Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Warlord Wednesday: Assassin's Prey

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...

"Assassin's Prey"
Warlord #94 (June 1985)
Written by Cary Burkett; Art by Mike Chen.

Synopsis: Morgan has barely returned to the camp, when he’s leaving again to go meet the pirate, Captain Hawk. Shakira decides to tag along.

When the two reach the camp at the mount of the Ramphos River they find an ambush by Vashek assassin’s waiting:

Morgan’s gun and Shakira’s transformation give them the element of surprise, and they’re able to make a break for it. The assassin’s catch don't let them get far, though. The Vashek are deadly warriors, but they’ve pissed off the Warlord and he goes all berserker on them. Cutting his way to Shakira, he throws her over his shoulder and scrambles up a tree—then starts doing his Tarzan imitation carrying an unconscious woman! The Vashek assassins can’t keep up, or are too stunned to.

Morgan’s luck runs out when a branch breaks in his hand. He falls to the forest floor and is knocked unconscious.

Back in the camp, Tara is lonely and sad over the loss of the armlet Morgan gave her. She’s looking for someone to talk to and sees Graemore, but she knows she needs to stay away from her former lover.

Meanwhile, Ashir continues to “watch out” for Tinder by teaching him lockpicking skills. After the lesson, Ashir puts the pick he was letting Tinder use back in its hiding place under his belt.

Morgan and Shakira wake up to find themselves surrounded by Hawk and a group of his pirates. Hawk starts to extort more money from the Warlord, but they’ve both got another enemy. The Vashek assassins attack. Outnumbered badly, Hawk, Morgan, and Shakira make a run for Hawk’s boat on the shore. They escape the assassins and have a moment for Hawk and Morgan to try star each other down again:

Then, an orange sea reptile attacks and overturns the boat. All the men are killed but Morgan and Shakira are able to swim to a nearby barge—where Hawk has already hauled himself aboard and has his sword point at the throat of an old man in a loincloth.

The barge belongs to a Princess Hooranami who gets all imperious and demanding with them until Shakira knocks her on her ass. The old man suggests they should sail back to the island of Kasamaga. Hooranami ran away against her father’s wishes. The people of the isle are forbidden from crossing to the mainland due to the danger of the monster.

Meanwhile, the Vashek assassin’s haven’t given up. They climb a cliff to use the Dakoth-Shurka Technique—which means building hang-gliders to fly over the head of the monster.

Back at Fire Mountain, Ashir goes looking for Jennifer and finds her staring at the Evil One’s gem looking all evil and possessed. She turns her him and she says: “I’ll fry you to a patch of stinking grease,” but then she manages to shake free. Despite what just happened, Jennifer is still mainly concerned that the gem will corrupt Tinder. He won’t be able to resist its narcotic like effect. Ashir again suggests she destroy it, and she says she will after a rest. As Ashir leaves, he notices his lockpick is missing from it's hiding place.

Back on the island, Shakira has left the others to hunt and falls asleep in the sun after her meal. Hawk gives Morgan some drugged soup and Morgan is out, too. They awaken to the Vashek assassins bearing down on them—and a precipice at their only route of escape!

Things to Notice:
  • It seems odd that our heroes aren't familiar with Kasamaga island when it's so close to an area they do seem familiar with.
  • Attention to detail is important: the very modern looking padlock on the box where Jennifer keeps the Evil One's gem has a bat on it.
Where It Comes From:
The orange (a common color for prehistoric monsters in Skartaris) sea creature looks sort of like a mosasaur.

Given the Japanese-evoking names of Kasamaga and Hooranami, the loincloth clad elder Odanak probably derives his name from Oda Nobunaga.

1 comment:

The Angry Lurker said...

More Wednesday goodness and a reference to the Samurai as well.