Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Warlord Wednesday

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

Warlord (vol. 4) #1 (June 2009)
Written by Mike Grell; Penciled by Joe Prado; Inked by Walden Wong

Synopsis: In Tibet, high in a mountain cave, an expedition makes a surpsising discovery: A whole deinonychus carcass frozen in ice.

Sometime later, Alysha Grant shows the head of the dinosaur to her friend Kate who works for a museum. Alysha needs money to get back to Tibet and fully explore the cave the carcass was found in. Kate can't get the funding from the museum, but she has an idea.

They go to rich adventurer Ned Hawkins and give him quite a story:

He agrees to go along and in turn recruits journalist Ewan McBane to chronicle his exploits.

Soon, they're all on a mountain in Tibet. They run afowl of the Chinese military and poor Rhampa the Sherpa is killed.  They make it to the cave, but they're trapped.  Or they think they are, until they find a shimmering, golden portal to someplace warm in the recesses of the cave...

Morgan and Shakira are rousing from a sleep period in Shamballah. Morgan pulls open the curtains to look out onto the city--and is attacked by a griffin!

The commotion brings Tara and her soldiers running, but by the time they arrive, Morgan has dispatched the beast.

Not just griffins are being driven out of the North, there are human refugees, too. Morgan and Tara go down to see what's bringing them in and find Tinder already there. He's already gotten a story, and has a refugee repeat it to Morgan:

It turns out the refugee is from Machiste's kingdom of Kiro. He fears the kingdom may have fallen. The invaders wield a power none can stand against: a power that can kill at a distance. The man's son bears a wound from the weapon. It punched through is breastplate and still grievously injured him:

A bullet hole!

Things to Notice:
  • Grell writes Warlord again for the first time in nearly 17 years.
  • This issue doesn't have a title.
  • The recap of Morgan's origin reminds us he arrived in Skartaris in June of 1969.
Where It Comes From:
This makes several sly references to previous issues: the deinonychus in the cave and the one in First Issue Special #8; Morgan asking Tinder about ballad writing and "Ballad" being the title of the story in the 1992 limited series.

What Happened to Volume 3?
Warlord volume 3 ran from April 2006-January 2007. It was written by Bruce Jones and drawn by Bart Sears and "rebooted" Warlord continuity. It was not particularly well-received and ignored when Grell returned to do this series.