It’s the weekend – Warlord!
One of DC’s characters that has various reboots but never seems to catch on with mainstream comicdom is The Warlord. A Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burrough type of character that interacts seldomly with DC’s superhero universe.
SR-71 fighter pilot Travis Morgan, a Vietnam War Veteran, passes through a hole in the Earth’s crust while flying over the North Pole in 1969. He then lands in the underground world of Skartaris, there he befriends the Princess Tara and battles villians such as the evil sorcerer Deimos. The advantage for Morgan is that he is armed with a gun while his enemies are armed with spears and magic. Eventually he becomes a skilled fighter with the sword and stays in the savage underground world of Skartaris.
The Warlord runs from 1976 – 1988, becoming DC’s flagship sword and sorcery book. Drawn and written by its creator Mike Grell. It was brought back in 1992 for six issues and then again in April 2006 to January 2007 for ten issues. Its final run was for sixteen issues in 2009 to 2010.
The character of Warlord is killed when Deimos pits Travis Morgan against a character known only as Tinder. As Morgan realizes that Tinder is in fact his own son, Joshua, Tinder mortally wounds him. The Warlord lays dying and his final words are, “I thought I’d have more time.”
Though not one of DC’s main comics, the Warlord has always maintained a strong cult following. With its blend of sword and sorcery and the man who lost in a world that time forgot. Fans of the classic tales of Burroughs and Verne found a character in comics very reminiscent of the books they grew up reading. Past issues are often hard to find and treasured by collectors. There is simply no other character in the DC universe quite like Mike Grell’s The Warlord.