Sunday, December 24, 2017

"The End" Week: Warlord #133 and #16!


I didn't blog it year-end, but I had to go back and add the "the end" tag to our post for Warlord #10, a terrible, terrible comic, last issue or no. But today we'll be checking out two other Warlord last issues, starting with 1988's Warlord #133, "The Death-Knell of the Universe!" Script and plot by Michael Fleisher, plot and pencils by Jan Duursema, inks by Tom Mandrake.

Despite it's sci-fi and fantasy elements, Warlord was usually a fairly grounded book; closer to a "man's adventure" story with swordplay, gun violence, and babes. This issue is deep in fantasy territory, as Travis and his motley crew...of characters I don't recognize...struggle to "steal the horn back from the god Yk'kphat in time to use it to prevent the Worm of Heaven and Hell from destroying the cosmos?" It feels like watered-down Michael Moorcock, honestly. We do see regular supporting characters Jennifer Morgan and Machiste fighting the demons that are only a symptom of the larger problem, and Jennifer may have to enter into a devil's bargain to save Skartaris.

Morgan is able to save Tara's soul--she had been "mostly dead" for most of the year--as Morgan leads a ragtag army of recovered souls against evil sorceress Khnathaiti. A good number are killed, but nobody we know, except Travis's recent companion Aoife, who recovers the horn and sacrifices herself to a soul merchant so Tara can be freed, and Morgan is reunited with his love. A happy, if weird, ending to the series. (I had been reading it regularly since 1984's #83!)

A somewhat less happy ending: from 2010, Warlord #16, "Storm Over Skartaris" Story and art by Mike Grell. New Warlord Joshua "Tinder" Morgan has been having some difficulty gathering troops to face Deimos, since Deimos had maneuvered him into killing his father, old Warlord Travis Morgan. Still, after gathering up an airship, and a flying griffin-looking thing; with some sorcerous help from his aunt Jennifer and baby sister Morgana, Deimos is pulled part-way through a magical mirror. Shakira scratches his face up quite a bit, Joshua grabs her, and Deimos is caught in a massive explosion that closes the polar opening to earth. Still, former reporter Ewan had transmitted his story about Skartaris, starting with the man himself, Travis Morgan.

Tinder barely had four issues as the lead, not enough time to really get into the character. Even by this last issue, I hadn't gotten over the death of Travis. Still, he might be back someday. We saw him back in Convergence, only to die again! Both these last issues feel crammed, like they had so much more they wanted to do before the end.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Early Jan Duursema art, wow. I first noticed her work on X-Factor during the late 90's.

Tinder huh? Damn, don't know if that's an unfortunate name or a fortuitous one...well maybe it is once he reaches the states ;)