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Warlord, The (2010)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Warlord, The (2010) The first story arc of the new continuing series from creator Mke Grell begins with some mountain climbers discovering a frozen dinosaur inside a cave in Tibet. One of them, Alysha Grant, goes to archeologist Dr. Kate Archer with her discovery. Archer is extremely excited by this discovery and gets her billionaire/explorer friend, Ned Hawkins, to fund another expedition. But when they get to the location they are attacked by the Chinese military. They take refuge in a cave and find a glowing gateway, which leads to Skartaris, the land inside the earth (basically, the planet is like a geode and this hidden land covers the inside so that our world is under their feet).

The story then goes to a recap of "The Warlord", Travis Morgan. He was a jet pilot in 1969 and during an accident has to parachute out over the North Pole. When he lands he finds himself in a tropical world, complete with dinosaurs and mythical beasts. For the past forty years that he's lived there he has not aged. When refugees start fleeing to his city of Shamballah he learns that a new self-proclaimed diety has kicked them out of their northern lands. He also finds out that this new guy has taken over his friend Machiste's lands. The most disturbing thing of all is that he sees that one of the refugees was shot--and no one except him has a gun. Which means that this new problem has come from the surface world.

Morgan mounts an expedition and is joined by his daughter, Jennifer, who is a sorceress, Shakira, who can transform into a cat, and a bard named Tinder. They eventually run into Alysha Grant, who has fled from Hawkins. She wants nothing to do with his power-hungry plans. But Hawkins has established his base in Deimos' old castle and Deimos was Morgan's worst enemy before he was defeated. Hawkins desires nothing less than to conquer Skartaris and only The Warlord can stop him.

This is a good reboot to the series and almost makes me forget the horrible Bruce Jones "re-imagining" of the character from several years ago. Only creator Grell can do this character justice. Although he's also done all the covers I was a bit disappointed that he didn't do the artwork for these first six issues, though he begins the illustrations in issue #7. It's been far too long that the Warlord has been without a series. Fans will not be disappointed.

written by Mike Grell

Illustrated by Joe Prado

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