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Friday, 11 August 2017

Warlord 21 - Travis Morgan battles his son


Grell and Colletta deliver a great climax to the quest for Travis Morgan's missing son in Warlord 21 (May 1979).


Picking up from the end of the previous issue, Deimos shows Morgan the clone he made of Joshua Morgan, pretending it is the real boy. He has magically aged the boy, and mind controlled him as well. Deimos pits the boy against his father, and nothing Morgan can say can break the mind control.


Meanwhile, Machiste, Tara and Mariah Romanova battle minions of Deimos while trying to find a way into the castle. Tara uses the green gem which leads them through an underground chamber. She and Mariah have a bit of an embarrassing sequence, arguing over Morgan until Machiste gets them to focus at the task on hand.


Because Morgan cannot bring himself to kill his son, Joshua winds up victorious in the fight. At least right up until the moment he is to deliver the final blow. Only then can Morgan act to save his own life, pulling his gun and killing the boy.


Machiste, Mariah and Tara show up at that point. There is a bit of a confusing sequence as Tara uses the stone, which animates a green serpent, but that doesn't seem to have anything really to do with the climax. It's Morgan's dog, Shadow, that leaps to protect its master, sending Deimos and the dog hurtling off the edge of the castle.


Both Morgan and Tara are devastated by the death of their son. Morgan wants to use the Mask of Life to bring him back, but Tara will not have it, and destroys the mask. She explains that the mask does bring people back to life, but in order to stay alive they have to consume human blood, and light itself causes them to decay. It would be no real life for their child.


Morgan decides that his whole time in Skartaris has been a waste, and he decides to leave Tara and take off. He asks Machiste and Mariah to come with him, but Mariah has decided she no longer loves Morgan, and Machiste seems pretty much inclined to stick with Mariah. As Morgan rides off we see that Deimos' hand is still alive, and somehow able to laugh, despite being a hand. The story closes on the witch, Ashiya, leaving the real Joshua Morgan, still in possession of his father's watch, with a couple deep in the woods to raise.

Tara, Machiste, Mariah Romanova and Deimos return later in the year, while Joshua and his new parents are next seen a few months after that. Ashiya is not seen again until 1981.

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