Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Warlord Wednesday: Ballad Part 4

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 IV"
Warlord (vol. 2) #4 (April 1992)
Written by Mike Grell; Art by Dameon Willich and Tim Burgard

Synopsis: The stone body housing the skull of Deimos rises as the cultists prostrate themselves and praise him. They tell Deimos they worship him and hate the Warlord. They are ready to serve their god and await his command. Deimos’s first order for them:

Deimos laughs at the idea that he’s a god as he takes the throne, surrounded by the bodies of his would-be worshippers.

Meanwhile, Mariah finds Tinder playing guitar in a garden. She asks if it bothers him, going in search of the legend of the Warlord and finding the man Travis Morgan. She tells him she understands and relates her own story: how she met Morgan and followed him to Skartaris for the promise of adventure. Like Morgan, she fell in love with it and the freedom it offered. Coming from an oppressive society, she was eventually taken in by Morgan’s words like everyone else.

Back in Thera, Deimos infuses his slain worshippers with magical energy. The bodies rise as a zombie army! Deimos has a plan to finally destroy his hated enemy, the Warlord: “This time, the very Sun will run red with blood…and black with fear!”

Continuing their ride to Shamballah, Tinder remarks to Petrus that Morgan seems to hold an attraction to beautiful women. Petrus says except for one—the woman who was a cat or the cat who was a woman. He warns Tinder to be careful around her should they meet her.

They arrive in Shamballah and make their way to the palace. Morgan (predictably) isn’t there, but someone else is:

Tinder is surprised; he thought she was dead. Tara remarks he shouldn’t believe everything he hears. She leads them into the palace. Morgan is seldom there, she tells Tinder. He’s bored by affairs of state and runs off with his mistress. Tinder doesn’t know what to say, but Tara clarifies:

He runs off and then returns. Every time he does, Tara breaks his nose. He didn’t believe her the last time, when she told him if he left to never come back. He couldn’t believe her, because if he did he couldn’t have left. She knows he loves her after a fashion, but to stay would mean a slow and boring death. “And it takes no wizard to forsee that for Morgan death will be anything but boring.”

Suddenly, there’s an earthquake. When it’s subsided, they notice the sun is darker and it’s light redder.

Somewhere, Deimos laughs.

Things to Notice:
  • Deimos is pretty ungrateful. No surprise there.
  • Despite her cover appearance, Shakira only appears in flashback in this issue.
Where It Comes From:
Grell is perhaps referencing story arc in the original series (#126-133) that had Tara killed. Of course, she was eventually resurrected.

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