Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Warlord Wednesday: Ballad Part 5

Here's another installment of my examination of  the adventures DC Comics' Travis Morgan--The Warlord.  The earlier installments can be found here...

"Ballad Part V"
Warlord (vol. 2) #5 (May 1992)
Written by Mike Grell; Art by Dameon Willich and Tim Burgard

Synopsis: The skies over Skartaris turn crimson, and all its people gaze upward fearfully. A skull-faced visage appears and intones:
“Bring me Travis Morgan or I shall cast a darkness upon the land unto the end of man.” Tara recognizes the voice if not the face: Deimos.

Tara points out Deimos will have to look elsewhere for Morgan; he tends to stay far from responsibility. One of her servants informs her that Morgan was sighted in a tavern called the Golden Acorn in the city today, despite her orders that he be barred from entry. The guardsmen who tried to enforce her will should recover. Tara’s not surprised he’s back: Adventure will always summon when nothing else can.

Tinder heads off to the Golden Acorn to meet his hero. As he’s climbing the stairs to its entrance, he’s surprised when the black cat in front of him with a mouse in its jaws turns into:

Tinder recognizes her from the stories. He asks if Travis Morgan, the Warlord, is there. Shakira comments that he speaks as if they’re the same person, then adds: “The Warlord is what they have made him. Travis Morgan is..well…See for yourself”:

Tinder approaches. Morgan snaps awake and grabs Tinder by the throat. He points his pistol at the startled minstrel and demands to know who sent him.

Morgan asks “Why?” Tinder tells him that they met once before and Morgan had told him incredible stories of the world he came from. Morgan says he doesn’t remember. He asks what Tinder wants.

Tinder replies that he wants to meet the legend. Morgan tells him that being a legend isn’t all it’s cracked up to be: You've always got to prove it to someone, and you never get used to “the look”:

Tinder shows Morgan the sky (Morgan replies he thought he had just drank himself blind) and asks for his help. He tells the Warlord that Tara is gathering an army to march on Thera. Morgan is sure she can handle it. Tinder gets angry at him and leaves.

Watching him go from the window, Morgan muses to Shakira that maybe every time one of them comes, he ought to just shoot them and be done with it. He doesn't have the heart for it though; they’re already mourning a hero.

Still, Morgan begins to put on his armor. “So another war?” Shakira asks.

“One’s as good as the next,” Morgan replies.

Later, Morgan rides into the palace grounds in front of the massed troops. He greets his mate and queen with a lame joke, and she breaks his nose as per usual. After some encouragement by Tinder,  Morgan gives a rousing but meaningless speech to the troops:

And they’re off to meet a eagerly waiting Deimos.

Things to Notice:
  • As it has throughout this limited, Morgan's outfit appears  a bit more like genuine armor than it did in the actual series. Maybe this is an attempt at a minor retcon?
  • Shakira has dark skin in this issue not particularly in keeping with her previous appearances. Maybe she just got a really good tan?
Where It Comes From:
Grell references the first meeting between Tinder and Morgan back in issue #58. Of course, this wasn't actually their first meeting as Tinder is really Joshua, Morgan's son.

Tinder references Deimos death in the darkness and cold along the Terminator. Morgan left Deimos to be devoured by wolves in issue #50. Of course, Morgan had already killed him not once, but twice before. He was also killed once by Tara's faithful dog, Shadow.


The Angry Lurker said...

Wednesday is complete!

Jack Guignol said...

I usually greet minstrels with a hand around the throat and pistol to the temple as well.

Trey said...

@Jack - Jack Shear, Warlord.

Jim Shelley said...

I would be incline to say the darker skin tone was just a colorist error except it shows up all the way through the book correct? Since this predates digital coloring, maybe the wrong number got written down and it wasn't noticed until it was printed.

Trey said...

@Jim - I suspect that is the case, given all appearances after this limited have her back to the original coloration, but there are two things that make the retcon a possibility not to be dismissed quickly: 1) Several of the characters have somewhat different appearances in the mini (Morgan gets slightly more realistic armor, Jennifer's costume is a different color); 2)Shakira's skin shade is consistent the next issue.