Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Warlord Wednesday: The Once and Future Warlord

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

"The Once and Future Warlord"
Warlord (vol. 4) #11 (April 2010) Story & Art by Mike Grell

Synopsis: Deimos is back to his old self and ready to along with Kate's plans for revenge against Morgan. Kate wonder's why they don't attack now. Deimos replies: "No need. When I want, he'll come to me."

Meanwhile, McBane's interview of Morgan continues, as he pursues the answer to "what happen" to Morgan's crusader for freedom for the people of Skartaris. Morgan tells him how he found the subshuttle and got separated from Tara. By the time he got back to her, they had a son, Joshua.

Morgan planned to be a better father to Joshua than he had been to Jennifer. Deimos crushed those dreams. He kidnapped Joshua then used Altantean technology to age him to adulthood--then forced Morgan to fight his son to the death.

Deimos reveals to Kate the part of the story Morgan doesn't know. Deimos cloned Joshua using the very same technology responsible for the body he now inhabited. Morgan killed a clone.

For Morgan, his son was dead, and everything changed:

Suddenly, a bright blue light flares from a nearby tower. Morgan and McBane rush in and find Jennifer in the clutches of some hydra-type creature made of energy. The two manage to free her and Jennifer unleashes a spell that banishes the monster. Morgan knows who it is immediately: Deimos. Jennifer confirms his aura was all over it--and it was stronger than ever.

Morgan makes ready to go confront his old enemy. Tara expresses her concern, but Morgan says he's beat him before and he'll do it again, besides:

Tinder thinks he's making the wrong decision, but Morgan's old companions Machiste and Mariah are saddling up to go, as is McBane. Tinder tries to appeal to them all to talk sense into Morgan, even Shakira. She responds: "You'll understand when it's your turn."

Morgan imparts a bit of advice to his young friend the bard: An army will never follow you unless they know you're prepared to lead them straight into hell. He leaves Tinder with a quote:

Our heroes ride to the Terminator--only to find Castle Deimos empty! A scarred-face old man tells them that Deimos got on back of a dragon with a woman and flew off. Toward Shamballah.

The dragon attacks Tara's city with it's breath. While Tinder, Tara, and Alysha scramble to get the people to safety. Deimos and Kate sneak into the underground and activate the ancient Atlantean defenses (like in issue #15). The city again attacks it's own people!

Things to Notice:
  • Grell handles all the art in this issue himself
  • Morgan seems to have memorized a lot of speeches.
Where it comes from: 
The title of this issue is a play on the title of T.H. White's famous 1958 Arthurian fantasy The Once and Future King. That title is a reference to an inscription Le Morte D'Arthur relates is said to be written on King Arthur's tomb: Hic iacet Arthurus, rex quondam, rexque futurus-- "Here lies Arthur, king once, and king to be."

Morgan references T.H. White and Camelot, Lerner and Loewe's 1960 musical based on White's novel. Morgan says he stole one of his rousing speeches from it. On the topic of speech-stealing, Morgan also pinches Henry V's "Saint Crispin's Day" speech from Shakespeare's Henry V: Act 4, Scene 3.

Morgan also quotes Saaba's prophecy from issue #16. Morgan thinks his son is dead, but of course, he isn't: he's Tinder. Shakira's comment is a bit foreshadowing, perhaps.


The Angry Lurker said...

Good read on a Wednesday as usual Trey.

garrisonjames said...

I like this turn of events. Travis Morgan lifting the St. Crispin's Day speech was perfect. It's exactly the sort of thing I'd expect from a guy like him. Nice logo on the sword pommel as well.