Review: Warlord #19

Warlord #19 cover
Cover by Mike Grell

Warlord #19
Published and © by DC, March 1979

Title: “Wolves of the Steppes”
Synopsis: A magically induced storm causes Tara to crash, leaving her and Warlord at the mercy of a savage horde.

Writer: Mike Grell
Penciler: Grell
Inker: Vince Colletta

Review: While a bit better than the previous outing (see review), this latest issue of Warlord continues to suffer from the drop off in quality that started when Vince Colletta came on board. Simply put: Colletta is a poor match for creator Mike Grell. The inker’s work is rough and sludgy, stripping Grell’s pencils of both detail and dynamism. This also effects the reader’s enjoyment of the story: Warlord’s kitbashed mix of swords-and-sorcery and sci-fi tropes had been sold, in part, by Grell’s enthusiasm for the material. It’s clear now just how important the author’s artwork was for closing that sale.

Grade: B-

Second opinion: “Only Colletta’s inking prevents the issue from notching a perfect score. … 9 out of 10.” – Paul Emrath, AFTA #3, April 1979 … “I’m glad ‘Iron’ Mike doesn’t hurry with his plot lines, but instead takes time to develop his characters; it makes for a more satisfying read in the end.” – Les Chester, Comic Media News International #39, May-June 1979

Cool factor: That’s an interesting cover …
Not-so-cool factor: … that undermines this issue’s surprise conclusion.

Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “I’m tired of telling people this – no man lays a hand on Tara, save Travis Morgan!” – Tara, before cutting off her assailant’s hand

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 23, 2023.

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