The People of the Black Circle is one of Robert E. Howard's most unusual Conan stories. While Conan was always an anti-hero at best under his creator's pen, Black Circle is one of the few stories where we see Conan in a truly villainous role, kidnapping a princess in order to ransom her against the lives of the bandits he is currently leading. It is also unusual in that Howard devoted just as much of the story towards the actions of Khemsa - an acolyte sorcerer in the service of the titular Black Circle - as he does Conan's exploits.
Fred Van Lente's dialogue borrows heavily from the original Howard script. Virtually all of the text is presented as it was in the original story, with Van Lente's main contributions being to edit certain sections that would add little to an illustrated adaptation. He also adapts several internal monologues into actual dialogues between the characters.