ReviewTitle: “Arena of Death”
Synopsis: Separated from Tara, soon-to-be Warlord Travis Morgan is captured by slavers and forced to fight in a gladiator arena.
Writer: Mike Grell
A bit more grounded than Warlord #1 (see review), this second issue of Mike Grell’s hollow-Earth epic is still chockablock with genre tropes. Again, there is not much new to be found in this captured-by-slavers-and-forced-to-fight-in-an-arena plot, but Grell tells his tale eagerly. This issue’s slave revolt also sets Travis Morgan on the path to becoming the Warlord. On the art side, Grell continues to impress. This issue is the first to feature a double-page splash, a technique that became a signature for this series. Grell’s inking remains refined, and his storytelling this issue is a notch above.
Cool factor: Let’s go with Mike Grell’s art this time out. There are some really nice pages this issue.
Notable: First appearance of Machiste. … Warlord was canceled after this issue, only to return a half a year later at the behest of new DC publisher Jeanette Kahn (check this Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed for details).
“… I offer something far greater … I offer you the chance to die free men!”Travis Morgan, soon-to-be Warlord
Published and © by DC, March-April 1976
Cover by Mike Grell
Collected EditionsWarlord #2 is reprinted in:
Editor’s note: This review first appeared on Comics Bronze Age, Feb. 10, 2010.