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Warlord (comics)

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Title: Warlord (comics)  
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Subject: Arak (comics), Arion (comics), Machiste, List of comics creators appearing in comics, List of black superheroes
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Warlord (comics)

The Warlord
The Warlord #67. Cover art by Mike Grell
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance 1st Issue Special #8,
(Nov. 1975)
Created by Mike Grell (writer and artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Travis Morgan
Place of origin Skartaris
Team affiliations United States Air Force
Abilities fencer and expert marksman.
The Warlord
Series publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Sword and sorcery
Publication date (vol. 1)
January-February 1976 – Winter 1988
(vol. 2)
January – June 1992
(vol. 3)
April 2006 – January 2007
(vol. 4)
June 2009 – September 2010
Number of issues (vol. 1): 133 and 6 Annuals
(vol. 2): 6
(vol. 3): 10
(vol. 4): 16
Main character(s) Warlord
Creative team
Collected editions
Warlord: The Savage Empire ISBN 1-56389-024-0
Showcase Presents: Warlord ISBN 1-4012-2473-3

The Warlord is a Skartaris.


  • Publication history 1
    • Backup features 1.1
    • Volume 2 1.2
    • Volume 3 1.3
    • Volume 4 1.4
  • Fictional character biography 2
  • Other versions 3
    • Flashpoint 3.1
  • In other media 4
    • Television 4.1
    • Toys 4.2
  • Popular culture 5
  • Collected editions 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Publication history

The character the Warlord debuted in 1st Issue Special #8 (cover-dated Nov. 1975).[1] He went on to star in The Warlord #1 (Feb. 1976), followed by an eight-month hiatus after issue #2, picking up again with #3 (Nov. 1976).[2] The title lasted 133 issues until Winter 1988. Creator Mike Grell wrote and drew the comic for six years, handing over the art chores after issue #59 (July 1982); he continued writing the series through issue #71 (July 1983).[3]

Backup features

A continuation of Jack Kirby's OMAC series, by Jim Starlin, was featured as a backup for several issues (#37-39 and #42-47).[4] Arak, Son of Thunder, created by Roy Thomas and Ernie Colón, first appeared in a special insert in The Warlord #48 (Aug. 1981).[5] Claw the Unconquered appeared in a two-part backup feature in issues #48-49 by Jack C. Harris and Thomas Yeates. "Dragonsword" was a backup feature by Paul Levitz and Yeates which appeared in #51-54 (Nov. 1981-Feb. 1982).[6] Arion, a sword and sorcery title by writer Paul Kupperberg and artist Jan Duursema, began as a six-page backup feature in The Warlord #55 (March 1982). Another backup feature was "The Barren Earth" by writer Gary Cohn and artist Ron Randall, which was concluded in a four-issue limited series. A Bonus Book in issue #131 (Sept. 1988) featured artist Rob Liefeld's first work for DC.[7][8]

Volume 2

A six-issue miniseries ran cover-dated January to June 1992. It was written by Mike Grell and pencilled by Dameon Willich, with inks by Rick Hoberg (#1-3) and Tim Burgard (#4-6).

Volume 3

DC attempted to update The Warlord in 2006 with Bruce Jones writing and Bart Sears providing the art. This series restarted the concept, beginning with Travis Morgan arriving in Skartaris. The series left a number of story points unanswered as issue #9 finished on a cliffhanger, while the tenth and final issue had a standalone story set sometime in the future.

Volume 4

DC announced in July 2008 that The Warlord would return in an ongoing series written by Mike Grell in time for the original series' 35th anniversary.[9] The series started in April 2009,[10] featuring art by Joe Prado and Chad Hardin. It ran for 16 issues.

Fictional character biography

In the savage world of Skartaris, life is a constant struggle for survival. Here, beneath an unblinking orb of eternal sunlight, one simple law prevails: If you let down your guard for an instant you will soon be very dead.

