Death Dealer (painting)

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Death Dealer (1973)

Death Dealer is a 1973 fantasy painting by American artist Frank Frazetta. It depicts a menacing armor-clad warrior with a horned helmet, whose facial features are obscured by shadow, atop a horse, holding a bloody bearded axe and shield. The image eventually led to spin-offs of varying merchandise, including subsequent paintings of the warrior, novels, statues, a comic book series published by Verotik and another by Image Comics, and related D&D adventures, published by Goodman Games.

Frazetta later painted several other Death Dealer paintings, including ones to be used as covers for the comic book series.

In other media[edit]

Album cover[edit]

The painting was used as the cover on Molly Hatchet's debut album in 1978.


Death Dealer spawned a novel franchise, written by author James Silke. Four novels were published, in order:

  • Prisoner of the Horned Helmet (1988), in which the readers are introduced to the protagonist, who is given the name Gath of Baal. In the book he is a tribeless barbarian in a large forest that, after the end of the Ice Age, will one day become the Mediterranean sea. A large Mongol-esque invasion force by the name of the Kizzaks try to invade the forest, and various parties try to recruit Gath's aid to defend against them. One of them, the beautiful sorceress Cobra, gives Gath a helmet possessed by the god of death. The helmet gives him godlike power but at the same time tries to break Gath to its will. With the help of the worldly travelling entertainer Brown John and the virtuous young woman Robin Lakehair, Gath manages to control the helmet and fights against the Kizzak horde, eventually winning.
  • Lords of Destruction (1989)
  • Tooth and Claw (1989)
  • Plague of Knives (1990)

Rise of the Death Dealer (2005) was an Omnibus edition containing the first two novels.

Statues and action figures[edit]

Sculptor Randy Bowen produced the first statues based upon the character. Dark Horse Comics published several statues of the character, both full-size and miniature. Diamond Distributors published a series of Frank Frazetta action figures in the form of statues. Among the works were the original Death Dealer and one of the future renditions. has created a helmet based upon that of the Dealer.

Comic books[edit]

The first Death Dealer comic book series was published in 1995 by the company Verotik. The 4-issue series was written by musician Glenn Danzig and illustrated by Simon Bisley (issue 1), Liam Sharp (issues 2 and 3), and by Arthur Suydam (issue 4). Frazetta provided covers for the books as well.

In 2007, Image Comics/Frazetta Comics published the Death Dealer: Shadows of Mirahan 6 issue miniseries featuring Death Dealer in the first story fully approved by Frank Frazetta. The book's creators are Nat Jones, Jay Fotos, and Joshua Ortega. The story was written by Jones, Fotos and Ortega, with pencils and inks by Jones, and colors by Fotos. The story tells of an ancient land, and two warring nations fighting in an epic war. The Death Dealer appears on the field of battle and slaughters both sides. When the two kingdoms forged an alliance, the Dealer disappears for years but returns years later.

A statue of the Death Dealer is unveiled at Fort Hood, Texas.


Since 1985, the Death Dealer has been used as the mascot of III Corps (United States). A life-size metal statue of the Death Dealer stands outside the III Corps headquarters building in Fort Hood, Texas. The statue was unveiled in September 2009[1] and was an exact replica of a piece sculpted by Randy Bowen and produced by Dark Horse Comics in 2003.[2] Two full-size painted resin statues are on display in the atriums on the III Corps Headquarters. Also, the United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron VMM-164 has the Death Dealer as their mascot.


Image's Death Dealer comic inspired a series of Dungeons & Dragons adventures published by Goodman Games.[3]

In 2009 the German publisher Bastei Lübbe gave the readers of the dime novel series Maddrax a tabletop roleplaying game. On the cover is shown the protagonist Matthew Drax as the death dealer.[4]

The Death Dealer was used in 1991 for the cover of the French role playing game Bloodlust, set on the fantasy continent of Tanaephis. Several other Frank Frazetta's paintings were used for the various game supplements.


  1. ^ Heckman, Michael "Phantom Warrior Unveiled"
  2. ^ "Death Dealer joins the Army". Archived from the original on 2013-06-06.
  3. ^ The Adventures of Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer: Shadows of Mirahan PDF
  4. ^ "Maddrax roleplaying game" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-21.

External links[edit]