Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Warlord Wednesday: Sunset

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) #12 (May 2010) Story & Art by Mike Grell

Synopsis: Morgan and his friends ride hard to get back to Shamballah. Morgan now realizes that (as Tinder suggested) Deimos tricked him and drew him away.

They arrive to find Shamballah burning and devastated. One of the energy cannons blasts Morgan and Shakira from the back of their horse. Tinder calls to them from a place the weapons can't reach. The group quickly gets under cover.

Tinder tells them how Deimos activated the weapons hidden in city. They can't get to the bigger cannons to destroy them, because their protected by smaller weapons. Morgan asks how many men Tinder lost. "All of them," is his reply. He angrily asks where Morgan was when they needed him?

Deimos and Kate have taken the palace and have Alysha as captive. Morgan asks about Tara. Tinder says she was alive last he saw her and with Jennifer. Morgan runs off to a tower to find his mate and Tinder turns to Shakira:

In the palace, Deimos watches Morgan in a large scrying crystal. Kate wants Deimos just to kill him, but the Demon Priest says there's an intimacy between enemies that must be savored.

Frustrated by her inability to entice Deimos with wealth, sex, or even power--anything but revenge--Kate tries to convince (or perhaps seduce) the chained Alysha into making common cause with her. Alysha declines both offers--and manages to steal Kate's keys.

Morgan and Tinder find Jennifer trying to heal Tara's injuries. She has a surprise for Morgan:

Morgan kneels next to Tara. He makes promises:

"Yes, you will," Tara replies. "You're going to leave me right now." There's a battle to fight.

Morgan agrees: One more.

Deimos watches this all and vows Morgan will be on his knees before it's done.

Machiste points out it's madness to try to get through those weapons. One man can, Morgan says; He believes Deimos will let him through, because the wizard wants to meet him face to face.

One man--and his cat.

Tinder is waiting for him downstairs with sword drawn. He believes Morgan's personal vendetta will end up getting Alysha killed. Morgan tells him to get out of the way--then slugs him when he doesn't.

The two fight. As they do, the spying Deimos reminisces on how he convinced Morgan he had killed his son by making him fight his son's clone. A fight that is being relived at this moment between the real father and son.

As Deimos watches, Kate creeps up behind him with a dagger, and Alysha frees herself, unnoticed. Watching the scene, she's figured out the truth. Morgan gives Tinder further pointers on swordfighting as he bests the angry youth. He pulls the talisman from around Tinder's neck. The small sack falls to the floor and its contents are reveal: something from another world. A wrist watch.

Deimos, aware of Kate's treachery, turns her into a rat. Morgan has his sword raised above a fallen Tinder, but he sees the watch and hesitates. Alysha arrives and she can't yell out all the words before Morgan realizes himself: Tinder is Joshua. His son.

Tinder strikes:

Shakira cradles Morgan's head. Tinder is confused. He knows Morgan should have easily parried. Alysha hands him the watch, saying she has something to tell him. Father and son clasp hands for the last time:

And then:

Deimos laments that Morgan isn't here to see him break a queen. Tara pulls a dagger and puts its point to her chest. She'd die first. Deimos is fine with seeing Morgan's wife and child follow him into death.

But then there's a ghost in the doorway: A familiar silhouette in an eagle-winged helm.

It's Tinder in Morgan's armor. He so surprises Deimos, he's able to push the wizard into Jennifer's magic mirror--which Shakira then knocks over and shatters.

Tinder kneels at Tara's side. He shows her the watch and calls her mother.

Later, our heroes gather around the funeral pyre where Morgan is laid to rest. Tara, tears in her eyes, eulogizes him. Morgan's wife and children light the pyre.

Elsewhere, a black rat that was once Kate approaches the Mask of Life. Then, Shakira (in cat form) pounces.

Things to Notice:
  • Travis Morgan: 1926-2009
  • Shakira's comments suggest foreknowledge of the outcome. Maybe she's just a good guesser?
Where It's Going:
Travis Morgan is dead, but the Warlord lives on. At least for 3 more issues.


Timothy S. Brannan said...

It's a rule, if you say you are never going to leave, chances are you are about to get a solid case of being dead.

Three more issues! I only have 7 more White Dwarfs! What are we going to do on Wednesday mornings now???

Aos said...

Wow, that's pretty heavy.

Trey said...

@Tim - That's a good question!
@Metal Earth - An ending 35 years in the making.

garrisonjames said...

Wow. So that's how it all ends for Travis Morgan. Very Arthurian. Very appropriate. This has been a great series. Very enjoyable. Thanks for seeing it through!