I first entered the lost world of The Warlord with Mike Grell (writing and drawing then) back in the 1970s. After growing up on Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, and Ray Bradbury, plunging into the inner earth world of Skartaris was a natural fit for me. Evidently it was for a lot of people back then, because The Warlord soon became DC Comics’ hottest selling title, pushing out ahead of even the superhero titles of Superman and Batman.
There’s something about lost worlds that ignites the dreamer in me, and journeying around with ex-USAF pilot Travis Morgan, the Warlord, satisfied that hunger for adventure for a lot of years. Then college and Real Life called and I drifted out of that world. A lot of other people did too.
A couple of years ago, DC Comics tried to bring the title back. The results were less than stellar (less than adequate, truth be known) and that quickly went away.
Three months ago, Mike Grell’s new run on the series started. My son dragged me to the comic shop today, one of his favorite places these days. I picked up the first three issues instead of waiting for the graphic novel, as I’d promised myself I’d do.
As it turns out, I was thrilled. But now I’m left hanging until next month, which was something I didn't want to step into. Trying to follow monthly titles wears me out. I much prefer the graphic novels and the whole story.
But exhilaratingly, Grell has brought the Warlord title back in style. It feels like he hasn’t been away from Morgan, Tara, Tinder, Machiste, Shakira, and the others for more than five minutes. But he does allow time to pass. It’s just that in Skartaris, time pretty much stands still – unless you die; then it stops.
I was a little miffed by the 13-page opener that didn't include Travis Morgan. But Grell handles the story eloquently, and the reader can see that the discoveries made by the scientific team are going to lead them to Skartaris. The build-up is fantastic, and the action kept me glued to the pages.