Warlord (vol. 1) #16 (December 1978)
Written and Pencilled by Mike Grell; Inked by Vince Colletta
- This is the first chapter of the specifically labelled "Quest" storyline.
- This is not the last we'll see of Saaba in the Warlord saga.
- The Tree People are pretty much generic Skartarian primitives
"Saaba" is town in Burkina Faso, though it is unclear if that's Grell's source for the witch's name here. With her gypsy-ish head-scarf, I wonder if Grell had in mind the old gypsy woman of the Wolf Man (1941), but perhaps it was just the stereotypical "gypsy fortune-teller" look, in general.
"Shakakhan" may have been derived from Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens) the singer-songwriter, had been with the group Rufus previously, and had a 1978 hit song "I'm Every Woman" off her first solo album, who presumably arrived at her name by combining the name of the famour Zulu leader, Shaka, with the Altaic language family title, "khan."
The statue of the god itself seems like it may be inspired at least in part by the appearance of the golem in the German silent film Der Golem--at least his hair does.