Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I mentioned some time back that I appear to be blogging an issue or two of Warlord a year (and blogged another proper issue and that crappy Convergence since!) and it's not really intentional, but why not hit another one now? From 1984, Warlord #77, "Let My People Go!" Written by Cary Burkett, pencils by Dan Jurgens, inks by Dan Adkins.

Shamballah and neighboring Kaambuka have been invaded by New Atlantis--this Atlantis being unrelated to Aquaman, Namor, Spongebob, or such. But while Travis had a flashback to old Atlantis some issues back that made it seem OK, the New Atlanteans are monstrous. Sometimes literally: most of their officers were mutated Beast-Men...which, with few exceptions, mostly looked like regular medieval-style troops but with like a bear head or something. A little low-end, but probably perfect for action figures, not unlike the Warlord figures advertised this very issue! (I don't think the Beast-Men were specifically intended to become toys, because I don't think they did; although there's any number of He-Man knock-offs with the big muscley body and a beast-head!)

While supporting characters Shakira and Scarheart rescue Kaambuka's King Ashir, Travis and Tara share a moment at the lake: this war is horrible by any measure, with war crimes and atrocities and refugees and death, and it is about the best of both worlds for the Warlord. He gets battle, without having to leave his wife, and that's a win-win for him; even if Travis isn't going to examine that too closely. They're interrupted by the bard Graemore, Tara's childhood love; and Travis suspects him of swiping the odd metal cartridge stamped "U.S.A.F." that he had found in a mysterious cavern of weapons. The reader sees an odd, hairy hand take it, though.

Elsewhere, a New Atlantean force attacks a seemingly undermanned castle, only to be driven away by giant monsters. The castle formerly belonged to Deimos, and is now the home of sorceress supreme Jennifer Morgan, who spooks the troops with illusions, but now wants to find out more about the invaders. Later, Travis rallies his forces to attack a New Atlantean slave caravan, freeing the slaves and then capturing a galley. Next, Travis and Tara plan to sail to the cavern of weapons...which of course is not going to go as plan, but there are some big detours coming! Which is probably why the New Atlantean invasion would go on until the somewhat underwhelming finish in issue #100.

Also this issue: Episode twelve of "The Barren Earth!" While Jinal has lost all of her stranded shipmates from the first episode, she has fought hard to survive, made friends among the native humans, and forged some allies between different races. Still, the threat of the alien Qlov lingers overhead, so her discovery of a working Federation space cruiser is a godsend. That of course is taken away before the end of this chapter, by mysterious hooded types who remotely control the ship and destroy it. I absolutely wouldn't blame Jinal for being a little discouraged at this point, but she realizes somebody had the power to control her ship, and it may be time to look for them...I wish DC would relaunch this one, but I already know it's not "meat-and-potatoes" enough for their current business plan.

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