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 #91 (March 1985)
Written by Cary Burkett; Art by Dan Jurgens.
Synopsis: Morgan, Tara, and their friends decide to head back to the Valley of the Lion to check on the refugees they left encamped there. The villagers around Shaban D’Aba told them about a bridge across a ravine that will greatly shorten their journey.
When they arrive at the bridge, they find it guarded by a giant warrior, who demands they send out a challenger to fight him. On the other side of the ravine, he displays the heads of the challengers he’s defeated. He claims he ate their bodies. Morgan’s response:
As he steps out unto the bridge to meet the giant, Morgan remembers another bully he face before: Danny Maddox, the scourge of Thomas Jefferson Junior High. Morgan stood up to Maddox to protect his friend Chuck. He beat Maddox—just like he beats the giant now. That long ago battle was when he met his first love—Rachel, who would be his wife.
Morgan is lost in the past for a moment before his friends summon him back to the present. Together, they cross the bridge.
In the Valley of the Lion, Ashir interrupts Jennifer Morgan’s study of the gem she got from the sanctum of the Evil One. Discussing the refugee camp, Jennifer mentions “Robin Hood”—a reference Ashir doesn’t get, but a stray thought that reminds Jennifer of her childhood.
She recalls the adventure stories her father read to her, the death of her mother, and the years she believed her father to be dead. Then she found her father alive, in a magical world, living out his fantasies of adventure. She sheds a tear.
Leagues away in Bakwele, the ninja-like Vashek assassins torture one of Patch’s crew for information about the Warlord. The man tells them that Morgan is working for Captain Hawk. The pirate will be their next target.
In his spherical spacecraft, the Monitor reviews some of his history tapes. This helpfully summarizes the history of Skartaris and Morgan’s advent in that world for the new reader.
In the Valley of the Lion, Tinder sees Tara arrive with what he thinks is his talisman on her arm. Tara sees the boy looking at her jewelry and recalls how she met Morgan and they fell in love. He gave her armband—really his wrist-watch—and she later gave it to their infant son Joshua as a toy. Tara believes Joshua to be dead. She has no idea that the young boy that seems so interested in her armband is actually Joshua, but with no knowledge of his true parentage.
Things to Notice:
Again we get an appearance by the Monitor. This was done in most DC Comics as a lead up to Crisis on Infinite Earths. His appearance here also serves as a good reason for an origin recap.
This isn't the last we'll hear of Danny Maddox, Travis Morgan's school-age nemesis.
This is the first appearance of the Vashek assassins, too.
Where It Comes From:
Most of this issue summarizes events we've seen before, most notably from Warlord's first appearance in First Issue Special #8. Jennifer's memories of her life after her mother's death and then her father's disappearance were referred to in dialogue, but depicted here for the first time.