WONDER WOMAN ’77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #4

“Where The Heart Is”
Writer: Andy Mangels
Artist: Judit Tondora

Wonder Woman and Jaime visit Paradise Island. Jaime gets to meet all its colorful inhabitants. Meanwhile CASTRA is getting its army of Fembots ready to invade Paradise Island. They also are forcing Rudy Wells and Joe Atkinson the head of the I.A.D.C who we thought was dead to give up classified secrets. After their visit to Paradise Island Wonder Woman with Jaime, Drusilla and Max are searching former islands for the cabal. On one they find their base and get in a fight with some Fembots. Wonder Woman’s bracelets are knocked off making her vulnerable to a shot from Dr. Cyborg. She is hit and it ends on this and an army of Fembots approaching the beaches of Paradise Island.

So the fourth issue mainly deals with Paradise Island and all its characters. True not much goes on in this issue yet there was still a lot going on. Interesting to find out Joe Atkinson is still alive and Rudy is also prisoner. Drusilla the young Wonder Girl played by a young Debra Winger from the first season makes a return. This is just such a fun romp in nostalgia.

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THE WARLORD #74

“Home Again Home Again”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan and Krystovar are making their way in a stolen boat after escaping from New Atlantis. The two decide to go to Shamballah so Morgan can be reunited with Tara. So they sell the boat for provisions and trek off to Shamballah. A mysterious black crow starts a fire that almost engulfs them but they manage to escape. So they get to Shamballah and find out that Tara has banned Morgan. Luckily he has friends in the city guards and he sneaks him in. Morgan confronts Tara and she is still angry at Morgan for leaving but Morgan’s charm gets him a reprieve from banishment.

“A Quiet Night”
Writer: Gary Cohn
Artist: Ron Randall

Jinal is enjoying a quiet night contemplating the stars. She is joined by Barasha and the two talk. Jinal has not had time to mourn the loss of her friends and lover from the expedition. She tells Barasha of the war with the Qlov and her doubts of the future. Barasha convinces her that she has accomplished great things and the future is looking bright.

So in this issue Morgan returns to Shamballah and gets a lukewarm reception. I was happy that the new writer understands the relationship between Morgan and Tara. It felt just as Mike Grell would have wrote it. So a quiet story with the hint of something big that will happen. We still have the mystery of the US Air Force markings on the cassette and the advanced weapons in the hidden cavern. There is also the mysterious black crow that started the fire and is still stalking Morgan. Warlord seems to have a new energy and direction that I approve of.

The Barren Earth was also a quiet introspection story. Interesting how that turned out. I wonder if it was planned or just kismet. Jinal gets to have time to morn the loss of her lover and friends. She also contemplates the future and Barasha helps her. This also ends with a feeling of something new and big in the future. Two great stories that set up the new direction that this title is taking.

WONDER WOMAN ’77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #3

“The Past Becomes Present”
Writer: Andy Mangels
Artist: Judit Tondora

A nuclear cruise missile has been launched from the freighter and its up to Wonder Woman and Jaime to stop it. Luckily they have the invisible jet and fly after it. Wonder Woman uses her golden lasso to snag it and destroy it. Then they go back to the freight but the crew has no knowledge to help them. One does turn out to be a Fembot or Manbot.

Meanwhile the cabal known as CASTRA gather together in the South American country of Lauay on Saint Molchan Island. The group consists of experts in bionic and robotics. Villains that both Wonder Woman and Jaime Sommers defeated. They have a plan to create transhuman soldiers to conquer the world. All they need is for Captain Radl to lead them to Paradise Island and the Feminium metal.

Jaime and Diana meet Rudy Wells and Max the bionic German shepherd. They take Max with them on their way to investigate in South American. After they leave the OSI building is assaulted by Fembots and Rudy is kidnapped.

The third issue is one that gives us the rundown on the evil CASTRA cabal. All the villains are introduced and there are convenient footnotes on the episodes they were originally in. A nice mix from both shows. I love how Mangels manages to capture both main characters personalities. They feel just like Lynda Carter and Lindsay Wagner. Plus Max the bionic dog and plenty of Fembots.

