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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Sword of Sorcery 5 - Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser end, and a Gray Mouser solo story

Sword of Sorcery comes to an end with issuee 5 (Nov/Dec 73), and Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser would depart from DC Comics after this issue.

O'Neil and Simonson are joined by Al Milgrom for the lead story, which opens essentially with the cover scene. Fafhrd defeats the giant squid type thing, and from its gullet retrieves a ring with an emerald key. A storm then capsizes their boat, but Fafhrd gets rescued by another ship. It's not much of a rescue. He is questioned and kept captive, the captain of the ship having been in search of the same creature Fafhrd killed, in order to get the ring-key for himself.

The captain and his men bring Fafhrd to a cave, and use the key to open the door. Inside, the place is filled with treasures. The captain and his men begin looting with glee.

They don't stay happy for long, though. Gray Mouser shows up, having followed the ship on his own. He must be a very good swimmer. He frees Fafhrd, who grabs a battle axe. Turns out he doesn't need it, as the cave begins filling with water, and the ghostly guardians turn on the looters.

Fafhrd and Gray Mouser make it back to the ship and take off. At Mouser's suggestion, Fafhrd ditches the axe, in case it might bring them more troubles.

The final story in the book is a Gray Muoser solo tale. Like the Fafhrd one in the previous issue, this is set long before the other tales, when the boy is still learning his skills. George Effinger scripts, with Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom on the art. Mouser is on a mission for his master, whoever that is, but offers his services to the king. It's a bit puzzling. He is also carrying his master's gold, though we never find out why.

Anyway, the king is not impressed with Mouser's lack of fighting skills, but another man at court shows an interest in him. He is accomplished with daggers, and shows off his skills to Mouser. Later, they get attack by cutthroats.

Mouser shows courage but not much else. The other man from court saves his life. But as the story ends, Mouser discovers that the guy also stole his gold.

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