriders and Zula shares his origin: taken a slave from a slaughtered tribe and indentured to be a sorcerer's lackey in Kheshatta. Regarded as an imbecile incapable of higher learning, Zula nonetheless learned much of the magicks employed by the wizard and used them to destroy a demon summoned by the spellcaster as his first act of rebellion. Later, he vowed revenge on the magician who had so badly abused him as a youth. After exchanging stories, a problem arises, however, as Conan decides he'd rather rejoin his lover Belit than take up Zula's quest for vengeance.