THE WARLORD ANNUAL #2

“The Prophecy”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan is riding through a forest when he comes on a man being attacked by a pack of lizard dogs. He saves the man who turns out to be a scholar named Krystovar. Krystovar heals Morgan’s wounded shoulder and tells him about the history of his helmet. Back in ancient Atlantis the helmet was worn by the Knights of the Sea Eagle. These knights protected Atlantis. Over time the kingdom became decadent and its ruler turned to the dark arts. He also used a device to turn men into beasts. One Sea Eagle named Lord Norrad was disgusted with what became of his nation so with his followers head out to find a new land.

They come to a land that is located in a hollow between the surface and Skartaris. Here they build a prosperous settlement named New Atlantis. One day survivors from Atlantis come and are reluctantly allowed to stay. They soon continue to practice the dark arts under Ar-Diamphos. Soon assassins come to kill Norrad but he survives though gravely wounded. He states a prophecy that a man will come wearing his helmet and end the evil reign.

Well the two are later captured by the Brood Brothers men changed into beast-men. Morgan manages to escape and finds a cavern filled with high tech weaponry. He loads up with a bag of grenades and takes a rocket sled equipped with a laser. Morgan goes to New Atlantis and frees Krystovar from being turned into a beast-man. The current king is killed. The two then steal a boat and make their way back to Skartaris. Morgan at the end finds out a cassette he took from the cavern has the insignia of the US Air Force and someones name, rank and serial number. Krystover hints that the prophecy of Norrad has more about the man who wears his helmet.

The second annual was absolutely awesome. Now I am finally getting a good feel for the direction of this title since Grell left. We are introduced to a new people in the New Atlanteans. A new enemy in the Brood Brothers the poor unfortunates that have their heads turned into animals. A new companion for Morgan in Krystovar a warrior scholar. I loved it all. And we get a story behind Morgan’s helmet. Plus it sets up several mysteries. A cavern full of high-tech weapons. Somehow the US Air Force is linked to ancient Atlantis. Things are looking good for the Warlord.

WONDER WOMAN ’77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #2

“Four Villains and a Funeral”
Writer: Andy Mangels
Artist: Judit Tondora

There is a funeral for I.A.D.C head Joe Atkinson who was killed when their HQ was attacked. It is here that Jaime confides that she knows Diana is Wonder Woman. Jaime agrees to cover for her and the two are forming a bond. Later Jaime is assigned to find Wonder Woman and the two head out in her invisible plane to search for atomic missiles believed to be aboard a ship.

Meanwhile we are introduced to CASTRA. Its main head is a cyborg woman named Dr. Cyborg. She is working with the creator of the Fembots. They stage a prison break for an ex-Nazi named Radl who was the leader of the assault on Paradise Island back in WWII. Jaime and Wonder Woman find the ship and jump down and kick some ass. Unfortunately they are too late to stop the launch of a nuclear cruise missile.

So this issue we get introduced to the main villains. Thankfully they included what episodes that these villains appeared in the letters page. Otherwise I might be a bit clueless. It has been a while since I watched these series. The director Atkinson only appeared in the first half of season two Wonder Woman and the writer cleverly writes a reason why he was no longer with the show. Another great issue filled with cybernetic villains, Fembots and invisible planes.

THE WARLORD #73

“Cry Plague”
Writers: Cary Burkett & Jennifer Reinhold
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan is tied up in the vines of the dead man-eating plant as Scarhart comes to kill him. Before that happens he is attacked by flying bat creatures. Morgan manages to free himself and join the fight saving Scarhart from one of the creatures. This act seems to have make a friend of the silent warrior. So the two head off continuing to track the unicorn. They run into the Kaash’ban who agree to help by using their animals to search the land. They find that the unicorn has went into a bog. When they get there it is being pulled under. Morgan tries to save it but Scarhart killed it with an arrow. Now it seems that there will be no cure to save Morgan, Jennifer and Shakira from the plague. Then it dawns on Morgan that Scarhart seems to be immune. A member of the Kaash’ban can telepathically communicate with Scarhart and finds that it was a spring in his own world. So back to castle Deimos and Jennifer opens the mirror to Scarhart’s world. Morgan and Scarhart bring back the water and everyone is cured. Scarhart and Shakira decide to remain with the Kaash’ban so Morgan is on his own.

