“Gateway To Doom”
Writer & Artist: Mike Grell
The Princess Alisandre of Kalabas is on her way to meet her future husband the king of Groniko. Savages attack and only Alisandre and her minstrel Tristan are left. Luckily for them Morgan was around and decides to rescue them. He takes care of the attacking savages and offers to escort the princess. Now Alisandre is a self-centered spoiled brat and show little appreciation for her life being saved. She actually tries to knife Morgan in the back but Shakira intervenes. He continues to help her because he likes Tristan who is obviously in love with the princess. At a rest they try to bring the princess into Tristan’s arms by scaring her while she baths in a stream with a little lizard. The little lizard attracts a big one which Morgan then has to kill.
During this some men from Doomgate kidnap Alisandre to be sacrificed to their god Tarantis. They track the kidnappers to their city and enter posing as entertainers. While Tristan performs his magic, Morgan sneaks away and finds where Alisandre is held. He then has to rescue her from the god Tarantis who happens to be a giant spider. The spider is crushed to green goo by a giant statue and the group escapes. They make it to Groniko and find that it is a squalid kingdom with a very fat old man as its king. Morgan and Tristan have a good laugh at the look on Alisandre’s face.
So this is the first annual in the seven years that Warlord was around. They must have been feeling confident that this title would be around. After this each year would get an annual, that tradition of a super giant special issue to commemorate a yearly anniversary that comics used to do back in the old days. This was a really fun issue. One is that it was written and drawn by Grell. This would be the last time he would do this for the series. It was also welcome in that it brought back the spirit of this series. You had Morgan and Shakira wandering Skartaris saving damsels in distress. Fighting dinosaurs, savages, cultists and a giant spider. That was really welcome after the conspiracy storyline that had been running so far. This annual was awesome and seven years long overdue.