Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Warlord Wednesday: Hail to the Chief

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...

"Hail to the Chief"
Warlord #84 (August 1984)
Written by Cary Burkett; Penciled by Dan Jurgens; Inked by Dick Giordano.

Synopsis: Having just been told he’s been made president of what’s left of the U.S. in a post-apocalyptic 2303, Travis Morgan responses with the appropriate level of incredulity. The representative of Congress explains that Secretary Dubrow had every other official in line for the office killed. With the president’s suicide, Morgan (as leader of the revolution) is basically the only person everybody trusts.

Morgan doesn’t want the job. He’s a leader of men in battle, not in politicals. Shakira suggests he’s the only one who can do this job, otherwise the fighting will continue. Morgan reluctantly agrees.  He's sworn in in front of cheering crowds.

As soon as that’s done, Morgan goes to his office and he’s set upon by people wanting him to make decisions of various sorts. He quickly gets feed up with it and starts brandishing his sword to clear the room.

In Skartaris, Jennifer Morgan, Ashir, Faaldren, and Tinder are still walking toward Shamballah. They’re attack by a pack of bear-dog things. Since Jennifer hasn’t rested enough to use much magic, they’re forced to hide in a cave. Tinder notices a pair of eyes in the darkness. Soon, a strange stench chases the bear-thing from the opening of the cave—and our heroes out of it! But Tinder isn’t among them.

In the future, Morgan is getting feed up with being President:

He figures his only way out of this is to go back and time and make sure the war never occurs! (Now he thinks of that!) Luckly, he’s got a temporal scientist with him. Reno tells him it's theoretically possible to shift this timeline to an even more remote probability.

Reno reveals that despite his previous statements, there are already completed timeships. They’re kept in an ancient cavern miles beneath Reno’s complex in a military base that has no doubt been in the same sort of time-stasis. Leaving V.P. Duncan in charge, Morgan and Reno fly back to Utah.

After talking with the base's commanders, Morgan and Reno go below. Reno summons the elevator with a key card that looks eerily familiar---like the card that operated the timeship. When they arrive in the cavern, Morgan isn’t surprised to see that it’s the weapons cache he entered from the cave tunnel to New Atlantis!

After hearing Reno’s and Morgan’s story, the commander calls his men together for President Morgan to address them. Morgan’s plan is simple:

Things to Notice:
  • Ashir and Jennifer saved by a bad smell.  That's heroic.
  • The first concern of Morgan's staff after he's elected president is getting him some more clothes.
Where It Comes From:
This issue finally gives the origin of the mysterious weapons cache and hints at the reason there was a card with Morgan's name on it.  The bear creatures that menace Jennifer Morgan and friends are explicitly said to be giant varieties of Ursavus elmensis, a dog-like bear ancestor native to Europe during the MioceneThe "giant" part is important here, as U. elmensis is thought to have only been the size of a small dog.

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