1st Issue Special #8

1st Issue Special #8

In DC, Reviews by T. Andrew WahlLeave a Comment


Title: “Land of Fear!”
Synopsis: Air Force pilot Travis Morgan ejects from a crashing SR-71 – and discovers the hidden, savage world of Skartaris!

Writer: Mike Grell
Penciler: Grell
Inker: Grell

As the story goes, Warlord began life as a newspaper strip called Savage Empire, which creator Mike Grell tweaked on the fly when pitching it to DC as a comic book. Whatever its origins, Grell was on to something here. Though not shockingly original – think swords, sandals and sorcery, all set in an Edgar-Rice-Burroughs-esque hollow Earth – Grell’s Warlord manages to surpass the sum of its parts. The writer/artist’s passion for this material is contagious; there’s little question he’s having a blast with this origin issue, and readers almost certainly will, too.

Grade: B+

Cool factor: The debut of Mike Grell as auteur, a development that would lead to many good comic books over the years.
Not-so-cool factor: Why is Skartaris called “Tartarus” on first reference?

Notable: First appearance of Travis “The Warlord” Morgan, as well as Tara, Deimos and Skartaris. … Includes a one-page text feature titled “The Story Behind the Story,” which introduces creator Mike Grell.

Character Quotable
“Maggie’s drawers, comrade! You missed me!”Lt. Col. Travis Morgan, back when American comics still had the Soviets to kick around
1st Issue Special #8

Published and © by DC, November 1975
Cover by Mike Grell

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Collected Editions

1st Issue Special #8 is reprinted in:

Editor’s note: This review first appeared on Comics Bronze Age, Feb. 8, 2010.

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