Warlord (vol. 1) #25 (September 1979)
Written and Pencilled by Mike Grell; Inked by Vince Colletta
- This is the first appearance of Morgan's companion, Ashir.
- Most members of the mercenary band wear Turkic/Asiatic garb, but Balfoosh wears Greco-Roman garb.
The hero spending some time as a mercenary is a common Sword & Sorcery plot line, demonstrated most notably in the life of Conan.
The character of Ashir seems inspired by roguish and swashbuckling characters played by the likes of Douglas Fairbanks and (later) Errol Flynn. He even looks facially a bit like Douglas Fairbanks as Robin Hood:
Though Ashir's name is Middle Eastern (it's a Hebrew first name, but also happens to be the name of an Assyrian god), his costume is late Medieval/Rennaissance European. He wears, for example, parti-color hose. These disparate elements perhaps suggest his influences drawn from the likes of Thief of Baghdad, but also more swashbuckling films like The Three Musketeers or Robin Hood.
Chakal is an approximation of the Turkish çakal, from whence we get our word jackal. "Balfoosh" was apparently once a place around the Caspian Sea, but the name also might derive from the usual pronounciation of the name of the South Dakota city Belle Fourche ("belfoosh"), the geographic center of the United States, and destination of John Wayne's herd in The Cowboys (1972).
Note: In my review of last issue, I accidentally left out the epilogue! That showed Harrando, greatest thief of Skartaris (and Ashir's rival, as we find out this issue), sneaking into Castle Deimos and stealing the ring from the moldering corpse of Deimos, only to then be engulfed by strange, yellow tendrils. Harrando also looked a lot like Douglas Fairbanks, too.