Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Warlord Wednesday: Devil's Wings

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...

"Devil's Wings"
Warlord #93 (May 1985)
Written by Cary Burkett; Art Ron Randall.

Synopsis: In the windswept Bloodrock Mountains, Old Gris, a grizzled scout for the Husklaar Tribe, sees Lord Sabretooth leading a New Atlantean army through a pass that will take them to the gates of Shamballah.  Old Gris urges his pony to a gallop…

Meanwhile, in the Shamballan camp Morgan spars with one of his troops while Tara looks on in disapproval. She thinks a warlord’s time would be put to better use elsewhere. 

Beneath Fire Mountain, Jennifer’s still “studying” the Evil One’s gem. She asks Ashir to keep an eye on Tinder, as he may not yet be completely free of the gem’s influence. When Ashir asks why she doesn't just destroy it Jennifer has a “Gollum moment” and clutches the gem tightly to her chest. She recovers and says that she hopes to find a way to control the gems power. Ashir leaves with a worried look on his face.

Old Gris arrives at Warlord’s camp. “Tempering his salty language only slightly in deference to the Queen” he tells her war council what he saw:

If Sabretooth can join his forces with those already in Shamballah, the change of Morgan and his friends retaking the city will evaporate. They need a diversion to keep Sabretooth’s force from reaching the city until the Shamballan insurgents are ready to march.  Morgan and Trogero will lead a small force to try to delay the Atlanteans.

Far to the South, at the mouth of the Ramphos, Morgan has left a contigent of men encamped, awaiting Captain Hawk’s arrival with freed slaves.  Swift and deadly, the hooded Vashek assassins overrun the camp. They plan to set a trap.

Elsewhere, Sabretooth’s scouts find the trail of a group of men on horseback. They lead to what appears to be an encampment—flying the Warlord’s banner! Sabretooth can’t believe his luck.  He sounds the charge—and his troops charge right into Morgan’s trap.

In the battle that follows, Morgan and Sabretooth grimly strive to work their way toward each other, but when Old Gris calls out that the rest of Sabretooth’s army has arrived, Morgan and his raiders beat a retreat.

Morgan and crew come to a fork in a canyon pass. The left trail is the safe way through; the right leads to Devilwing Canyon. Morgan decides that they will go left, but first sweep the entrance to the right as if they were trying to cover tracks. My Sabretooth arrives he falls for Morgan’s ruse and soon:

Sabretooth tries to lead the tatters of army out of the canyon, only to have rocks rained on them courtesy of Morgan and his men. Morgan also suggests to Sabretooh that his camp is somewhere in the mountains: a lie. 

The enraged devilwings force the Shamballans to retreat, as well, so they’re unable to finish the Atlanteans off.  Morgan charges Old Gris with hanging around and leaving false trails and the like to further confuse Sabretooth.

Back near the Shamballan camp, Tara removes her sword and armlet to take a dip in the river. Tinder and Chakka see the armlet, the one that Tinder views as his—and ironically it is, but also it’s an unrecognized link to his true parents, Morgan and Tara. Tinder considers taking it but he doesn’t want to hurt the Queen. He hesitates.

When Tara emerges returns from her swim, she finds the armlet, her momento of the son she believes dead, gone.

Things to Notice:
  • The New Atlantean Hell apparently has sixteen layers.
  • To Ashir, "keeping an eye" on Tinder involves teaching him to pick padlocks.
Where It Comes From:
The corrupting power of the Evil One's gem was probably inspired by the One Ring in Lord of the Rings or maybe from Der Ring des Nibelungen.

The tribe of Husklaars probably owe their name to the term huscarl, referring to personal troops or bodyguards. Gris is the French and Low German word for "gray."


The Angry Lurker said...

By the jewels and sceptre of my manhood I liked this!

Trey said...

I thought you'd dig that part.