Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Warlord Wednesday: By Ice and Fire -- Issue 50!

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...

"By Ice and Fire"
Warlord (vol. 1) #50 (October 1981)

Written and Illustrated by Mike Grell; inked by Bob Smith

Synopsis: On a sunlight peak above the shadowed Terminator, Morgan and Shakira look down at Castles Deimos. Morgan alludes to the bitter memories it holds for him. He’s interrupted in his painful reminiscence by the sound of approaching hoofbeats.

Minutes later, he and Shakira leap from ambush on to Tara and Aton! It takes a few moments for recognition to dawn, and Morgan has to break up Tara and Shakira’s scuffle--with predictable results:

All that settled, Tara explains that she was able to find Morgan because she knew he’d come to Castle Deimos. Morgan concedes that point--it is the place where he believes he was forced to kill their son. He says he has to go in and somehow put the ghosts of the past to rest. Then, he can move on and find Jennifer, his daughter.

Tara takes his hand and says they’ll do it together.

In the Age of the Wizard Kings, the desperate message sent via bat by Sarrgon Fire-Eye has made its way to Mungo Ironhand. Mungo helpful recaps Craetur’s transformation into the Evil One via the Necronomicon, and his subsequent usurption of Sarrgon’s castle for Mariah and Machiste. Machiste thinks Sarrgon got what he deserved, but Mungo suggests that an ancient prophecy warns of the Evil One and they must join up with Sarrgon and defeat him before he reaches his full power.

Back in the Skartarian era, in his castle, Deimos (what little is left of him) has Faaldren bring a now apparently catatonic Jennifer to him. Faaldren doesn’t want to hurt her, but Deimos commands him to silence as he continues to prepare his sorcerous ritual. In his pentacle he summons the witch Ashiya. She’s surprised to see him alive...and in the shape he's in:

Deimos reminds her of the Mask of Life (which she helped him acquire) which has left him undead and unable to die. Ashiya asks who the girl is, and Deimos replies its the Warlord’s daughter--and his future consort. This news doesn’t please Ashiya, who had her eye on that role.

Deimos can’t clone himself a new body as he has no living cells to use. Thinking of clones makes him ask after the clone they made of Morgan’s son. Ashiya lies and says she doesn’t know what happened to him. She also doesn’t let on that she switched the clone for the real boy.

Deimos knows she’s hiding something, but he’s got other things on his mind at the moment. He needs Ashiya’s help to perform a ritual so he can make a pact with the Evil One to get his body restored. The two quickly cast the spell, and Deimos finds himself facing the Evil One--who takes a jab at his appearance...

TO BE CONTINUED...Same Warlord Time, Same Warlord Channel!

Things to Notice:
  • Ok, majority of issues rules: Zarrgon's name is actually Sarrgon.
  • The Evil One talks in a more modern way, like the wizards of the Age of Wizard Kings, but unlike most denizens of Skartaris (and unlike his speech patterns as Craetur).
  • Mariah and Machiste return after after being absent from the series since issue #41.
Where It Comes From:
This issue is the culmination of a number of plot elements.  We're still getting the origin of the Evil One, who issue #31 suggested might have precipitated the end of the Age of Wizard Kings. 

I'll save the rest of my comments for my review of the issue's second half.


Lee Lawrence said...

Wow, the Demios hand/head combo is well creepy. Would make a great action figure!

Meowlissa said...

you just made me a very happy girl!

Dave Felton said...

I remember picking this issue up at the corner candy store- I was so psyched to see a double issue of Grell art!

Trey said...

@Lee - Indeed. It make an interesting D&D monster, too.

@Meowlissa - Glad the blogosphere could be of service. :)

@Felt - He's got some nice stuff in here. The dialogueless pages toward the end are really good.

netherwerks said...

@Lee above thre is right--the whole head-hand thing is really creepy, very effective. There ought to be a way to get a decently evil sorcerer into a similar configuration...perhaps a ritual to integrate the dismembered pieces of a dead sorcerer into something that could yield this combination as one result of several, depending on how much of their body is recovered. Of course them having to get dismembered first is a trifle steep in terms of electing to try this out, but then that's a good thing. Wouldn't want too many Deimos knock-offs wobbling around like bloated hand-spiders...