Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Warlord Wednesday: Terror of the Inland Sea

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...

"Terror of the Inland Sea"
Warlord #111 (November 1986)
Written by Michael Fleisher; Pencils by Ron Randall

Synopsis: Morgan and Shakira are flying above an inland sea with the flight belts stolen from Skyra III. They’re still on their quest to find the wizard that can save Jennifer.

Suddenly, their belts begin to fail. They plummet into the water below. Beneath the surface, danger is lurking:

Morgan fights the fishmen as long as he can, but unable to breath, he loses consciousness.

Meanwhile, Mariah and Machiste are fighting for their lives in a sewage drain against the forces of the usurper of Kiro. But there are other tensions, too:

Morgan wakes out among other humans in the undersea city of Arscana, founded by Atlantean dissidents and runaway slaves.It was pulse emissions of their energy dome that disrupted the flight belts, apparently. The Arscanans had managed to save Morgan, but Shakira is in the hands of their enemies, the Balskraks.

Morgan wants to go after her, but the Arscanans don’t want to let him. Given that he was using a flight belt of their former masters, they don’t really trust him. Morgan has to fight his way past them. He commandeers one of their undersea sleds and flees the city.

Meanwhile, Shakira has been given a breathing device by the Balskraks. Sure enough, they plan to sacrifice her to monstrous Kraarg--but Shakira’s just not into it:

She escapes the guards, but winds up in the throne room of their ruler!

One good thing comes of that: King Raznor thinks she’s too pretty to give to Kraarg. Unfortunately, he plans to have his surgeon’s turn her into a water-breather and keep her forever.

Morgan arrives but he’s captured, too. As predicted, the balskraks do with him what barbaric cultures always seem to do in Skartaris: They force him to fight a monster in an arena--Kraarg!

Morgan manages to cut off one of Kraarg’s eyestalks then kill him, but loses his weapon. The balskraks plan to mob Morgan in revenge, but Shakira escapes and brings Morgan a new trident. They battle their way back to the sled, barring a gate with the trident to deter their pursuers, and make their escape.

Meanwhile, Marriah and Machiste are captured and brought to N’Dosma. It turns out its a ruse though, and the real Machiste is disguised as one of the guards. He beats N’Dosma, then dispenses with the usurper--by throwing him out a window!

Things to Notice:
  • The Arscanans don't really serve a purpose in the story beyond providing exposition--and they dress in pretty bad 1980s style.
  • Shakira spends a fair amount of time lampshading the origins of the Balshrak and their ability to speak an intelligible language.
Where it Comes From:
Kraarg is  fanciful sea monster, but he resembles the anomalocaridids a bit.


Jim Shelley said...

Shakira spends a fair amount of time lampshading the origins of the Balshrak and their ability to speak an intelligible language.

Oh, that all narrative devices were as fetching as Shakira in her fur bikini. ;)

Trey said...

You're right about that. The explainy-ness of this issue really stands out. Not only is there that multi-panel sequence with Shakira, but later Morgan has to helpful tell the audience that the sled is pumping out the water once they get insude. It's like Fleisher suddenly decided Warlord didn't make a lot of sense if you thought about it too much.