Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Warlord Wednesday: Bride of Yaug

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...

"Bride of Yaug"
Warlord #107 (July 1986)
Written by Michael Fleisher; Art by Ron Randall

Synopsis: Morgan, Shakira, and Damon (still suffering from the crossbow wound) cross a rocky desert on the way to the legendary Greenfire Sea and the House of the Celestials where the wizard Hagar-Zinn is said to dwell. On the way they encounter hungry sand squids and a blinding simoon that drives them unexpectedly toward a lost city.

Entering the city,they’re captured by greenskinned men. The leader of the city arrives and commands our heroes be freed. He introduces himself as Wauk and his people as The Sons of Yaug.  They aren’t the least bit creepy:

Well, maybe a little. Anyway, the Sons of Yaug offer the trio their hospitality. They treat our heroes to a feast and offer them a place to stay the night.

Morgan wakes up sort of woozy, like he’s been drugged and finds Shakira missing. He rouses Damon to help him look for her. They hear chanting coming from beneath the floor. Morgan locates a trapdoor. They follow a stairway down and find:

Sword raised, Morgan leaps on Yaug. While Morgan fights the monster, Damon runs in and frees Shakira.

Yaug proves impervious to Morgan’s blade. Morgan has to improvise:

Morgan runs out of the temple and finds Damon and Shakira waiting with the horses. The three ride off to continue their quest as the city burns behind them.

While all this is going on, Mariah and Machiste are suffering at the hands of the torturers of Unmschal. Machiste watches in horror as Mariah dies under a volley of arrows in front of him. Never guessing it was a sorcerous illusion, he refuses to speak with Mariah who calls to him from the neighboring cell.

When the torturers come for her, Mariah overpowers one and grabs a sword. She forces them to open Machiste’s cell. With a captured Ummschal wizard-priest, the two run for the beach. They force the mage to re-animate the skeletal crew to man the bone boat.

The bone boat is launched, but the wizard-priest warns that his brethren will stop them--even it it means his life is forfeit. No sooner has he said that than a towering warrior-shape rises, formed from the ocean waves themselves!

Things to Notice:
  • Unmschal is spelled Ummschal here.
  • Yaug on the cover looks pretty different from how he appears in the issue itself.
Where it Comes From:
This issue is very much in the pulp Sword & Sorcery (and older Warlord) tradition. We've seen cultists bent on sacrificing our heroes in issues  3, 23, 39, 48, 102 among others. Interestingly, in many Grell-penned issues it's Morgan and not his female companion imperiled.  The dying race looking to breed and extend their numbers trope shows up in issue 18.


garrisonjames said...

I much prefer the Green Yaug from the cover to the Red Yaug that they actually used inside this issue. that green-pig looks very Hodgsonian...

The Angry Lurker said...

They just needed a woman?

Trey said...

@Garrisonjames - You're right.

@Angry Lurker - Gotta have more tiny Yauglings somehow.