Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Warlord Wednesday: The Queen is Dead!

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...

"The Queen is Dead! Long Live The Queen!"
Warlord #126 (February 1988)
Written by Michael Fleisher; Pencils by Jan Duursema, Inks by Tom Mandrake

Synopsis: Machiste, Jennifer, and above all Morgan, grieve Tara’s death, while (in her lair) the evil Khnathaiti laughs. Tara really isn’t dead, merely soulless and in the sorcereress’s thrall. Soon, she will rise and be the plaything of the Scavenger of Souls.

The Scavenger sneaks into Tara’s pyramid tomb:

Meanwhile in Siberia, Mariah is being interrogated by the KGB. They know who she is and how she disappeared at Machu Picchu. They think she’s a CIA spy. Ultimately, she’s dragged off by guards to be “disposed of.”

In Kiro, Tara walks through a barracks full of sleeping guardsmen, stealing their souls as she goes. The soldiers rise and follow here. She enters the kings chamber and awakens Machiste, who at first thinks he’s dreaming. The Scavenger forbids her from taking the king’s soul: He wants it for his own. He grabs Machiste by the throat and begins sapping his soul away. Machiste doesn’t go down that easy:

Machiste tells them both to get the hell out before he gets really angry. They slink away with the souls they have, warning that their mistress’s day is coming.

Sometime later, Machiste bursts into Morgan’s chamber and tells him he’s seen Tara alive. Morgan doesn’t believe it, until Machiste mentions the Scavenger. Morgan, Machiste, and Jennifer go to the cave beneath the volcano. Jennifer leads them through the cave to find:

Our heroes attack Khnathaiti’s thralls. Morgan makes his way to Tara, but she struggles against him and he can’t get her away.Morgan fights with the Scavenger, but the villain gets the better of him. Hearing her mate’s name and seeing him close to death somehow frees Tara from evil’s control. Before the Scavenger can strike the killing blow against Morgan, she attacks. The Scavenger throws her aside and she falls from height. Morgan strikes off the Scavenger’s head with his sword.

With the Scavenger dead, Khnathaiti looses the power she infused in him, she flees. Our heroes are victorious, but at what cost?

Despite appearances, Tara (still) isn’t dead—but Jennifer keeps the truth from her father. Khnathaiti still has Tara’s soul, so she is in a state between life and death. Jennifer could restore her, but only to a state of “unlife” and torment. Jennifer entombs her body with protective spells, hoping that she can find a way, someday, to restore her fully.

Things to Notice:
  • The flashback to the events of First Issue Special #8 shows Morgan with the goattee he didn't have at the time he first met Tara.
  • The cover of this issue is very 80s.
Where It Comes From:
Mariah's Russian captors make reference to events of her first appearance way back in Warlord #6. Government agents thinking she's a spy mirrors Travis Morgan's ecperiences with his own government on two different occasions.


The Angry Lurker said...

That Tara is such a tease!

Trey said...

The Scavenger of Souls deserves a little teasing.