Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Warlord Wednesday: Justice League

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

"Doomed" / "Sword of the USAF" / "Godwar!"
Justice League Task Force #34-36 (May-July 1993)
Written by Priest; Pencils by Ramon Bernado, Inks by Anibal Rodriguez

Synopsis: Returning from an adventure in space, the stolen shuttle carrying the Justice League Task Force (like the Justice League but 90s EXTREME!) crashes in Skartaris. They accidentally disrupt the attack of a group soldiers working for a wizard named Eballum. The soldiers need to collect talismans for the wizard to save their people from the hordes of Devvar.

The Justice League just need a way back to Earth since their shuttle exploded. Martian Manhunter figures a new arrival can help them with that:

The next issue begins with most of the League helping Morgan defend the village from raiders. They don't agree with Morgan's bloody tactics, but tells them things are different in Skartaris and they wouldn't be having to do this if they hadn't killed the barbarian leading the search for the talismans with their shuttle. Morgan also settles up with the Ray, for trying to keep him from killing a guy:

The Ray flies off to find this guy Quantum who is the leader of the bad guys his own way. Meanwhile, the Manhunter acquires the "Eye of the USAF." It turns out there's an ancient technology cache beneath the village that Quantum wants to get his hand on, and the "Sword of the USAF" Eballum plans to use to save the village is actually an ICBM that fell into Skartaris.

Eballum fires the missile and Ray (tricked and then possessed by the evil sorceror) attacks leading Quantum's hordes!

While the rest of the our heroes are in battle Triumph flies after the missile to try and stop it. He doesn't seem to be able to, until Martian Manhunter clues him in about Skartaris's sun being just a "ball of flame" held in places by strong magnetic forces. Triumph is able to fly closer and harness those magnetic forces to bolster his powers. The MIRV releases it's warheads. Triumph stops all but one!

Manhunter manages to use his telepath to force Quantum to change back into matter from Ray's light-form. Morgan comes in swinging a sword at Ray's throat scaring Quantum into fleeing back to his on body. It was a ruse, though, and the sword just touches lightly on a bewildered Ray's neck.

The one warhead doesn't explode. It turns out their were all dummies. Eballum, however, loaded them with "tainted fertilizer" which only serves to make Quantum and a few dinosaurs really nauseated.

Morgan takes them to the underground sub-shuttle station.The Justice League bids the Warlord good-bye and heads back to the surface.

Things to Notice:
  • Morgan recognizes Martian Manhunter. Perhaps from their participation in Crisis?
  • This is the only Warlord-containing comic with a blatant reference to a Janet Jackson song.
Where it Comes From: 
Priest seems to have read some old issues of Warlord--or at least done his research before writing the story. He has Martian Manhunter and Morgan discuss Grell's hollow earth explanation versus the later "alternate dimension" retcon. He utilizes the sub-shuttle to Peru to get the Justice League home that first showed up in issue #5.

Unfortunately, the artists don't seem to have seen any of them. Morgan wears much more elaborate armor than he ever wore in the series. The Atlantean sub-shuttle looks more like an urban subway train, complete with graffiti.


The Angry Lurker said...

Meeee-ooooow indeed!

Aos said...

Is she leaning against a moving horse? Anyway, i just read the issue with the subway station in it. Did they mention anything about he different flow of time?

Trey said...

@Fran - Heh.

@Metal Earth - Grell sort of stopped mentioning the time-flow stuff as much in the latter issues of his run. After he left, it was officially jettisoned by editorial much like the hollow earth origins of Skartaris.

Aos said...

I hated it in ERB when I was a cynical teen, but I love it now. Like when Morgan btakes a nap and grows a santa beard. That shit is great.

Trey said...

Yeah, I kind of like that too, though admittedly it doesn't make a lot of sense the way it works. Unless...well, remind me to tell you my college lit class theory on Warlord on of these days.

Aos said...

I kind of like that it doesn't make sense too. What's wrong with me? Let me get a little further along and I'd love to hear that theory.

Brutorz Bill said...

I had this issue at one time. I had forgotten about it. : )