Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Warlord Wednesday: Bargain with the Devil

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...

"Bargain with the Devil"
Warlord #87 (November 1984)
Written by Cary Burkett; Penciled by Dan Jurgens; Inked by Rich Buckler.

Synopsis: When last we left our heroes, their ship had emerged from a fog bank right into the middle of a battle. Seeing that one of the ships was Atlantean, Morgan plans to seize it to free the slaves onboard. The Atlantean vessel mistakes the Wind Shadow as an ally, allowing our heroes to board her.  After a skirmish, the Atlantean ship is in the hands of the Warlord.

The other ship hails them and declares itself the vessel of “Dread Pirate Hawk Red-Hand, known as the Sea Snake” and demands they turn over all the booty from the ship they captured or be boarded and sunk. Krystovar has heard of this pirate, but Morgan isn’t impressed.  He yells back they he’s "Morgan the Invincible, known as the Warlord," and they should leave these waters now or they’ll be boarded and sunk.

The pirates are impressed enough to invited Morgan over (alone) to parlay. After Morgan proves his badassery by making quick work of a larger pirate, Hawk meets with him:


Hawk does a little quick carving in the mast near Morgan’s head to prove his swordsmanship.  Morgan, unfazed, quickly carves a “w” on Hawks coat without cutting the pirate. Hawk’s suitably impressed and willing to listen to Morgan’s money-making proposition.

Morgan wants Hawk to harry Atlantean shipping and they’re captured ports. He can keep all the booty he captures except for slaves, for which Morgan will pay him per head for turning over. After a bit of haggling they reach an agreement.

Of course, Hawk isn’t to be trusted. While he and Morgan talk, some of his crew sneak over to the Wind Shadow and kidnap Tara to give them better bargaining power with Morgan.

While all this is going on, Tinder awakens still in the cave under the watchful eye of the monkey creature.  The monkey surprises him by giving a name--Chaka.  Looks like Tinder's found a new friend.
When Morgan gets back to his ship and finds Tara missing, he’s furious. Hawk is sailing away and demands ransom for Tara’s return. It seems hopeless; the Wind Shadow can’t catch the faster pirate vessel.  Morgan has a crazy plan:

Launched from the catapult, Morgan manages to grab the ships mast and drop into the crow’s nest. Hawk is stunned, and Tara couldn’t be happier:

Morgan shoots the sword out of Hawk’s hand. When the pirate attempts to hold Tara at dagger point, she turns the tables and takes him captive. Hawk hastily assures them that this was all a test of Morgan’s mettle. Now he’s satisfied, and the agreement can proceed as Morgan laid it out.

Tara and Morgan return to the Wind Shadow. Tara wonders if they’ll see the treacherous Hawk again, but Morgan believes they will: men like Hawk are ever loyal to their own greed.

Things to Notice:
  • Hawk is called "Hawkins" when he's first intrduced, but "Hawk" throughout the rest of the story.
Where It Comes From:
Presumably, the title of this issue means to suggest Hawk is the "devil," but Morgan is the one in the traditional diabolical role of tempting a weak man with riches.

Morgan's carving his initial with his sword trick is a common trope, originating with Zorro.

Chaka was the name of the furry humanoid primitive that befriended Marshall, Will, and Holly in the Land of the Lost.

3 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

In other words you can never trust pirates.....

Tim Shorts said...

So that's where Chaka went? I know some tall green fellows who would pay well for such information.

Trey said...

I would trust those Sleestacks to pay you, Tim. With hands like that, I bet they have a hard time even handling money.