Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Warlord

Like Red Sonja and Conan, I discovered The Warlord sitting amongst the battered and ripped up comics at the family doctor's office. The Warlord was the only comic from DC that I can remember going out my to look for during my childhood, but rarely could ever find at the local grocery or drug store.

I had a mom and grandmothers that looked down on any almost everything fantasy related. This was close to when Dungeons & Dragons was starting to be called a machination of the devil and was "linked" to acts of violence and other crimes. Any interest I had in anything fantasy was shot down by my mom especially it looked like it could be related to D & D in any way. I remember sitting in the doctor's office hiding the fantasy comics in other books so that I wouldn't get caught reading them.

The first Warlord comic I owned was #24 from May of 1979. We had just recently moved to New Buffalo and while at the store I was told to pick something out to keep occupied while unpacking was done. I'm pretty sure that my mom wasn't around when I picked that comic out and I used to hide it under my mattress like it was a Playboy magazine.

Warlord #24, my first issue
I was never able to keep a my comics until I got older. To my mom they were disposable and when I was in that 6-10 year old range she would rummage through my room and pitch anything that wasn't a toy, clothes or a "real" book. It wasn't until I reached about twelve or thirteen that she stopped tossing my comics in the trash. Thus, I only have four of my Warlord comics from back then and there is very little from the series that I can actually remember.

1st Issue Special #8
The Warlord made his first appearance in DC's 1st Issue Special #8 in August 1975 and was created by legendary writer and artist Mike Grell. An Air Force pilot by the name of Travis Morgan is on spy mission over the Soviet Union when he gets spotted, gets chased, fired upon and eventually shot down. Morgan ejects from the plane successfully but instead of finding himself in an arctic environment he finds a jungle like world where magic and mythic creatures rule, Skartaris. Morgan becomes the Warlord, protecting the people of Skartaris, choosing a life of an adventurer and protector.

The first issue of The Warlord hit the racks in October of 1975 but after issue #2 the third issue wasn't seen until almost a year later. The Warlord went on for 139 total issues with Mike Grell doing the pencils through issue #52 and writing through #71. The Warlord would have make a return in 1992, 2006 and Mike Grell returned to writing the series in 2009 but it's the first run that really holds all of the magic to me. When the "Chaos at the Earth's Core" episode of Justice league Unlimited aired I may have squealed a little bit because it takes place in Skartaris with JL teaming up with Morgan against his rival Deimos and Metallo.

The Warlord #1
I've put a lot of thought into trying to build a complete run of the first volume. The issues can be found for decent prices. Not really having the room for more books, I did try Comixology but they only have two issues available.

With my mom, how did I manage to hold on to those four issues of Warlord? Sometime back in 1984 when looking for new hiding places I looked our bookcase in the living room and spotted the family bible. Our family bible was oversized and huge and it hadn't been touched in months if not years. So, that's where I hid them. I had actually forggotten about them until sometime around 1987/88 because the Transformers happened, but they were never found and I still have them today.

1 comment:

  1. I sorta remember this series. I seem to recall that it was pretty cool. What impresses me most is the fact you were able to hide those books from your mom for so long.