Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Warlord Wednesday: Spirit of the Wolf

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...

"Spirit of the Wolf"
Warlord (vol. 1) #68 (April 1983)
Written by Mike Grell (Sharon Grell); Penciled by Dan Jurgens; Inked by Mike deCarlo

Synopsis: Mariah finds Rostov brooding beside a small pond. Jennifer believes she has found a cure for his lycanthropy, but Rostov wonders if she has a “cure for love.” He kisses Mariah, but after a moment she pushes him a way: “there are too many memories…to much pain” between them now.

Rostov thinks back to how proud he was of her as a fencing student, and how he fell in love. They had a time of happiness, but then his curse manifested. He began to hunt—and kill.

He meant to Gitana, his gypsy grandmother, for help. She told him the story of the origin of his wolf’s blood, but had no cure. With this sad news, he began to push Mariah away. He feared the curse might hurt her, or that it might be passed on to their children.

Then Mariah disappeared in Peru. Rostov roamed the world, searching in vain for a cure for his curse. He chanced to meet Professor Lakely and learned from him about Skartaris—a land of eternal sun. Rostov saw his chance to cure himself and find Mariah. Of course, the wandering moon of Skartaris dashed those hopes.

Machiste appears and tells them Jennifer is ready to cast the spell to separate the wolf spirit from him. They return to the castle:

The spirit leaps from his chest, a wolf of shadow! Now, however, Rostov can control it. He’s free to live—and love…

Machiste has something to say about that...

Mariah stops the two from fighting. She will not be fought over—she wishes to choose the fight. Rostov must beat her.

The two square off, but Mariah quickly gets the upper hand with some unorthodox Skartarian moves:

Mariah wins, but when Rostov gets angry at her tactics, the wolf attacks.  Rostov quickly pulls it off her.  He looks to the sorceress for an explanation.

Jennifer tells him that he's free of the wolf, but he still must control it. Rostov realizes he isn’t yet free.

He bids Mariah goodbye and sets out with the wolf at his side.

Things to Notice:
  • Travis Morgan, the titular Warlord, only appears in one panel this whole issue.
  • This issue repeats (in an abbreviated form) the story we got last issue.
  • Mariah was only 15 when Rostov became her fencing instructor. 
Where It Comes From:
This issue continues the "doomed romance" theme from last issue, though without most of the gothic trappings.


The Angry Lurker said...

I have the same wolf within my chest and it's a burden, sorry that must be a twilight thing.

Trey said...

Just as long as you don't go running around the forest shirtless in cutoff blue jeans I suppose that's ok.

Needles said...

It reminds me of Grell's other title for First Comics. The one about the mercenary. That also had fencing, a doomed romance, & unothdox fighting as well. Good stuff. Strangely it also reminds me of Werewolf By Night for some reason with a run in with Doctor Strange