Friday, June 09, 2017

Ooh, I had high hopes for this one.

On paper, this should be right up my alley: a Warlord appearance, from the artist of the first Warlord comic I remember reading. From 2000, Aquaman #71, "To Enter the Lost World..." Written by Dan Jurgens, pencils by Steve Epting, inks by Norm Rapmund. Epting's a good artist, but man, I wish Jurgens had drawn this one too!

In the lost world of Skartaris, the Warlord's friends Machiste and Mariah try to buy time for the dwarf wizard Mongo Ironhand to cast a spell summoning help. Which, this being an Aquaman comic, means Aquaman; who is bored out of his mind with the usual kingly duties in Atlantis, and takes the opportunity of a mystic disturbance to leave Garth (formerly Aqualad, now Tempest) in charge and investigate with Mera. Mera points out in the old days, Aquaman would've taken Garth on such a trip; but since he was a new dad and Aquaman was looking to get back together with Mera, it's pretty clear.

The disturbance turns out to be a whirlpool, that seemingly sucks Aquaman and Mera into the past, since they see a elasmosaurus, and are nearly run down by a viking-like ship. The sailors assume them to be "sea wizards" and attack, and Aquaman counters by telepathically setting a dinosaur on them; and then Travis Morgan dives overboard to bring the fight to them. Aquaman thinks he recognizes him, though...

That's enough for Travis to realize they were from the "surface world," since Skartaris was long thought to be a world within the earth's core. (In recent years, it's been cast as an alternate dimension.) Travis had met Oliver some time back, and in a bit of continuity fudging, recognizes Aquaman. With his new allies, Travis leads them against the "Ch'rin," stone giants that may only be the harbinger of the big bad to come...!

This isn't a bad issue, and while I'm always glad to see Travis and his supporting cast; here he falls into a bit of the same trap the Inhumans used to: every guest appearance, there's no real continuity or lasting changes from the last one. And oddly, while there's been several, I can think of more I don't have all of than I do: the Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag mini-series. Dan Jurgen's 90's Teen Titans series. A scuffle in Skartaris in Secret Six. Towards the end of Priest's Justice League Task Force. Well, as usual, something to keep an eye out for.


Dale Bagwell said...

Didn't Mike Grell have a run in Aquaman around the 2000's, like he did on Iron Man around the same time period?

googum said...

I checked a little and didn't see one: if he did, it was after this series, which started with Peter David, had Erik Larsen for a bit, then ended with Jurgens here.