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 Price of Change"
Warlord #85 (September 1984)
Written by Cary Burkett with Deryl Reinhold; Penciled by Dan Jurgens; Inked by Steve Mitchell.
Synopsis: In Skartaris, Jennifer Morgan, Ashir, and Faaldren call for Tinder around the entrance to the cave where they took refuge last issue. Tinder however, is crawling down a narrow passage after what he saw in the back of the cave. He comes into an opening an finds a gold-furred monkey-like creature trapped in a spider’s web.
Tinder cuts the monkey free with his dagger. Then he sees the creature that made the web:
Tinder and the monkey run, but Tinder trips over a skull in the dark cave and gets knocked out. The monkey (surprisingly) calls his name. The spider-thing approaches...
In 2303, Morgan is hot-dogging in one of the saucerships with Reno with him. The ship is inertialess due to its null-time drive. It does have its limits, however, as the controls start to blow when Morgan pushes it to Mach 95. He barely brings it into the hangar in one piece. The strange chronal energies almost cause one of the mechanics caught near the ship to start to slip away into the timestream. The others manage to pull him back.
Later, Morgan addresses the soldiers. It seems the scientists have told him that the nuclear war has destroyed the Earth’s ecology and will soon leave it uninhabitable. To travel back in time and prevent the war is their only chance. Morgan explains the plan:
Morgan has had a saucership cartridge key made with his rank of colonel on it rather than president. As he explains to Reno: “If this works, I won’t be President.”
Everyone climbs into the timeships and they fade away in the swirling eddies of time. In the hangar they left behind, something unforseen has occurred--a rift in spacetime itself has formed.
In the past, the saucers fly into the path of the Russian missiles that started the war. They use chronal rays to age the missiles into falling apart. Once that’s done, they fly over and do the same thing to the American missiles in the counter-attack. In the oval office, the president and his staff think aliens have intervened.
The Russians send futuristic fighters after them. Morgan has the others cloak themselves, while he distracts tha attackers. Unwilling to shoot them down, Morgan tries to outfly them. His craft is damaged and he crashes. He and Shakira briefly have to fight off Russian soldiers before rescue arrives.
Since both sides think aliens have attacked, they begin to join forces. Morgan decides to encourage that and has the saucers fly in formation around the globe to be seen by millions. With an outside “enemy” mankind will stop fighting each other.
An unforseen problem occurs. The ships flying so close cause a null time field too strong for their chronal dampeners. The ships are thrown wildly through non-space and non-time.
Things to Notice:
The cave entrance seems smaller this issue than it did last.
In this future the Cold War seems to have re-established itself.
Where It Comes From:
The fake alien invasion helping avert nuclear war occurs in a famous comic published a couple years after this one. The plot goes back to The Outer Limits episode "Architects of Fear." The saucerships flying on formation is reminiscent of similar scenes in the 1957 film Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.