Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Lemme check those dice, Mike." "Bite me, Jack."


An oddball of an issue: Warlord #35, "Gambit" Written and illustrated by Mike Grell, inks by Vince Colletta. (Colletta had a reputation for speed, or hackwork, depending on your perspective, but I know he did several issues of Warlord and don't recall seeing anything out of line, as it were.)

This issue, Travis Morgan prepares to leave Wizard World--prehistoric Skartaris--to return to the present day Skartaris, and Mariah and Machiste elect to stay in the past. (Aside: Machiste is king of Kiro, but as is typical for a comic-book king, never there, ever.) With the magic sword Hellfire, Travis is launched through space and time, arriving in what appears to be a suburban living room of the seventies.


Before he has time to be dismayed at being back in America, in that outfit, Travis is attacked by an armored woman. Named Agnes. Although initially amused, the fight quickly becomes earnest, until Agnes goes for a rifle in the game room. Two shadowy figures discuss the point, and Agnes is disqualified.


The scene shifts to a bar, where a bartender helpfully tells Travis where he is, Quakertown, PA; but also slips him a mickey, what you kids today would know as a "roofie." Travis is then slated for human sacrifice, with an electric carving knife, before regaining consciousness in what looks like a lucky saving throw. Travis is running all over the cloaked cultists, before one completes the sacrifice...by stabbing himself.

Now faced with a flaming demon, Travis is forced outside, and manages to beat it with a fire hydrant. Even Travis thinks he's been getting overly lucky, but the house is on fire, and he figures the time portal that brought him there is still inside, so it's back into the flames. There, he's attacked by a chainsaw-wielding Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. (Aside: I don't think I've ever read any Lewis Carroll, but frankly if you read enough comics you'll get the gist of it eventually.) Travis defeats them, but the fire has him trapped there...as Mike and Jack congratulate themselves on a game well played and a deadline made!

As they box up their game of "Devils and Demons," Travis appears in Skartaris proper, with his companion Shakira. He writes off the experience as weirdness brought on by the magic of the Hellfire Sword, which may be (and in fact is) more than meets the eye...

A fun bit of tomfoolery here. I may have to dig up an issue in a similiar vein, Forgotten Realms #24, which takes a little look behind the curtain as well. One character specifically points out what a pain in the ass it would be to plot out a comic by playing D&D, since the whole thing could be derailed by a few lucky throws. And that was in a comic based on D&D!


2 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

Not a bad way to write a story, of course if it was done today it'd probably suck.
I myself am not, nor ever will be a fan of D&D. If other people like it, cool for them, but I tend to look down on those people like people tend to look down on action figure collectors or comic book readers.

To each his own right?

Algernon Noone said...

I quite like the inking in the examples shown.