“Land of Fear”
Writer and Artist: Mike Grell
1969 Lt. Colonel Travis Morgan is flying a mission over Siberia in an SR-71 spy plane. The mission is to get photographs of a secret military base. A missile launch opens up the fuel tank and forces Morgan to fly a route over the North Pole to make it back to Alaska. Just when he thinks he’s done for land is sighted. Parachuting out he lands in a tropical jungle. A jungle without a horizon and filled with dinosaurs.
Morgan has landed in Skartaris a world inside our Earth. Soon he saves a beautiful woman from a dinosaur and then gets captured by soldiers and taken to Thera. There his pistol awes the inhabitants and he is looked upon as a god and at the same time earns the enmity of Deimos the high priest. An assassination attempt forces Morgan and the girl Tara to flee.
The 1st Issue Specials were a short lived series that were to showcase potential new series. Only the Warlord went on to its own series. This is my favorite comic book series. Obviously inspired by Burroughs Pellucidar series the world of Skartaris is full of savage men, lost cities, dinosaurs and strange technology. It struck the right balance of action and wonder that kept me enthralled as a kid and still does as an adult.