Though most people never think about ghis work in this regard, Kirby is the father of the barbarian comic. His Thor laid the groundwork for all that was to come. Kirby’s Thor is really the first fully realized sword and sorcery comic. It started out with the default sci fi ties that go with the superhero genre, but as more and more mythic elements were brought in you ended up with this really neat combination of sci-fi, mytho-fantasy, and superhero. With New Gods Kirby combined these elements in a more purposeful way to achieve the effects he waqnted to get, a reevaluation of the self-image and dreams of 20th century culture, as opposed to the on-the-fly cobbled together sensibility of Thor. New Gods arrived of one piece.
Toxl the World Killer was Kirby’s post-Conan fantasy character. A throwaway character, but hard to forget once you’ve read it. Nothing Kirby did was truly throwaway.
Kirby’s other big outlet for barbarian stories were the early issues of 2001: A Space Oddyssey which would feature some imagined primitive ancestor of ours in some pivotal situation in Kirby’s view of our early development, then flash-forward to their ancestor in futurespace dealing with some related peril, whether it’s thematically or just visually linked.