Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Warlord Wednesday: Royal Flush

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...

"Royal Flush"
Warlord (vol. 1) #58 (June 1982)

Written by Mike Grell (Sharon Grell); Penciled by Mark Texiera; Inked by Pablo Marcos

Synopsis: The Morgan impostor has taken to drinking from the stress of his intrigues. When Tara comes looking for him he lashes out and backhands her. Mistake--as Tara quickly has a sword to his throat.

She's more upset that enraged, though. She bars “Morgan” from her bed and runs out with tears in her eyes--right into Graemore. He sees she’s upset and asks her to go for a ride with him.

Out in the countryside, Graemore can’t help but ask about the man he can’t believe won Tara’s heart. Tara says that Morgan’s changed: he sides with the conservatives in the council, he never speaks his native tongue anymore, and he doesn’t wear his gun. He isn’t the man she fell in love with anymore.

That gives Graemore hope. He thinks back to when he first met Tara. He and his parents were brought before her father, the King of Shamballah, in shackles as spoils of war. The king found out that Graemore’s mother was a smith responsible for making many of the arms used against Shamballah. Rather than hold a grudge, he giave her a job and Graemore’s father as well, who was to teach the princess to read. They were quartered in the castle, and it was in the castle garden’ that Graemore first met Tara when they were children.

Over time, their friendship blossomed into young love. This doesn’t go unnoticed by the king who sends Graemore and his family away to remove any impediments to Tara doing her duty and entering a political marriage to another royal.

Graemore’s mind in the past gets his head whacked by a tree branch in the present. He falls from his horse. When Tara, taunting, comes to help him up he pulls her down, too. The two share a moment, and Graemore goes in for the kiss. Tara allows it briefly, then pulls away. Graemore feels rejected and goes to get the horses. Tara follows after him and...

Back in Shamballah, Darvin leaves Griff to watch the prisoner’s cell. Griff wastes no time in delegating the duty to Tinder so he can go outside. Tinder bemoans his bad luck--unknowingly sitting outside his father’s cell.

Meanwhile, Darvin waits outside the palace walls and accousts Praedor when he sees him leaving. Once he figured out who the prisoner was, it wasn’t hard for him to figure out where to find the conspirators. Now, he wants more gold because of the danger of what he’s doing. While they negotiate, Darvin sees the impostor walking by and he knows the whole game. He wants his gold doubled.

Praedor tells him to wait there and he’ll get it. Darvin stands there, twirling his cane, pretty pleased with himself. He happens to be there when Tara and Graemore come riding back in. In a flash, he remembers where he saw Tinder’s weird armlet (actually a wristwatch) before--it had been around the arm of Queen Tara when he had performed for her back when he was court magician.

Praedor returns with the gold and a threat lest Darvin come back to the palace, but Darvin isn’t even listening. A bigger score occupies his mind. He’s got the prince of Shamballah in his gang!
Things to Notice:
  • Again, the imposter does a poor job of impersonating Morgan.
  • Despite living in a world where magic makes impersonation really easy, no one has yet considered that this person behaving very much out of character might not be Morgan.
  • Maybe I'm imagining it, but I believe Texeira's pose for the Shamballan king on the throne is similar to some Kirby renderings of Odin.
Where It Comes From:
The title of this issue references a "royal flush," the highest ranking standard poker hand (an ace-high straight flush).

Elsewhere in the Bronze Age... My friend, Jim, has returned to the blogosphere after an extended time away in his Arctic Fortress of Solitude (which he sublets to Doc Savage) over at the Flashback Universe Blog.  Check it out.  There, you can find some of my pre-FtSS  comics related articles in the "Bronze Age Spotlight"--including my as yet uncompleted Bronze Age Alphabet.


The Angry Lurker said...

Tara follows after him and...???????, rumpy

Trey said...

I assume all that transpires is some snogging--but there is a fading out on that scene, so anything could have happened. ;)