Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Warlord Wednesday: Sorceress Supreme

Let's re-enter the lost world with another installment of my issue by issue examination of DC Comic's Warlord, the earlier installments of which can be found here...

"The Sorceress Supreme"
Warlord (vol. 1) #54 (February 1982)

Written by Mike Grell (Sharon Grell); Penciled by Mark Texiera; Inked by Mike DeCarlo

Synopsis: Returned from their sojourn in the Arctic, Morgan, Tara, and Shakira approach Castle Deimos, unaware of what’s been going on inside. An exhausted Ashiya slumps in a chair and complains to Faaldren how Jennifer’s insatiable hunger for magical knowledge has been taxing her to the limit.  As if on cue, Jennifer calls “Mother!” again--for that’s the guise Ashiya has employed to gain her trust.

Jennifer is trying a variation on a spell and wants her "mother’s" aid. Ashiya tells her she would like to do some learning herself. She wants to know more about the Atlantean machines in the laboratory. Jennifer assures her she already knows all of that--and again insists on her help with the spell.

They’ve only just finished the ritual when Ashiya’s raven spy flies in to tell her visitors are approaching the castle. Ashiya goes to prepare a welcome.

Morgan rushes across the draw bridge and into the castle, eager for news about his daughter. Instead, he’s surprised to be greeted by Rachel, his dead wife. Morgan goes to her, so caught up in the moment that he doesn’t bother to question how it could be. He pays for his credulousness when Ashiya blasts him!

The portcullis falls. Shakira pushes Tara inside to get her out of the way, and quickly changes to cat form. Her head is caught, but she avoids being skewered.

Though knocked to his knees by Ashiya’s blast, Travis Morgan isn’t down. Gritting his teeth, he rises to face the woman in his wife’s guise. She blasts him again and again, but he staggers forward until his left hand is around her throat and his sword is in his right.  Morgan squeezes:

Morgan raises his sword, swearing Ashiya will pay for her charade. At that moment, Jennifer rushes in with a cry. She blasts her father aside. Ashiya yells for her to kill Morgan.

But Jennifer smiles wickedly and summons her powers. “I didn’t save you from him,” she says. “I saved you for me.”

Ashiya intends to serve no mortal, and so the two engage in a magical duel. In the direct contest, Ashiya soon bests her former student. But before Ashiya can finish her, Jennifer fires one last blast which appears to miss. In fact, she’s energized the Atlantean machinery around the old witch. When Ashiya gathers her power, she's engulfed by the machinery’s energies.

Morgan gets to his feet, wondering what the hell just happened. Jennifer causes the portcullis to rise, freeing Shakira. Morgan goes to his living wife, Tara, and takes her in his arms.

After everyone has exchanged stories, Morgan and companions prepare to leave. Jennifer says she won’t be joining them. There’s much learning left for her to do in this place, and Faaldren has agreed to stay with her. She tells her father to content himself that she’s found a place in this world of his. Tara reminds him that Jennifer is no longer a child--he gave his time with her to someone else. Morgan knows she’s right.

And so, father and daughter part again--each taking up a new life in Skartaris.

Things to Notice:
  • This is the first issue Jennifer appears "in costume" within the issue.
  • Shakira's near brush with portcullis-death isn't even commented on. 
  • Jennifer seems to know before Ashiya's betrayal that she isn't her mother.  She seems more calculating in this issue than she will later appear.
Where It Comes From:
This issue's alliterative title was probably borrowed from Marvel's Doctor Strange, who's known as the Sorcerer Supreme.

WARLORD WEDNESDAY BONUS: Check out this Warlord fan art from Felt.


The Angry Lurker said...

Good conclusion but a lot like a storyline finish in a soap.

Trey said...

@Angry Lurker - Hmmmm...You've got a point there, other than the frying of a witch after a sorcerous duel.

Malkavian said...

Cool stuff the Magick Duel reminds me of the Dragonlance series with Raistlin and Fistandantilus