Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Warlord Wednesday: The Prophecy

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...

"The Prophecy"
Warlord Annual #2 (1983)
Written by Cary Burkett; Penciled by Dan Jurgens; Inked by Mike DeCarlo

Synopsis: Morgan is riding along (presumably) back to Shamballah, when he hears a cry of anguish nearby. Urging his horse to a gallop, he quickly comes upon a man locked in a struggle with a pack of reptile-dog creatures. Morgan joins the melee to help the man. The creatures are unsually canny, and their attacks are coordinated, but ultimately, the two men prevail.

The last dog-thing goes running off, but the man won’t let it go:

The man explains that it couldn’t be allowed to return to its masters or it would bring more trouble.

Morgan introduces himself, and (after examining Morgan’s wound and providing treatment) the other man does the same. He’s Krystovar: “A seeker of knowledge and a gatherer of ancient lore.”

Morgan retrieves his gun and helmet from where he lost them in the fight. The man is surprised by the sight of the helm. He’s also surprised Morgan doesn’t know its origins. Krystovar believes the two of them meeting can’t be a coincidence. Morgan doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

After they make camp and Krystovar has again checked on Morgan’s wound, he tells his tale. It begins in ancient Atlantis, a learned and advanced civilization. It was defended by the knights of the Order of the Sea-Eagle, men who wore helmets of the same design as Morgan’s.


Anyway, as its people became more decadent.  They turned to the usual human sacrifice and other abominable rituals. They discovered a process to meld men with beasts. Their princes engaged in competition to see who could twist life into the most perverse monstrosity.

As the evil grew in Atlantis, the leader of the Order, Norrad the Younger, led a group of people away in the last of the swan-ships. Their goal was to form a new society and leave the corruption of Atlantis behind. Using their advanced techniques of navigation, they sought a place on the same “psychic energy plane” as Atlantis. Skartaris was such a place.

Norrad and his band settled in a hollow area in the crust, between the surface world and Skartaris. They named it New Atlantis. Morgan asks what this colony has to do with whoever’s chasing Krystovar. Before the scholar can reply, they see a lizard-dog skulking at the edge of their campfire. They give chase on Morgan’s steed.

With the advantage of an ambush, the beastmen of the Brood quickly get the better of our heroes:

To Be Continued

Things to Notice:
  • This is the first appearance of Krystovar.
  • So this group of Atlanteans settling Skartaris is different from the other group of Atlanteans settling Skartaris?  Why was the other pseudo-Greek and these are a bit more fantasy super-science-y?
Where it Comes From:
It seems awfully coincidental that beastmen start showing up as villians in Warlord after the 1982 Remco line of Warlord action figures were given the Warrior Beasts line as antagonists.

Of course, it may be that the origins of this story lie instead in earlier issues of Warlord.  The a beast-making machine appeared in the hands of the aliens of the Blood Moon in issue #18.  We've seen the history of Atlantis previously (in issue #27). These Atlanteans (despite being from a later era according to this story) were less technologically advanced than Norrad's group.  These earlier Atlanteans only developed advanced technology after reaching Skartaris--and then destroyed themselves in nuclear war.


The Angry Lurker said...

It's an interesting one especially the melding of beasts and humans, similar to a David Gemmel novel with Druss?

Trey said...

Yeah, I believe King Beyond the Gate (from '85) was the first to feature those.

Needles said...

Good novel that one & nice review man!