Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Warlord Wednesday: Gateway to Doom

Before we move into the post-Grell issues of DC Comic's Warlord, let's re-enter the lost world of... 1982, and examine Warlord's first annual. The earlier installments of my issue by issue review can be found here...

"Gateway to Doom"
Warlord Annual #1 (1982)
Written & Pencilled by Mike Grell; Inked by Rodin Rodriguez

Morgan and Shakira rescue a haughty Princess Alisandre and a well-meaning, but inept minstrel, Tristan, from savage sub-men. The princess and her entourage was on the way from Kalabas to Groniko where she is to wed King Marselus.

Morgan points out the sub-men didn’t attack for no reason, but because the group blundered into a holy site. He shows the two the ancient Atlantean ruins and the remnants of the technology wielded by the sub-men’s ancestors.

Alisandre is utterly uninterested in the lesson in humility Morgan’s trying to teach. She does, however, recognize a minstrel doesn’t cut it as a guard, and offers to pay Morgan to help them. Morgan agrees, but tells them he’s up for no nonsense:

Offended, Alisandre pulls a dagger to stick in Morgan’s back, but that just gets her a scratching from Shakira’s claws. The princess gets even more indignant when Morgan tells her she’s got to leave most of her belongings behind so they can travel light. Before they go, Shakira (in human form) gets into a little scuffle with the princess:

The group begins their travels, Alisandre with a sore behind, and lovestruck Tristan doting on her. Shakira and Morgan decide to help poor Tristan out. They throw a small lizard into the pool where Alisandre is bathing so Tristan can rescue her from it. That doesn’t turn out so well:

While Morgan’s killing the bigger reptile, soldiers in horned helms are kidnapping Alisandre to give her to “Tarantis.” Our heroes track her to the fortress city of Doomgate, but Shakira doesn’t think the chances of a rescue are good:

Despite that dire prediction, the three sneak in as entertainers. While Shakira and Tristan perform, Morgan goes looking for Alisandre. He finds her, but in trying to find their way out of the maze of tunnels, they take the wrong one:

They manage to get by the spider Tarantis, but it gives chase. Morgan manages to eventually make it follow him through the narrow space between two stone columns. It’s bulk breaks them and the giant statue they supported seems to stomp Tarantis as it topples.

The group is reunited and make their escape. Outside the city, Morgan can’t take it anymore and gives Alisandre a lecture on how she treats Tristan. She’s touched, but explains to Tristan the realities of the world:

The group arrives in Groniko, and Alisandre gets to meet her betrothed for the first time:

Things to Notice:
  • This is the first annual, but an editorial at the end tries to make the case that "annual events" have been occuring in Warlord since the beginning.
  • Tristan is so smitten with Princess Alisandre he misses Shakira's flirting.
It's hard to know where this issue occurs specifically in the Warlord chronology.  The unofficial Warlord Index places it between issue #54 and #55, but I'm unable to find anything in the issue that argues for specific placement there.  All we can say is that it probably occurs sometime during Morgan's second wanderings with Shakira, before he is reunited (again) with Tara and saves Jennifer from Deimos.


The Angry Lurker said...

Still a good one from the series.

Pierce said...

Princessess are nothing but trouble.

Trey said...

@Angry Lurker - Yeah. it's a sort a a fun diversion.

@Pierce - Word.