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 #86 (October 1984)
Written by Cary Burkett; Penciled by Dan Jurgens; Inked by Mike DeCarlo.
Synopsis: At the end of annual #3, Morgan and crew had returned to their proper time and were reunited with their allies—and Morgan with his mate Tara. Celebration is cut short by a rock wall from the ceiling that separates Morgan from the rest of the group in a previously undiscovered room. It seems to be someone’s apartment, and Morgan quickly discovers whose, as the Hooded Man in Black phases through a wall and accuses him of theft!
Morgan and the man get into a fight, with Morgan not doing so well. They struggle for the man’s pistol, and manage to catch part of his precious library on fire. Scarhart manages to s shift the stone in front of the door so Morgan and the man can avoid burning up too.
Without his hood, the gang recognizes the man as Reno--but they had left him ancient Atlantis! Reno finally recognizes Morgan, as well, and begins to tell his story. He and the other pilots were stranded in Atlantis, but they made the best of it by shepherding Atlantean civilization to new advances in technology. The only place to safely deposit their chronal energy saturated stuff was ironically the cave where they would one day build it. The cave became some sort of point outside time, accessible from the past and the future. Reno and the others built the swan-ships and established a noble order of peacekeepers (wearing copies of Morgan’s helmet—or what would one day be Morgan’s helmet) to protect the realm.
Unfortunately, this Golden Age doesn’t last. All the others eventually age and die—only Reno seems to be immortal due to his multiple chronal energy exposures. He withdraws from the world but watches in disgust and Atlantis slides again into depravity and sadistic games with the beast-changer machine. Eventually he leaves Atlantis behind and returns to the cave. He uses the cave’s unique properties to travel through history, observing famous events.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Morgan, Ashir, and Tinder are still in the same predicament we left them in issues ago. An unconscious Tinder is being menaced by a spider-thing while the others search the cave for him. The monkey-like creature Tinder had rescued returns the favor by distracting the creature. The monkey manages to drag the boy to safety and Jennifer shows up and blasts the spider but doesn't find Tinder.
Morgan is downcast as the Shamballan ship sets sail back to Skartaris. Not only are the saucer-ships and equipment too “hot” with chronal radiation to remove from the cave, but Reno has to stay behind alone, as well. As they emerge from sea tunnel, Morgan sees that things can always get worse as they’re sailing right into the middle of a pitch naval battle!
Things to Notice:
The timey-wimey stuff of this storyline is fully explained--not that it makes it any less confusing.
Reno's decision to stay in the cave with the ships is strangely handled off panel.
Where It Comes From:
Like last issue, this one is mostly about dying up dangling plot threads. "Forever Man" is a song by Eric Clapton, but that song wasn't released until 1985--after this issue.