Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Warlord Wednesday: When A Legend Dies

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...

"When A Legend Dies"
Warlord #114 (February 1987)
Written by Michael Fleisher; Art by Ron Randall

Synopsis: A peasant is getting hassled by the tax collector of Baron Kraag, when the Warlord shows up. He rallies the peasants then leads them in a charge on the Baron’s castle. His horse picks up a stone in it’s shoe, and the Warlord falls behind. The peasants ride into an ambush and are slaughtered. When the battle’s over, the Warlord collects his fee from the Baron.

Has Morgan turned evil? No, this Warlord activates a device and his disguise falls away. This is Desaad of Apokolips out to sully the legend of the Warlord.

Meanwhile, the real Morgan is trying to figure out what happened to the wizard V’Zarr Hagar-Zinn. He finds a scrap of the wizard’s robe and a piece of parchment. The parchment contains part of an incantation. Morgan and friends step into the waiting magic circle and:

Morgan and friends find themselves hanging from the hand of the wizard over a demon-pit of “weirdling ethers” that will turn their “physical bodies into vapors” to be huffed by demons. Once the demons have done that, they’ll have the power to invade Skartaris.

In the vicinity of Shamballah, Tara discovers the area of extreme aging is indeed expanding. She she’s a dinosaur age, die, and decompose to bones before her eyes. If Morgan doesn't get back with a cure soon, all Shamballah is at risk!

Back in the nether-realm, Morgan pulls an improbable maneuver that involves dropping them all toward the pit, but swinging out at the same time. Somehow, this works and soon their battling demons.

They make their way to some pudgy, winged reptile mounts. The wizard tells them they have to get back to the portal they came through to return to their world.

They fly out toward the portal with the demons right behind them. Morgan wants to stay behind and hold them off while the others get through, but V’Zarr says he should do it instead. Only Morgan’s heroism can save Skartaris from the coming threat. He magicks a ring into Morgan’s finger.

Morgan and the others fall through the portal. The wizard knows he won’t be able to follow them. He converts himself to pure magical energy, sacrificing himself to close the portal.

Meanwhile, Desaad disguised as Morgan is jumped by a Vashek adherent out for revenge. He’s surprised the Vashek is a woman--and he surprises her by laughing at her desire for revenge and suggesting they have an enemy in common.

Things to Notice:
  • This issue is a Legends crossover.
  • It seems a bit odd that Desaad is personally masquerading as the Warlord.
Where it Comes From:
The title of this issue refers to the death of V'Zarr Hagar-Zinn, but also to the hit-job Desaad is doing on Morgan's reputation.

Speaking of Desaad, he's the chief torturer to Darkseid, and a creation of Jack Kirby. He first appeared in Forever People #2 (1971).


Timothy S. Brannan said...

Cool. I never knew there was a "crossover" with the New Gods.

The Angry Lurker said...

Nice addition to my Wednesday fix.

Trey said...

The first 113 hits are free, Fran.

@Tim - Yeah, it's all part of Darkseid's nefarious plan in Legends.