Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Warlord Wednesday: Expect the Unexpected

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

"Expect the Unexpected"
Warlord (vol. 4) #2 (July 2009) Written by Mike Grell; Penciled by Joe Prado; Inked by Walden Wong, Jay Leisten, & Joe Prado

Synopsis: Morgan goes to see his daughter Jennifer, the Sorceress Prime of Skartaris. She comments (as usual) that he only comes to see her when he needs something. Morgan admits he does. He tells her about the refugees fleeing a new god: a god that uses bullets.

Jennifer does some scrying:

Deimos. But he's dead (several times over). Morgan decides they need to check this out. Jennifer gives him a couple of magic stones to help him find the Golden God. Tara has to stay to defend Shamballah, but she wants to send 100 soldiers with Morgan. He declines, saying he doesn't want to dig graves along the way. Sometimes, one man can do what a hundred men can't...

Shakira goes along too, of course. Not far into there journey, they realize they're being followed. They lay a trap for their tail, and it turns out to be Tinder. He wants to go with them, Morgan doesn't think this mission is the place for a bard, but Tinder is adamant, and Morgan ultimately gives in.

He asks if Tinder can use a sword. Tinder replies he's good with a bow and a shorter blade. Morgan tosses him his sword and tells him he'd better learn.

Later, when they stop for a meal, Tinder sings the story of the Warlord, telling how Morgan won a queen and allies and bested Deimos. Morgan comments on the exaggeration and myth-making in it. Morgan ends the discussion of the past with sword practice with Tinder--which he wins by cheating.

They notice what they take to be slaver's raiding party passing near, but then Morgan recognizes the man in the cage:

Machiste. These are the men of the Golden God. The raiding party splits up, as some ride ahead to plunder nearby villages.

Morgan readies to attack them. Tinder counters they should warn the villages the men are likely to attack next. Despite the sensible of Tinder's suggestion, Morgan is focused on saving his friend. His belief in lofty goals died when he was forced by Deimos to kill his son. (Or so he believes; we all know Tinder is really his son.) Tinder angrily rides off to look after the people--something that he believes Morgan would have done, once.

Morgan and Shakira ride in and decimate the remaining soldiers. They free Machiste, who tells them Mariah was taken north to meet the Golden God. Machiste doesn't want to sound ungrateful, but he says they should have gone to warn the villages. Morgan says that's what Tinder said.

The three saddle up. Shakira asks where they are going now. Morgan replies: "After the boy."

Things to Notice:
  • Jennifer wears the antennaed headband she wore in her first appearance.
  • This issue provides a lot of recap on backgrounds of the priniciple characters, presumably for new readers.
Where it comes from: 
The title of this issue comes from the last line of the epigraph that appears in most issues of Warlord (and even some of the crossovers).

Jennifer (in discussing the possibility of Deimos's resurrection) mentions the Mask of Life, which was used to bring the demon priest back the first time in issue #10. It's interesting that she reaches all the way back to his first resurrection instead of mentioning the most recent one in the limited series in 1992.


Timothy S. Brannan said...

That is some weird art for Jennifer.

The Angry Lurker said...

Good art but definitely agree with Timothy.

Trey said...

Agreed. Prado isn't bad, but he definitely doesn't "get" most of the character designs.