Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Warlord Wednesday: Disaster

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 #97 (September 1985)
Written by Cary Burkett; Art by Rich Buckler; Inks by Pablo Marcos.

Synopsis: Machiste, the Danko knights, and a force of Shamballan soldiers wait outside the gates of Shamballah, now in the hands of the forces of New Atlantis.  They wait tensely for Morgan’s contingent to open the city gates.

Meanwhile, Morgan’s group has fallen into an ambush. Trogero is already dead and more Shamballan troops follow him by the moment. Morgan calls for a retreat. He and Scarhart bring up the rear, holding the narrow entrance to the tunnel by themselves.  Morgan tries to come up with a plan of escape, but Scarhart has out-thought him.  He pushes Morgan out of the way, them knocks down the columns supporting the entrance, Samson-style.  It collapses, closing off the New Atlanteans—but burying Scarhart.

The gates of Shamballah open to reveal energy cannon.  Machiste is knocked from his horse and Lord Kaldustan is killed.  Seeing their leader fall, the Danko warriors charge fearless into the mouth of the cannon—and into death.  All Machiste can do is watch:

Mariah and Machiste sound a retreat as well.  The retaking of Shamballah has failed.

What’s worse, Saaba shows up to tell Lord Sabertooth exactly where the free Shamballan camp is located!

A battered and grieving Morgan arrives back at camp and punches Graemore.  He believes that he must be a spy.  He remembers Mariah catching him listening in to their plans. Morgan wants to kill him, but Tara intervenes.

Remembering his dream where he did kill those he love, Morgan backs down.  At that moment, they get word that the Atlanteans are attacking the refugee camp.  Morgan and his friends charge into battle. The Shamballans fight fiercely, and Morgan has his archers keeping Sabertooth’sartillery out of action.

Saaba shows up to hit the archer’s from behind with fire, but her spell is cut short by a superior power:

Saaba gets a reprieve when an earthquake shakes the valley and Fire Mountain starts to blow! Jennifer has to turn all of her sorcerous powers to restraining the volcano.  Saaba sees her chance to escape and changes into raven form.  She doesn’t make it:

The earthquake and volcano causes Sabertooth to retreat. Morgan and his forces may not have one the day, but they’ve survived.

Jennifer shows Morgan the raven’s mangled body.  He realizes Saaba was the spy—and he wrongly accused Graemore.  He goes looking for the minstrel and finds him being tended by Krystovar.  Tara angrily tells him that Graemore entered battle to prove himself after Morgan’s accusations. If Graemore dies, she’ll never forgive Morgan.

Full of guilty and pain, Morgan wanders off alone.  Exactly as his unknown enemy wants:

Things to Notice:
  • This issue marks the death of two recurrent characters: Scarhart and Saaba.  
  • The riders of the tricorns certainly don't get to do much before taking their exit.
  • The evil lower limbs of the Wizard-King of New Atlantis make their second appearance.
Where It Comes From:
The mysterious earthquakes and volcanic eruption in this issue are a reference to the greater upheaval going on in Crisis on Infinite Earths at the time of this issues publication.

1 comment:

The Angry Lurker said...

Bad times but good reading!