Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Warlord Wednesday: Thief's Magic

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...

Warlord #81 (May 1984)
Written by Cary Burkett; Penciled by Dan Jurgens; Inked by Dan Adkins.

Synopsis: In a shaded spot in Skartaris, two travellers sleep around a cook fire. Young Tinder creeps up to steal from an open sack. But the travellers are not as unaware as they seem:

The robed clerics are actually Jennifer Morgan and faithful Faaldren. Jennifer demands Tinder tell her his story—cautioning that she’ll know if he’s lying. Tinder tells how, after leaving Shamballah, he’d worked with a merchant caravan (and supplemented his pay with a little pickpocketing) until the New Atlantean raiders attacked. Everyone else had been killed or captured, but Tinder escaped.

Jennifer senses something more about the boy—a kinship—but doesn’t wish to use her magic to pry further just now. And so, Jennifer misses the chance to discover that Tinder is actually her half-brother, Joshua.

Tinder also tells them that Shamballah has fallen. Jennifer casts a spell to find out what happened to her father.

She can’t locate him—which means he’s either vanished from the earth or dead. The former is actually correct; Morgan is imprisoned in the future and (coincidentally) having a nightmare about the day Deimos forced him to kill his own son. It was a trick, of course, and Joshua was raised in anonymity, unaware of his true identity.

Despite the dire news, Jennifer wants to go to Shamballah to pick up her father’s trail. As they’re breaking camp, they get some unwanted visitors…

Comely cow? So, anyway, Jennifer starts to sling a spell, but it’s cut short when she takes a crossbow bolt in the shoulder. Faaldren jumps in with a sword stab through the eye of a lizard mount and Jennifer casts a spell sending illusionary warriors running to his aid. Still, her power's weakening and the illusions don’t fool the New Atlanteans long. Jennifer enlists Tinder’s help casting a spell with one of her magic jewels. She has Tinder concentrate on the most fearsome thing he can thing of for fodder for a renewed illusion spell. Tinder recalls something from a story a man chained in a Shamballan dungeon told him; a man who was actually Travis Morgan, his real father…

He conjures what Jennifer recognizes as a demonic train! She wonders where a Skartarian boy might have found out about locomotives. She realizes there’s more to Tinder than there appears. And so, when the boy asks if Jennifer will teach him some magic, Jennifer agrees to do so and to let him accompany them to Shamballah.

Things to Notice:
  • Tinder (Joshua) is back. He was last seen in issue #61.
  • The title character, however, barely appears--and he's asleep in his only non-flashback panel.
Where It Comes From:
This issue spends a far amount of time recapping and summarizing Tinder's origin, related piecemeal in previous issues.  The bull-headed beastman recalls Travis Morgan's own transformation by the Alces Shirasi back in issue #18.


The Angry Lurker said...

My wednesday is complete with my Warlord injection....

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I agree.

I have not posted much about this, but I look forward to this every single Wednesday.

I am enjoying it more now that I am considering doing more with a Hollow Earth theme.

Of course Jennifer Morgan is one of my favorite characters from this series, but that should not be a surprise.

Keep it up! How many more issues are left?

Trey said...

Thanks guys. I figure there's a silent fanbase out there (given that visits don't decline) but its nice to hear from folks, too.

@Tim - Much more Jennifer to come (including a team-up with Power Girl). There are 133 issues in the original run. Then a Grell limited with 6, and a second Grell-penned series of 12, maybe? We'll see how far I go!