Wednesday, September 06, 2006
From Warlord #48, "Dragon of Ice" Written and illustrated by Mike Grell, inks by Vince Colletta. A fifty-cent issue, with a bonus Arak insert and the return of Claw.
One of the things that the Warlord comic used to do well, that probably couldn't be done as easily today with three-dollar comics, is have a larger quest-storyline, that could be sidetracked into little single-issue stories. (To be fair, this may just read better because I didn't have to wait a month between issues reading this.) In this issue, Travis Morgan and Shakira are trying to find his daughter Jenny, believed to be lost in the Land of Shadow.
On their way, they run across a village. Shakira declares, "Huts of mud and hearts of stone. About what you'd expect in a place where man gathers his numbers." Morgan defends the people, but Shakira points out that they're about to sacrifice a hot blonde to some pagan god or something. Judging from the looks of the villagers, if they're willing to give her up, the village's name is 'Sausagefest.'
In a righteous fury, Morgan caps the head priest, and smites a few of the villagers for good measure. The girl wakes up with a surprisingly comical expression, the dead priest slumped over her. Morgan declares that the girl is now under her protection, and Shakira just sits back smirking and lets the 'sacrifice' clock Morgan in the back of the head. She was a true believer, and regroups the villagers with Morgan lined up to be the new sacrifice to the 'ice dragon.'
Changing into her 'fur coat' cat-form, Shakira gets Morgan's pistol, and ventilates the girl, and some more villagers. Morgan asks how she learned how to do that, and she blows him off: "I've watched you often enough. It's not as hard as you'd have people believe." Freeing him, the remaining villagers flee, as the ice dragon arrives...preceded by the Arak insert. Hey, Ernie Colon art!
Seeing a large shape coming through the ocean fog, Morgan and Shakira are about to split too, but then they see the 'ice dragon' is a viking ship. "These men sailed north and were caught in a winter storm...it must have become trapped in a coastal current that kept it returning to this spot, time and again. And each time it came, through all those centuries, someone died here." Morgan overturns the altar, but Shakira points out that won't change anything.
Meanwhile, taken in by medieval butler Faaldren to a castle, Jenny has a creepy interlude involving a bath and a giant handprint...I mention this only because it ties back in to the larger quest, the visual is good and unsettling, and because in it's later years, Warlord could on occasion have like four subplots running at once, leaving about ten pages for the main storyline. Worked about as well as you'd think.
So, what have we learned this issue?
A. Vikings are still adding to their death toll to this day, which is actually kind of impressive.
B. Gunplay is fun and easy! Try some today!
C. Saving a hot blonde from human sacrifice doesn't automatically mean you're going to score some nookie. In fact, she may even be in on the whole thing. Better let them sacrifice her, just to be safe.
(In other words, my basement flooded yesterday, and I had to sort out a lot of the damage today. Lots of my comics are in plastic tubs, and even more are on blocks or shelves off the ground, but a lot weren't. Who will blog about the Minx now?
No one. No one will.
More later this week. Wish me luck!)