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...
Warlord (vol. 1) #69 (May 1983)
Written by Mike Grell (Sharon Grell); Penciled by Dan Jurgens; Inked by Mike deCarlo
Synopsis: Morgan, Jennifer, and Shakira are preparing to return to their own time through the magic mirror before its power fades. Machiste and Mariah are staying behind, as is (apparently) Rostov.
The three step through—but only Jennifer arrives back in Castle Deimos.
Morgan and Shakira awaken in a modern city. When Morgan sees the Syndney Opera House, he realizes where they are. The two begin to explore. Strangely, there are no lights on, nor any people around.
Well, almost none. There are these street punks dressed like an 80s pop band:
Before the punks can do anything but pose, Shakira changes into cat form and jumps on the leaders face. Flashdance punk pulls a gun, but Morgan is quicker with his own pistol. The woman has her gun out, but she sees the look in Morgan’s eye and surrenders. Morgan confiscates their guns and ammo, but lets the surviving two go. He gives a gun and holster to Shakira.
Morgan thinks he knows what happened and explains his theory to Shakira: A nuclear war must have occurred, but Australia wasn’t a prime target so it wasn't bombed. Radioactive fallout would have spread here, though, killing the people and leaving the city empty.
Morgan believes their only way back to Skartaris is to make for Antartica and go through the south polar opening. Any other course would take them through greater exposure to radiation. The two begin a trek to Australia’s southern coast.
They travel for several days relatively uneventfully. Then, in the desert, Morgan sees fresh hoof prints left by a shod horse. Morgan follows them, interested in seeing what civilization is out here.
They come to a cliff overlooking a large farm surrounded by a high fence and barbed wire. They discuss the possibility of getting some horses, but then:
Things to Notice:
Morgan likes to draw maps in the dirt, if you haven't noticed.
Morgan's just assuming there's a south polar opening to Skartaris.
We get a hint that Shakira may have been to the surface world before.
Where It Comes From:
The title of this issue certainly refers to Morgan meaning "back out" of Skartaris, but is also a play on "Outback"--where some of the story takes place. The Australian post-nuclear war setting may owe something to On the Beach (either the 1959 film or the novel), where survivors wait for a cloud of radioactive fallout out to arrive and kill them.