Review: Warlord #16

Warlord #16 cover
Cover by Mike Grell

Warlord #16
Published and © by DC, December 1978

Title: “The Quest: Part I: Visions in a Crimson Eye”
Synopsis: Tara and Morgan set off to rescue their son but soon end up sidequesting to capture the Eye of Shakakhan.

Writer: Mike Grell
Penciler: Grell
Inkers: Vince Colletta and company

Review: DC’s popular Warlord series goes monthly with this issue, which also sees the addition of speedy inker Vince Colletta to the creative team. The good news: Mike Grell’s pencils prove sturdier than most under Colletta’s often-overpowering line. But  it remains one of the great questions of the Bronze Age: How popular could Warlord have become if a better regular inker had been assigned? On the story side, Grell continues to serve up healthy helpings of fantasy tropes with equal measures of beefcake and cheesecake. To his credit, the series’ female characters are strong and imbued with agency.

Grade: B+

Cool factor: Warlord goes monthly!
Not-so-cool factor: It’s rarely good to see Vince Colletta’s named added to the creative team.

Notable: The “Chain Mail” letters page includes an LoC from future Eclipse editor-in-chief Catherine Yronwode (who does not like the writing in Warlord).
Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “It’s not fair! When you kill a man, he should stay dead! IT’S NOT FAIR!!!” – Travis Morgan, petulant Warlord
A word from the creator: “I still look at the Warlord books inked by Colletta and see what might have been.” – Mike Grell, from “The Thin Black Line: Perspectives on Vince Colletta, Comics’ Most Controversial Inker,” 2010

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 20, 2023.

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