“Rescue!”
Writer: Gary Cohn
Artist: Ron Randall

Renna saves Skinner by shooting the high priest but now the group faces hundreds of pissed off Mulge. Good thing they have automatic weapons which are no match for the Mulge’s primitive ones. They are able to burn off the spoors from Skinner’s chest and bring him back to the main encampment were Skinner can get proper treatment.

The second non-Grell issue and we wrap up the unicorn saga. It was an entertaining story and good to see the new writer wasn’t going to drag it out. It also sets up Morgan to go off alone as Shakira decides to stay with the Kaash’ban. They also keep around Scarhart for future appearances. I was still a little apprehensive about this title’s future. A competent story but I still wasn’t getting what direction it was going. Fortunately the annual next week put all doubts to rest.

The Barren Earth came to a conclusion with the Mulge epic. A good solid ending. Skinner is saved and in great spirits since he believes that the two most beautiful warriors on the planet are in love with him. They deny it but he may have a point.

WONDER WOMAN ’77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #1

“When Diana Met Jaime!”
Writer: Andy Mangels
Artist: Judit Tondara

It is 1977 Washington D.C. A large explosion at the Cramer building attracts two superpowered heroines. Wonder Woman and Jaime Sommers work together to save people and put out the fire. They work well together but have an important meeting to attend. A big gathering of all the intelligence agencies is meeting at the I.A.D.C. An evil cabal known as CASTRA is planning something big. Jaime and Diana Prince are conveniently assigned together to check out some scientists.

So as the Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman the two manage to foil CASTRA agents from kidnapping the scientists. Then jumping on the invisible airplane the two save Steve Trevor and his team from an ambush. While they were gone CASTRA manages to infiltrate I.A.D.C headquarters, gas the occupants and steal vital information from the main computer I.R.A.C.

Now this is one cool idea for a series. Both Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman were shows I loved back when I was a kid. It actually makes sense to team these two characters up since they are from the same time. It stays true to the series with its evil cabals intent on dominating the world. Just a pure nostalgic trip back to 1977. We get bionic moves, invisible planes, golden lassos, and bell-bottom pants. Makes me want to check out the shows that I have on DVD.

THE WARLORD #72

“Curse of the Unicorn”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan and Shakira are back in Castle Deimos. They don’t have much time to celebrate because a black unicorn comes through the mirror. It manages to scratch Shakira with its horn and run off. Then a large dark skinned warrior comes through and gets into a fight with Morgan. Jennifer knocks him out with her magic then probes his mind to find out where he comes from.

Thus we find out the story of Wayhan Hunnuh. A mighty warrior who manages to capture the black unicorn. As a reward he gets the chief’s daughter as his bride. So he goes off to hunt another trophy for the event and comes back to find his entire tribe dead from a plague. The unicorn brought it so now he changes his name to Scarhart and vows to kill the unicorn. He chases it through a waterfall and ends up in our world.

Just then Shakira collapses and it looks like she has the same plague. So Morgan goes off to capture the unicorn. Scarhart knocks Jennifer out and goes after both Morgan and the unicorn. Morgan tracks it into the dark lands and finds it being attacked by a carnivorous plant. He saves it but the fight knocks him out. At the end Scarhart finds the prostrate Morgan.

