Review: Warlord #20

Warlord #20 cover
Cover by Mike Grell

Warlord #20
Published and © by DC, April 1979

Title: “Battlecry”

Synopsis: Warlord and friends make their way to Deimos’ fortress, where the sorcerer holds Travis and Tara’s son captive. 

Writer: Mike Grell
Penciler: Grell
Inker: Vince Colletta

Review: There seems to be a recipe for reviewing an issue of Mike Grell’s Warlord: Start with a comment about the auteur creator’s contagious enthusiasm for fantasy and sci-fi tropes. Add some considered reservation about a spark of originality, sadly missing, that could have elevated this fun-but-slight tale. Close with requisite vitriol about Vince Colletta’s abusive inks and the detrimental impact they’ve had on the series. Said recipe holds true for this penultimate issue of the latest Deimos saga, which ends up more bland than tasty. While still above average for the era, Warlord has settled into a “what-could-have-been” groove. 

Grade: B

Cool factor: Make no mistake, this series is consistently solid.
Not-so-cool factor: It’s hard to take a villain in a belly shirt seriously.

Character quotable: “Even a fire-breathing dragon is just a lot of hot air!” – Travis “Warlord” Morgan, battlefield philosopher 

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

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