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 #96 (August 1985)
Written by Cary Burkett; Art by Rick Stasi; Inks by Bill Collins.
Synopsis: In the Shamballan camp at the Great Fire Mountain, Jennifer
casts a spell to bring Machiste and Mariah from the ancient Age of Wizard-Kings
to the present. Those two disappear from that era mid-chess game leaving Mungo
Morgan explains to his newly arrived friends that a war is
coming and he needs their help. The
three wander off, giving Jennifer the opportunity to cast another spell to find
the now missing Tinder. Unfortunately,
Mungo’s trying to cast a reversal spell to get Mariah and Machiste back. The two spells get crossed up and Tinder
winds up in the past.
Elsewhere, Tara shares a per usual tense exchange with her
old friend (and one time lover) Graemore the minstrel. After his talk with Tara, Graemore goes off to
strum his lute alone, and accidentally winds up eavesdropping on Morgan
revealing his plans for a sneak attack:
Mariah discovers Graemore and takes him for a spy.
Morgan intervenes and introduces him
properly. Mariah was right in suspecting a spy in their midst, though: A raven takes flight from a branch overhead.
Meanwhile in the capital of New Atlantis, a Vashek assassin
has an audience with the Wizard-King, who is mostly hidden from our view. The
failure to kill the Warlord requires a new strategy. The Wizard-King will send
a nightmare to cause him to despair and weaken spiritually and mentally. Then
the assassin’s will be able to kill him.
A blood red cloud flows from the palace and into the sky, seeking its
In the Bloodrock Mountains, Lord Sabertooth gets a visit
from the witch, Saaba. Transforming from
her raven form, she tells him about Morgan’s plans. Sabertooth is angry at being duped into
combing the mountains looking for a nonexistent enemy camp, and hungry for
revenge. Saaba, desiring above all to
see Morgan defeated, sweeps up Sabertooth in a whirlwind to transport him to
Shamballah ,so he can prepare a surprise for the Warlord and friends.
That night, the Wizard-King’s nightmare does its work.
Morgan dreams of slaying Vashek assassins, only to have them revealed to be his
friends and family beneath their masks. The sexy personification of death he
met before appears and reminds him that he serves her. Morgan wakes up in a
sweat and walks out in the night to sit alone. He wonders if he will lead
people to their death because he is cursed to destroy everything he holds dear.
The next morning, the plan begins. Morgan, Trogero , Scarhart and a small force
of soldiers enter the caves leading to the ancient complex beneath Shamballah.
When they reach the complex, Trogero is felled by a crossbow bolt!
Lord Sabertooth and a group of New Atlantean soldiers wait
Things to Notice:
All the women look like bodybuilders in Stasi's art.
The Danko riders are called unicorn riders here, despite their mounts obviously having three horns.
The mysterious Wizard-King of New Atlantis is mentioned for the first time.
Krystovar comments that in the coming battle he might unknowingly kill his brother who has been turned into a beast-man by the New Atlanteans. Foreshadowing, perhaps?
Where It Comes From:
The underground passage and the computer complex where the ambush occurs first appeared in issue #15.
The female personification of death first appeared in issue #14. Morgan found out her name is "Azrael" and entered her realm to save Shakira in issue #46. See the commentary on those issues for more.