Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Warlord Wednesday: Ballad Part 3

Here's another installment of my examination of  the adventures DC Comics' Travis Morgan--The Warlord.  The earlier installments can be found here...

"Ballad Part III"
Warlord (vol. 2) #3 (March 1992)
Written by Mike Grell; Art by Dameon Willich and Rick Hoberg

Synopsis: The minstrel and the veteran ride into Kiran Pass, a waystation for caravans along the trade routes. They’ve only just arrived when they see a woman on a horse, apparently beset by robbers. The minstrel leaps from his horse to help. He handles himself well, and soon the robbers run away. The woman has missed her caravan to Thera, but the minstrel offers that she can accompany them, as they’ll be passing near the border on their way to Shamballah.

The veteran introduces himself to her as Petrus, and she gives her name as Driana. The minstrel says he’s had many names, but most call him Tinder.

After a night in the wilderness (where the two men tell Driana of their quest to find the truth behind the legend of the Warlord), they bid her goodbye at the Theran border. She says she’s certain she will see them again “in one fashion or another.”

The men ride on to the gates of Kiro. They enter the palace where Petrus demands impertinently to see the king. Machiste enters and the two exchange insults. By the time Mariah arrives, it’s apparent the two are old friends with Pertrus. He tells them the minstrel is seeking the truth of the legend of the Warlord:


Later, the royal couple share stories of the Warlord. Machiste admits that he has always loved Morgan as a brother—but he didn’t always like him. He tells the minstrel how he and Morgan met as gladiators. How they learned kill to avoid being killed—something Morgan both hated and loved. He tells of how Morgan inspired them all with his words about freedom and justice, and how he tried to be the legend they all wanted him to be:


Meanwhile in Thera, Driana arrives at the strange temple we saw last issue. One of the robed acolytes asks about her journey:


Then, she is ready. She lays down upon the altar, a willing sacrifice performing a duty she believes she was born for. After her life’s blood has seeped away unto the sarcophagus she laid upon, something evil awakens. The cultists chant:


Things to Notice:
  • The identity of the minstrel is revealed: Tinder, who is in reality Joshua, the son of Morgan and Tara.
  • Mariah first appears in this issue in a pose that is clearly an homage to the first time she was seen "in costume" back in issue #7 of the original series.
Where It Comes From:
The old veteran is named "Petrus," a Latin name derived from Greek meaning "rock." It's the source of the name Peter. Perhaps this suggests that Petrus was a "disciple" of Morgan's in the same way Peter was of Jesus, though this Petrus has since become disillusioned.

The first Warlord series ended with Mariah with the abusive Danny Maddox, but she is back with Machiste in this story. This may suggest Grell is discounting events in the series after he left, but it could just be assumed that they got back together since the end of the series.

Likewise, Burkett left Tinder (then still a young boy) in the distant past of Skartaris known as Wizard World. How he got back to the present is unexplained, so this again could be a signal Grell only sees his work on the series as canonical.

A Special Note: Grell's official website reported he's in the hospital with cellulitis. I hope all the readers of Warlord Wednesday will join me in wishing him a quick and full recovery.

1 comment:

Francis Lee said...

Good speed to his recovery and his contribution to our Wednesdays!