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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Warlord 10 - the Tower of Fear

Mike Grell pulls off one of his best stories in Warlord 10 (Dec/Jan 77/78), the Tower of Fear.

The story begins with Travis Morgan, Mariah Romanova and Machiste coming across a young woman about to be killed by a group of cloaked men. They rescue her, and the woman, Ashiya, explains that she was being sacrificed in order to mystically retrieve a mask from the Tower of Fear, the symbol of her people. No warrior is brave or strong enough to enter the tower and get the Mask of Life themselves.

Well, that's all Travis Morgan needs to hear. And for that matter, Machiste decides to enter the Tower as well. Mariah insists they make it a competition between the three of them, and though the men agree they lock the tower door behind them to keep Mariah out.

Morgan and Machiste then have to deal with a number of mystical, monstrous threats as they ascend the tower.

But you just gotta love it when they reach the top and find Mariah already there. She had used the anti-gravity discs, in plain sight around the tower, to reach the top first and get the mask.

This charming story has a kicker of an ending. Once the three have left Ashiya lets her glamour fall, and we see that she is really a much older woman. The men who were trying to kill were doing so because they knew she was a witch. She takes the Mask of Life and uses it to revive Deimos. All so totally unexpected.  These two villains will not return for a few months though.

The last line of the comic announces issue 12. That's a bit weird, as the next issue is actually issue 11.

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