“From the sky he came to a world of eternal sunlight and eternal savagery — Travis Morgan, a man iwth a lust ofr adventure and a passion for freedom! As his fame spreads, so grows the legend of… The Warlord.”
Grell tries out a new intro to the series and mixes up a few themes in City In The Sky from the summer of 1977. As expecrted, we get the titular city in the sky, a Roger Dean/Laputa inspired floating island complete with cybernetically controlled pterosaurs, fighting robots and a surprising reference to the relatively recent Logan’s Run (although not exactly what you might expect.)
Nevel willing to let Morgan and friends rest for long, The story starts with Maria getting captures by a pterosaur from a flock that descends on Machiste’s palace. (we briefly get a lesson on the racial equality of the kingdom of Kiro, as Morgan briefly talks about his surprise that it isn’t a black kingdom that his friend rules.)
We also get our first meeting with an actual Atlantean (well, a cybernetic creation of theirs, anyway.) Tragg the Keeper of the skycity Skyra, who seems affable at first, charming our Skartaris newbie Maria, but is later revealed as rapist and a cannibal.
“Watch out! That thing’s trying to turn us into a T.V. Dinner!” Morgan cries out after he and Machiste are tricked into Tragg’s freezer. Luckily Machiste’s replacement for his severed hand, however, is put to good use.
While this issue does move along rather fast, Grell’s artwork continues to develop, and we are treated with some great whole page panels such as this one:
And while the plot of the story is a more or less rescue the girl story-line, there are a couple twists that continue to show that Maria isn’t the classic helpless fantasy female. Some readers also appreciated the series move away from the Edgar Rice Burrough’s inspired early eps.
Next: Lair of the Snowbeast