Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Warlord Wednesday: Son Rise

The Warlord is dead! Long live The Warlord! This is my issue by issue examination of his adventures. The earlier installments can be found here...

"Son Rise"
Warlord (vol. 4) #13 (June 2010) Story by Mike Grell; Art by Chad Hardin

Synopsis: Ewan McBane and Jennifer Morgan are standing on a tower looking out over Skartaris. McBane still can't believe it. Jennifer says she can barely remember the outer world--but she does miss the moon and stars. McBane (ever the romantic) says these days most of what she sees would be space junk.

McBane's comments are prophetic as in orbit above the Earth, an asteroid collides with an old Soviet satellite, destroying it. The debris of both streaks earthward. The U.S. military tracking it anticipates an impact at the North Pole with a "Tunguska-type event."

The impact doesn't come. The asteroid disappears into Skartaris. Dinosaurs run in terror from the impact as a mushroom cloud rises. The Skartarian sky darkens.

Alysha and Joshua (Tinder) ride out to investigate. They meet fleeing refugees with a tale of a terrible beast ravaging the land who was either awakened or freed by the impact:

They describe the monster as a giant with a single, blazing eye in the middle of its forehead. They sent their best warriors against it, and they never returned. Their screams echoed across the mountains. The refugees further warn that now that all the food is gone in their lands, the beast will be on the move.

Thinking on this news, Joshua broods. He tells his mother: "I'm not my father." Her reply:

Shakira helps Joshua suit up. He tells her that he doesn't even know what he's doing. She replies that his father didn't either. But he tried. He made mistakes, but he tried.

"You knew him better than anyone," Joshua says. "Perhaps you can help me understand him."

"I doubt it." Shakira replies.

In any case, Joshua is ready:

Alysha and McBane are going with him. Alysha watches Shakira in cat form jump onto Joshua's shoulders. "Some things never change," she says.

Riding into the area of devastation, our heroes are surprised to find an old smith still at work at his forge. He tells them that not everyone has fled. The others that are left realized the beast came out to hunt. The old man offers to buy Joshua's armor as he doesn't expect them to survive. Joshua declines.

Our heroes ride on and come upon a sacrifice in progress: a young woman is tied a stone table. Before the sacrificial dagger can fall:

They free the woman and drive off the others, but they find the woman didn't want to be rescued. It was her lot. She runs toward the mouth of a nearby cave. Still, she doesn't intend to let it take her alive like the others. She puts the dagger to her throat.

A blast from the cave kills her!  And the beast comes forth:

Things to Notice:
  • Joshua gets his own Warlord duds.
  • Yet another beauteous maiden is offered up as a sacrifice. It happens a lot in Skartaris, apparently.
Where it comes from: 
The title of this issue is an obvious play on words and a fitting follow-up to last issues "Sunset."

Joshua's Warlord outfit is a bit more modest than his old man's. Actually, it harkens back to the original black outfit Travis Morgan wore up until issue #9. He retains the metal shoulder guard and winged helm, though. He doesn't have his father's pistol, though. Instead, he carries a bow.

The "willing sacrifice" is a trope Grell employed before back in issue #48. Ironically, the danger being placated there was from outside Skartaris, too.


Timothy S. Brannan said...

Yeah with all the maiden sacrifice you would think it would be safer to be a brazen trollop!

I don't recall if Morgan Sr. ever used a bow. My memories are all sword and pistol.

Trey said...

No, I don't think Morgan ever used a bow.