When I was about 12-years old I sent off for a bunch of comics as a birthday present from my Mom. They were 50-randomly packed DC Comics, and while similar collections are a dime a dozen these days, as a young whipper snapper it was like a treasure chest had arrived in my mailbox and I tore into those comics with reckless abandon. The pack was full of Jack Kirby comics, Westerns, Horror and Fantasy alike and I read them over and over for years. Where the latter was concerned, there were several issues of Mike Grell’s Warlord series in the pack and I really latched on to these at the time thanks to the title’s strong lead character (a USAF colonel at that!), beautiful jungle women, and the fantastical setting (yea, the cool winged helmet, sword and shield probably helped a little as well) that Grell illustrated so well. It’s been almost 20-years since I enjoyed those lazy summer days reading books like Warlord, and life has gotten a whole lot busier as I deal with the challenges adulthood brings, but with the announcement that Mike Grell was returning to Skartaris, Travis Morgan, Shakira & Co. with a new ongoing Warlord series at DC, I’m hoping that I can revisit that treasured piece of my childhood while enjoying all new adventures once more.
Mike Grell explains at Newsarama that the “first issue sets it all up. I’m beginning with characters already established and in place, but I’m smart enough to know the key is to re-introduce the characters for today’s audience; setting all the rules out and establishing the guideposts for the stories going on. I don’t expect people to come in cold and wait issues for the stories to pan out. I’m going to have them from page one. Okay, maybe page 2 and 3. The biggest thing as far as I’m concerned is get people to read the book, and follow along, and grab them right off the bat. I’m a firm believer in structure in storytelling. I like to know where I’m going when I start out – the Mickey Spillane school of storytelling, where it’s recommended that writers write the last chapter first so they know where they’re headed. While I have wrote out the last chapter in complete detail, I know how the characters end up and it’s all about exploring the changes to get there.”
Here’s the DC Solicitation:
At the Roof of the World in Tibet, a team of paleontologists and adventurers has made the find of the century: perfectly preserved dinosaur specimens that appear to have died mere days before! Their expedition takes a deadly turn when they uncover an impossible portal to another world – an unbelievable country at the hollow center of the Earth, the mythical land of Skartaris! But they’re not the first surface-worlders to find themselves stranded in Skartaris, and their arrival in his peaceful home triggers an unforgettable new adventure for the hero who has taken the land as his own: Travis Morgan, the Warlord!
This new ongoing series marks the return of creator Mike Grell to the fantasy saga that made him famous! Reunite with Tara, Shakira, Tinder and the rest of the cast in a story that continues the adventures of the Warlord but opens up a new era where any reader can jump aboard.
Along with Grell’s scripts – and lushly painted covers – comes the art of rising star Joe Prado (ACTION COMICS, SINESTRO CORPS SECRET FILES)! DC’s finest fantasy franchise is reborn!
I’m still “waiting for the trades” at this point, while working on my finances and planning for my family, but I just may have to pick up the first several issues of this one to do what small part I can to make sure the series has some legs on it right from the get-go…and so I can enjoy those painted covers! Whatever the case, I’ll be anxiously awaiting the first collection and hope you’ll check it out as well. Look for Warlord #1 on April 8, 2009, and while I’m thinking about it — howsabout a few shiny new Showcase editions collecting Grell’s Warlord to go coincide with the launch DC!?