“War Gods of Skartaris”
Writer & Artist: Mike Grell
Morgan’s army of liberation continues to grow with each victory against the Therans. On a ride away from his army Morgan is captured by lizard-men. He is taken to the ruins of a city and tied up on his old SR-71. The plane had crashed into the lizard-men’s temple and now they worship it. Before he can be sacrificed the old god in the form of a giant cobra arrives. The timely intervention of his friend Machiste frees him from his bounds. Morgan is able to eject the spare seat in the plane sending it through the giant snakes head and killing it. The two friends briefly explore the old ruins never finding the advanced computer in the next room.
This story continues to establish the world of Skartaris. We get a glimpse into Morgan’s true motives in leading the rebellion. He loves the excitement and danger. It makes him feel alive. As he says over the field of dead, “God help me…I love this.” There is also hints of an advanced civilization that once inhabited Skartaris and there’s cool lizard-men and an giant snake.
Now I do have some issues that stretch credibility. Morgan’s SR-71 crashing relatively intact. A plane speeding along at Mach 3 would most likely disintegrate on impact and not be so well preserved. Morgan also retrieves from his plane a .44 automatic pistol and 400 rounds of ammo. Now why would someone carry that on a flight? Would the Air Force let him? Still the end results make this a minor quibble. I mean I couldn’t see Morgan without his .44 automag which becomes a part of him throughout the series. I’m happy to suspend disbelief for an excellent story.