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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Warlord 15 - Morgan reaches Shamballah

Josef Rubenstein handles the inks on Grell's pencils for Warlord 15 (Oct/Nov). This issue is part of the DC Explosion, so longer than any previous one. The Implosion would hit before the next issue, though, which returns the book to its regular size.

The tale opens with Travis Morgan, Machiste and Mariah Romanova finally reaching Shamballah. While Morgan is thrilled about this, Mariah is not. She has fallen in love with Morgan during their travels. Machiste is aware of this, but Morgan is completely oblivious. As they approach the city they come across residents fleeing. The king has died, and the city is being ravaged, though the people cannot understand what is causing it.

Entering the palace Morgan finds Tara. She is none too pleased to see him, especially with Mariah at his side. It takes Morgan a bit to convince Tara that he did not actively abandon her, that it was the result of the strange time effects in Skartaris, and that Mariah is just a friend.

Tara has some big news for Morgan as well. They have a child, a son. Tara has held off on naming the boy until Morgan returned, wanting to name him after Travis' father. He likes the idea, and calls the child Joshua. Right from this debut, we see Joshua playing with the Morgan's watch, which Tara has been using as an armband. The watch will become a defining feature of the boy.

Laser blasts keep striking the city. They were what killed the king, and have caused the citizens to flee. Morgan realizes they must be coming from the super computer deep beneath the city, created by the Atlanteans who built Shamballah long before. He and Tara descend below the city, and find the massive structure.

The computer has gone insane, and does its best to kill Morgan, though at the same time not damaging itself. The pair find the computer core, and learn that it is powered by energy drawn from the eternal sun.

Morgan finds the parabolic mirrors used to channel the sunlight and redirects them, cutting through the rock to an underground river they passed on the way, diverting it into the super computer to short it out. The computer sings as it dies, in good 2001: A Space Odyssey fashion.

Morgan and Tara return to the surface, but as they reach the palace they see Deimos, alive and well, flying off with Joshua.

The story definitely does make the most of its extra page count! And though the book returns to its former length next issue, it also becomes a monthly comic.

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