With the storyline involving the New Atlanteans taking a backseat, the plot that has been running alongside it with Tinder and the return of the Evil One comes to fruition in the Warlord’s fourth annual by Cary Burkett and Pat Broderick. Luckily, or not, it is not Tinder that is infected by the evil of the gem and the ancient spirit of the Evil One, but Chakka, Tinder’s ape-like friend. Chakka might have been semi-intelligent, but he had no idea what it was he had stolen and once the Evil One took possession of his body, Chakka was no more. What follows is a quest to regain the Hellfire Sword, the blade that Morgan discarded many ages ago so that they might slay the Evil One before he overtakes all of Skartaris. Burkett and Broderick deliver a solid and very entertaining tale that sees Morgan team up with his daughter Jennifer though waiting in the wings to help is Tinder who come the end of the day will have the toughest decision of his life to make. Broderick’s pencils are quite fantastic in this book and the tale is a true sword and sorcery epic. While the man did good work on Micronauts and Firestorm among many other books, his pencils here are a perfect fit for the genre and it would have been nice to see some more Warlord stories come from him. On the other side of things, Burkett does a good job of tying up all the loose ends from this particular plotline that has been featured in the ongoing title for quite some time, all that is except for one. There is still the fact that Morgan and Tara do not realize that they have a son and Tinder not knowing that he has a set of parents. There is a bit of hope though in the form of Jennifer who has an inkling of just what the truth might be. Hopefully Burkett gets to that little point sooner rather than later because the way he has been drawing storylines out in the book, it may not happen for quite some time and it has already been long enough. All in all, the story was quite good and the Evil One makes for a great villain. Maybe he will return again, maybe not, but it will be fun to find out as the book rolls along.
4 out of 5