The first issue of this series opens up with Travis Morgan, the Warlord, reminiscing about his journey to the underground world of Skartaris. He remembers his plane going down and how he saved a woman named Tara from a monster he had never seen the likes of before only to be captured and held at a castle where they made an enemy of the court mage, a man named Deimos. They eventually escaped and now find themselves trying to survive out among the wilderness. Things do not always go as planned and they are once again captured, this time by slavers. After a time, Morgan frees Tara sending her away and faces off against his captors and soon, left to die at their hands tied to a tree.
Written and illustrated by Mike Grell, The Warlord started something of renaissance in sword and sorcery comic books. It was no longer just bad guys and good guys and the threat of the week, but a long-form saga (not to say they did not face the odd villain/monster/situation of the week on occasion). It was Tarzan for a new age in a world not unlike Pelucidar. In it Travis Morgan would find love and heartache, friends and foes and more adventures than he would ever be able to recall. The Warlord turned out to be a nice change from the Conan comics that Marvel was putting out at the time. While they were good, they followed the status quo of previous issues and rarely ventured off course. Reading the Warlord you were treated to a unique voice as well, as Grell would give voice to both story and art and both would be of immense quality. Grell’s pencils are beautiful to behold in this book, and while time would rarely change them, it was in The Warlord that they were at peak form. This was a perfect first issue, with an origin retelling, an introduction to the supporting cast, of one anyways, and a new adventure to start the book off proper.
5 out of 5