“Arena of Death”
Writer & Artist: Mike Grell
We open with Morgan left hanging on a tree to die by slavers. Two sabretooth tigers are planning to make a meal of Morgan. Fortunately at the last moment Morgan is rescued by a traveler. At first he seems friendly and offers to take Morgan to Shamballah on his ship. He fails to mention that his plans are for Morgan to be a galley slave. As a slave he makes friends with his companion Machiste. The two prove to be too rebellious and are about to be hanged when raiders attack.
Morgan and Machiste must fight for their lives and help repel the raiders. Their obvious prowess with swords convinces the slave galley captain to sell the two as slaves. Thus the two enter the service of Shebal and train as gladiators. One day a prince comes for a show and Morgan and Machiste are chosen to fight one another. Just as Morgan defeats Machiste he notices that the prince is wearing a Timex watch. Morgan frees the gladiators and leads a successful rebellion. From the captured price he learns that Tara was recaptured and sold to Deimos who is now the king of Thera. Morgan rallies the gladiators to march on Thera.
This store really starts to establish what this series is about. Morgan shows himself to be a leader and able to inspire men with his rhetoric. Skartaris is shown to be a colorful world with good old fashioned adventure. Sea battles and gladiator rebellions. The world of the Warlord is shaping up to be a very interesting place.