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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – You Sure You Read That Issue of Warlord Correctly?

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, based on a suggestion from Keith Alan Morgan, we examine a bold retcon from Mike Grell of an event that took place in Warlord after he left the book.

After roughly 70 issues, Mike Grell stopped writing the adventures of his creation, Travis Morgan…the Warlord.

In #125, while Michael Fleisher was the writer on the book, a major supporting character, Travis Morgan’s wife Tara, was killed off…

later…

Well, in 1992, a few years after the original series ended, Grell returned to the characters in a mini-series (drawn by Dameon Willich with inks by Rick Hoberg on issues #1-3 and Tim Burgard on #4-6). The set-up was a musician who was a fan of Travis Morgan (unknown to the musician he was actually Morgan’s son) travels around Skartaris meeting all the people Morgan had come into contact with over the years.

In #4, he meets…

How very “opening of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” of Grell! That’s ONE way to fix things you didn’t like on a book after you left it!

22 Comments

That second panel form 1992; the left part of her neck seems odd.

I think #125 was the first and only issue of Warlord I ever had. I did get the mini-series years later.

so Scavenger mind-controlled Tara I take it?
I had no idea that happened–I’d given up on Warlord by that point.

Ahhh….Iron Mike’s Warlord!! The first ‘sword and sorcery’ title that ever clicked with me! I wish DC would do an Omnibus of Grell’s run….or at least a trade of “The Deimos Saga”.

Nice story! But, weren’t there some other issues of The Warlord, drawn by Jan Duursema (I’ve probably mis-spelled the last name, my apologies), that had already dealt with Tara’s death, funeral, and resurrection?

Notice the hair color variance? Auburn hair in contrast to regular brown hair?

Yes, the hair color is definitely different.

More importantly, Michael Fleisher had already brought Tara back. Issue #126 revealed that Jennifer, the Warlord’s sorceress daughter, knew that Tara wasn’t really dead, but “soulless”. Then, in the last two issues of the Fleisher run, we see Tara escape, and eventually reunite with her body, life, and husband. I suppose Mike Grell was annoyed with that whole story, and that may have been why he spent some effort to refute it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t qualify for this column …

Which brings me to, do you think that either DC or Mike Grell will revive Travis Morgan later on, so he can reunite with his wife, daughters, son, and friends?

I actually just got the Warlord Showcase collection on eBay. I’m a fan of Jon Sable and Grell’s GA, but never read any Warlord. Looking forward to it.

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 19, 2012 at 9:38 am

So that’s what happened to the son.
I seem to remember reading that Travis Morgan thought his son was dead / assumed lost in the original series.

Maybe I’ll seek out that 8-issue mini and get caught up. Never did like the way DC ended Warlord vol. 1.
That’s ratings cancelation for you!

Yes, Tom, Morgan’s son wanders in and out of the series with neither knowing the truth.
If this was already resolved under Fleischer, I hardly think this is a “forsaken”–maybe just that word of her survival hadn’t circulated. IIRC, the running theme of the miniseries was that the legends of the Warlord & Co. were often not true to life.

I read Warlord from #1 until Grell left. The stories had gotten kind of silly and I had been buying it for the art by that point.

Has there ever been a mainstream comic where the characters wore so little clothes? You could fit all of their costumes into one shoe box!

Warped my fragile little mind.

Now that I think of it, I read Warlord before #1. He first appeared in 1st Issue Special.

What a concept! A try-out book with top notch creators. Warlord was the only one to catch on, but the Pasko/Simonson Doctor Fate should have. It is still the single best incarnation of that character.

interesting for always wondered how after travis wound up killing tara thinking he was killing scavanger how grell had tara alive saying you should not believe everything you hear. had me thinking maybe scavanger did some mind control and made the warlord now think he did kill tara

While Pasko/Simonson didn’t go to series (though Marty Pasko did write the back up Fate series in Flash some years later) I think it did define the character from then on–as I recall it was the first to give us the idea of Fate as a second identity possessing Kent Nelson and that’s been the status quo ever since.

The Mutt wondered:
“Has there ever been a mainstream comic where the characters wore so little clothes? You could fit all of their costumes into one shoe box!”

You should see his Legion costumes!

It’s amazing that Skartaris had waxing treatments….

Mike, it always cracked me up. It was like Grell was on a mission to eliminate all clothing. No clothes! Ever!!!

@ M-Wolverine: “It’s amazing that Skartaris had waxing treatments….”

What gets me is that barbarian women, no matter what planet or time period, always have shaved armpits.

Seriously?

As much as I like Fleisher as a writer (as far as I’m concerned, he will always be the Jonah Hex writer) but he never really seemed to have a good handle on Warlord and made some very strange plotting and characterisation decisions.

@Eric

Agreed, though I like Fleischer overall as a writer. Cary Burkett and Dan Jurgens, who preceded Fleischer and Duursema, also had a hard time getting going with the cast. And don’t get me started on the Bruce Jones/Bart Sears version from a few years ago. Awhile back, I sold off my whole run of Warlord except for the Grell written issues because only his stories have held up to the test of time, IMHO.

am i the only one disturbed by her having a skull over her ladybits?

Roquefort Raider

September 4, 2012 at 5:48 am

The Warlord miniseries you mention is not quite in the same continuity as the original run; it is based on the conceit that the latter is mostly just a bunch of stories that were exaggerated or made-up. The character of Shakira, for example, doesn’t look the same in the two series. It was probably Grell’s way of doing away with any unwanted bit of accumulated baggage brought in by later writers. He did go back to a “real-sounding” Warlord continuity with the latest incarnation of the title (and yes, Tara was alive again), although this time it is Travis Morgan who shuffled off the mortal coil.

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