New Reviews of Old Comics
Previously I’ve mentioned that I’ve grown to like Warlord much more now than I did when new issues were being published (because I NEVER read Warlord back then). This new found appreciation was not the reason I bought this issue. Warlord is becoming pretty easy to find among the dollar boxes these days, and I have a few still sitting in the “to be read” pile, so I didn’t need one more. However, it was the mention of OMAC on the cover that drove me to buy this particular issue. I love Kirby’s OMAC and was hoping I would see something half that good in this issue.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because Warlord is the star of this title and he gets the lead story, “The Gamble,” written and illustrated by Mike Grell. Traveling across Skartaris Travis Morgan (Warlord) and his young boy sidekick, Aton, enter the city of Bantuhm and quickly make their way to a local watering hole. It doesn’t take long for Aton to not only gamble away his money, but their horses as well, in a shell game. Needless to say, this puts Morgan in a foul mood because you can’t exactly hail a cab in the middle of Bantuhm. When Morgan confronts the con-man about the situation the con-man offers them a deal; break into a nearby tower, steal a jewel for the con-man and he’ll return the horses. An offer too good to refuse (kind of). Morgan and Aton make their way through the deadly traps, including rabid dogs, to the room hiding the jewel and they key to leave the gated property, but there is a raging fire all around so they only grab the key and jump out of the window in to the moat below. Upon returning to the tavern the con-man is surprised to see the warriors, but disappointed they don’t have the jewel. No jewel, no horses. Being the fair player he is, the con-man offers another deal; find the pearl in the shell and he’ll offer them another chance to earn the horses back. Warlord agrees, but he’s not fooled by the con-man palming the pearl, so he smashes the pearl laden hand. Walking out of the tavern Morgan and Aton run into Shakria; not the honey hips singer, but a scantily clad woman who…hey, maybe it is the singer! There is an epilogue which makes no sense to me, but I’m sure those who have read more Warlord than me would appreciate it. As I said, I like Warlord these days, and this issue didn’t disappoint. The story was a bit predictable, but that didn’t detract from it very much. Grell’s art and story pacing were very good as usual. I’m definitely going to keep reading Warlord.
The OMAC back-up story was written by Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn with art by Greg LaRocque. I’m not sure what the title is, and quite frankly I don’t care, because it was awful. At eight pages long, it was eight pages too many. The art was stiff, the story incomprehensible, and the only resemblance to the original series was the main character OMAC himself. Following Kirby’s original series is a herculean task to ask of anyone, I get that, and I didn’t expect to see a something that would equal Kirby’s work, but I was hoping to at least get the spirit of the original OMAC. I’m not a purist, I like cover songs and seeing different people’s interpretations of stories and characters, so I’m open minded about it, but this one just fell totally flat for me. Maybe someone did a good re-boot of OMAC after this, and I’d love to read it, because it’s an interesting concept. This, however, was not a good extension of the original idea.