Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Warlord Wednesday: All Dreams Must Pass

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...

"All Dreams Must Pass"
Warlord #75 (November 1983)
Written by Cary Burkett; Penciled by Dan Jurgens; Inked by Bob Smith

Synopsis: In the Palace Library in Shamballah, the lavender-clad and mustachioed troubadour, Graemore, goes looking for Queen Tara, only to find out (to his disappointment) that her mate, Travis Morgan, has returned.

Meanwhile, Morgan and Tara are out riding and having the usual argument about Tara’s responsibility to her kingdom versus Morgan’s wanderlust. Where does it leave their their relationship?

Caught up in their personal drama, neither notices the sinister crow that seems to watch them.

Leagues away, a New Atlantean invasion fleet emerges into Skartaris from the sea passage. It’s led by Lord Saber-Tooth, a beast-man with a mission:

Back in Shamballah, Morgan and Tara’s ride becomes even less pleasant which a strange twister appears out of nowhere. It selectively snatches Morgan up into the air while the crow’s beady eyes gleam with triumph. Morgan manages to use his boot dagger to stake himself to a tree and ride out the weird weather. Almost losing him softens Tara’s heart towards him and it appears Morgan is back in her good graces.

The bird flies to a strange hut deep in the forest. There it transforms into Saaba, the witch our heroes encounter before. The wind elemental was her doing, summoned to get revenge on Morgan for denying her the power of the Eye of Shakakhan (issue #16). She realizes she needs help to get her vengeance. She looks into her crystal ball:

Graemore meets Tara in the palace. He can’t believe she took Morgan back after saying she wouldn’t. He makes no secret of the fact he loves her too and had hoped Morgan gone for good. He wonders what Tara will do when Morgan leaves again?

At that moment, Morgan is pondering the silver cassette and the mysteries of the weapons cache he found. Krystovar shows up, having discovered hints of an Atlantean complex beneath Shamballah. Morgan knows about it (from issue #15) and agrees to show it to him.

Descending into the complex, they find its computers more operational than Morgan thought. He puts the cassette under an analyzer and is shocked when the computer reads it as a U.S. Air Force service record—from over 300 years in the future!

There’s no time to ponder these mysteries, as they get grim news. Kaambuka, kingdom of Morgan’s friend Ashir, has fallen to an invading army that now marches toward Shamballah.

The New Atlantean Army approaches from the north and Saaba is helping them.

The Shamballan defenders fight bravely, but the New Atlanteans have energy cannons and Saaba’s magic. Her elemental smashes the city’s gate. Morgan realizes he must lead a retreat.

Tara, however, refuses to leave her city. Morgan has no choice:

Morgan leads what people he can gather down into the Atlantean complex and out beyond the city’s walls. Lord Saber-Tooth searches for him in the Shamballah’s burning streets in vain.

From a height overlooking the conquered city, Morgan swears to his mate he’ll help her get her kingdom back.

Things to Notice:
  • Graemore has gotten a perm since we last saw him.
  • Where are the other Brood-Brothers?  Does Lord Saber-Tooth go it alone?  And why is he a lord? 
Where it Comes From:
Again, Burkett relies heavily on Warlord lore.  The Graemore-Tara-Morgan triangle introduced in the back in the imposter story arc, Saaba the Witch, and the high-tech Atlantean ruins beneath Shamballah (where previously the computer went insane).