Warlord v1 #20

Apr 79

17 pages

Writer/Penciller: Mike Grell
Inker: Vince Colletta
Letterer: Ben Oda
Colourist: Adrienne Roy
Editor: Jack C. Harris
Cover: Mike Grell

Travis Morgan, Tara, Mariah, Machiste, Shadow, Deimos, Ashiya, Joshua

Morgan and his companions head up a ragtag band of soldiers on their way to Deimos’ stronghold in the terminator, the land of darkness between the inner world of Skartaris and the outer Earth.

Inside his stronghold, Deimos watches their approach through his crystal ball. Gloating, he brags to Ashiya about how he will use the ancient science found in the scrolls of blood to make Joshua the instrument of his revenge against the child’s father, the Warlord. Taking a small skin sample from Joshua, Deimos puts the bit of flesh inside an Atlantean machine and brings the ancient technology to life. Energy crackles and hums and in the space of a few moments creates a perfect clone of Joshua. Deimos swears again that the child will be the downfall of the father, and dismisses Ashiya with the clone to the tower while they await Morgan’s arrival.

As the band of soldiers approaches through a canyon, Deimos uses his powers to generate an earthquake, crushing most of Morgan’s party. The survivors are beset upon by bat-like man creatures that swoop down upon them from the sky, leaving only Morgan, Tara, Machiste, Mariah and Shadow. No army will overrun Deimos’ fortress.

The four approach the lowered drawbridge on horseback. No guards man the open gate. Sensing a trap, Morgan refuses be stopped in his quest to take back his son. Morgan crosses the bridge alone on foot. Partway across the wood shatters and Morgan leaps to the other side, avoiding being impaled on spikes below. He barely avoids being skewered by the gate that falls from above. Now trapped in the courtyard alone, the other three will have to find another way in. Morgan finds himself in battle with the demonic bat creatures, but still has the presence of mind to avoid the flaming oil that is poured upon them from above. Taunted from within the castle by Deimos’ voice, Morgan enters. The door slams shut behind him.

Penetrating deeper into the dark fortress, Morgan arrives at the throne room and is greeted by Deimos. Deimos sips on blood in a golden goblet. After trading the usual verbal barbs with each other, Morgan walks up to him and impales Deimos on his sword. Deimos laughs at him, casually pulling the sword from his body and tossing it back to Morgan. He reveals to his attacker that he was brought back by the Mask of Life, and as such he is impervious to mortal attacks. Morgan now realises he was duped by Ashiya in retrieving the mask, unaware that it would bring back his most-hated enemy.

Deimos says his time for vengeance is at hand and pulls back a curtain to reveal the infant Joshua held in another Atlantean machine. Before Morgan can rescue him, Deimos surrounds the Warlord with a ring of fire, giving Deimos time to use the machine to change Joshua while Morgan screams impotently.

Joshua ages before his horrified father, becoming a full-grown man, a warrior the equal of his father. And completely under the control of Deimos. Morgan will have to fight Joshua. Either way, the Warlord will lose.

Morgan retrieved the mask for the deceiving Ashiya in Warlord v1 #10. eom

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