1st Issue Special #8

External links

  1. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle.  
  2. ^ Cronin, Brian (June 8, 2006). "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #54!".  
  3. ^ The Warlord at the Grand Comics Database "The last two years of Mike Grell's scripts were ghost-written by Sharon (Wright) Grell, as revealed in the letter column of a later issue."
  4. ^ Wells, John (October 24, 1997), "'Lost' DC: The DC Implosion",  
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Catron, Michael (July 1981). "Dragon Sword". Amazing Heroes (Fantagraphics Books) (2): 18. Dragon Sword, a new sword-and sorcery series created and scripted by Paul Levitz and pencilled and inked by Tom Yeates will debut as the back feature in Warlord #51, on sale in August [1981]. 
  7. ^  
  8. ^ #131The Warlord at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ Arrant, Chris (July 27, 2008). "SDCC '08 - Mike Grell: The Return of Warlord".  
  10. ^ Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 338 "Mike Grell was back at the helm for the return of DC's greatest sword-and-sorcery hero - Travis Morgan, the Warlord."
  11. ^ Grell, Mike (w), Hardin, Chad; Grell, Mike (p), Hardin, Chad; Grell, Mike (i). "Next..." The Warlord v4, 10 (March 2010)
  12. ^ a b Fleisher, Michael (w), Randall, Ron (p), Randall, Ron (i). "The Citadel of Fear" The Warlord 115 (March 1987)
  13. ^ Burkett, Cary (w), Jurgens, Dan (p), Adkins, Dan (i). "Hail To the Chief" The Warlord 84 (August 1984)
  14. ^ Grell, Mike (w), Jurgens, Dan (p), Giordano, Dick; McLaughlin, Frank (i). "Siege" Green Arrow v2, 28 (January 1990)
  15. ^  
  16. ^ Grell, Mike (w), Grell, Mike (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Gambit" The Warlord 35 (July 1980)
  17. ^ Daudt, Ron E. (2010). "Jack C. Harris Interview (Pt. 2)". Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2011. the Warlord goes into a sort of parallel world where it's like a Dungeons and Dragons game and at the end of the story we pull back and the two guys playing Dungeons and Dragons are me and Grell. Which I thought was great and as we're playing the game this other guy comes in to scold us for not doing our work and it's Joe Orlando. 
  18. ^ Grell, Mike (w), Prado, Joe (p), Wong, Walden (i). The Warlord v4, 1 (June 2009)
  19. ^ Grell, Mike (w), Grell, Mike (p), Grell, Mike (i). "Sunset" The Warlord v4, 12 (May 2010)
  20. ^ Grell, Mike (w), Hardin, Chad (p), Hardin, Chad (i). "Son Rise" The Warlord v4, 13 (June 2010)
  21. ^ Palmiotti, Jimmy (w), Bennett, Joe (p), Dell, John (i). "Separation Anxiety" Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager 1 (August 2011)
  22. ^ Palmiotti, Jimmy (w), Bennett, Joe (p), Shasteen, Tony (i). "Red Tide" Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager 2 (September 2011)
  23. ^ "Warlord action figure". n.d. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  24. ^ Screen capture, The Goonies DVD.


  • DC Comics reprinted several early stories from The Warlord in DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #10 (June 1981). This digest size collection included a new wraparound painted cover by Mike Grell and an introduction.
  • The Warlord: The Savage Empire (1991) - collects 1st Issue Special #8 and The Warlord #1-10 and 12, November 1991, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1563890246
  • Showcase Presents: The Warlord (2009) - collects 1st Issue Special #8 and The Warlord #1-28, September 2009, 528 pages, ISBN 978-1401224738
  • Warlord: The Saga - collects The Warlord vol. 4 #1-6, March 2010, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1401226510
  • Countdown Special: OMAC #1 (2008) - collects OMAC backup stories from The Warlord #37-39, as well as OMAC #1; and DC Comics Presents #61.

Collected editions

  • The Warlord issue #89 (Jan. 1985) appears on a magazine rack in a convenience store in a deleted scene from the Goonies DVD.[24]

Popular culture

  • In 1982, several of the characters from The Warlord became action figures in a line called "Lost World of The Warlord" from Hercules.
  • In April 2007, The Warlord became an action figure (based on the modern update) in Series 4 of DC Direct's "First Appearance" figures.
  • In 2010, The Warlord became an action figure based on the animated version in the Justice League Unlimited toyline.[23]



In other media

In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, The Warlord is the pirate of a fleet when he was attacked by pirate Deathstroke in battle stealing their loot. During the battle, The Warlord's crew was killed while he escaped using the hovercraft.[21] Later, The Warlord plans to attack Deathstroke and retrieve Jenny Blitz who has been in stasis since she was stolen from him. The Warlord ambushed Deathstroke and his fleet and demanded that they surrender. But in answer Deathstroke shot The Warlord's right eye using a scoped sniper rifle. He had been aiming for his mouth. Deathstroke fired at The Warlord's ship again, and it unexpectedly blew up. Each ship in Warlord's fleet subsequently exploded. The ships were destroyed by Jenny Blitz, now released from her stasis tube due to an earlier skirmish between Ocean Master and Icicle, one of Deathstroke's crewmen. Jenny appears to be able to project explosive force from her hands.[22]


Other versions

Joshua Morgan becomes the new Warlord. His costume is reminiscent of Travis Morgan's black outfit when he first arrived in Skartaris. Instead of carrying a sword and a gun as Travis did, Tinder carries a sword, a dagger, a quiver of arrows and a bow.[20]

The machinations of Deimos' return pit Travis Morgan against Tinder. Just as Morgan realizes that Tinder is in fact his son Joshua, he becomes distracted and Tinder mortally wounds him. Travis Morgan's final words were "I thought I'd have more time." Morgan is cremated and Tinder becomes the new Warlord.[19]

Volume 4 of the series begins with an explorer finding perfectly preserved Machiste's homeland. One of the refugees is injured and he surprisingly carries a gunshot wound.[18]

Although The Warlord has a superficial resemblance to Oliver Queen,[14] he is in reality based more upon his creator Mike Grell who was a former member of the Air Force.[15] Grell is caricatured in The Warlord's first appearance, 1st Issue Special #8 and is clearly sporting The Warlord's signature shaggy goatee. [16] Grell and editor Jack C. Harris made a metafictional appearance in the story "Gambit" in The Warlord #35 (July 1980).[17]


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