“The Garden of the Mulge!”
Writer: Gary Cohen
Artist: Ron Randall

Renna mounds an expedition to save Skinner from the Mulge. Jinal insists on coming along in spite of Renna’s hostility toward her. So they follow the tunnel and come to a vast underground garden. The Garden of the Mulge. It is filled with deadly carnivorous plants and they fight their way through. They come on the Mulge just as a priest starts to pour its mushroom fungus on Skinner in one of their religious ceremonies. Renna shoots the priest and now the group faces the hostile Mulge.

So the big news for this issue is that Mike Grell is no longer with the series. So how did his replacement do. Ok I guess. The story was good and interesting but just seemed a little ho-hum. The Scarhart character looked a lot like Arak and he just didn’t really interest me. There was some funny moments with one of the castle guards who is always complaining how weird it is to work at this castle and maybe he should get a new job. I always wondered where Jennifer hired her staff. The castle is out in the middle of nowhere even for Skartaris. So I remember being a little apprehensive about the future for this title with what seems to be not the greatest start to the Grell-less future.

The Barren Earth continues on in its excellence. Renna finally brings it out in the open that she is jealous of Jinal over Skinner. It seems many others think Jinal is also in love with Skinner although she denies it. Still there is a clear love triangle forming. The Mulge garden was a cool idea. It seems this issue is heavy on carnivorous plants. This also ends in a cliffhanger that you can’t wait to find out its resolved next issue.

THE WARLORD #71

“The Journey Back”
Writer: Mike Grell
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan and Shakira are heading to the settlement they heard about from the settlers. When they get there they find a huge bridge stretching off into the distance. During the great migration bridges were built to Skartaris so they don’t have to worry about getting a boat. But Morgan’s attire is a bit suspicious to the locals. When he tries to buy a ticket to Skartaris and pay in Skartarian gold coins this gets the local shop keeper to put in a call to the authorities. So Morgan and Shakira just take off and enter the bridge.

Of course the authorities are notified and a patrol craft catches Morgan and forces him to surrender. But Shakira was able to change into a cat. When the two patrolmen come to arrest Morgan, Shakira gets the drop on them. So Morgan and Shakira take off in the stolen patrol craft. Morgan is still a skilled pilot who evades other craft and the heavy AA fire. He still can’t avoid it forever and the craft is hit and goes down.

Shakira manages to drag Morgan away and find shelter in an apartment. The owner is one who still speaks Skartaran so Shakira can communicate. He is also an army medic and patches up Morgan. He thinks the two are part of one of the warring factions in Skartaris. When he overhears them wanting to go to Castle Deimos he agrees to take them. Only the Castle Deimos is the hottest bar in town. Morgan decides to get a drink and while in the bar a newscast comes on showing his picture. The whole bar is out to get him when Shakira notices the mirror on the wall is from the original Castle Deimos. So they jump in and finds themselves back home.

So this is the final issue that Grell will write for this incarnation of the series. It was a strong story that came to a satisfying conclusion. That is what I love about Grell in that he moves the story along. This three issue storyline was fast paced and ties up neatly. It was sad that Grell would no longer be part of the character he created but after 71 issues, an annual and first special issue I guess he wanted to move on to other things.

THE WARLORD #70

“The Outback”
Writer: Mike Grell
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan and Shakira have come upon an outpost of civilization in this futuristic post-apocalypse Australia. One the of inhabitants of this outpost has got the drop on them but Shakira once again uses her unique ability to distract. Morgan then convinces the woman that they aren’t a threat and get invited inside. He finds out that a young married couple occupy the compound. Morgan then gets them to tell him the history of the world since the Vietnam War.

So basically it is about two hundred years into the future and the world has been destroyed by pollution and overpopulation. But back in 1973 the U.S. discovered Skartaris. They made plans for the destruction of the ecosystem and in 2089 presented them to the U.N. So a great migration began to Skartaris. But now there is overpopulation in Skartaris and the government is starting to settle the surface world. Thus the young couple looking for a new life. Morgan trades the .45 and ammo they picked up in Sydney for a horse and continue on to the coast.

“The Mulge!”
Writer: Gary Cohn
Artist: Ron Randall

Jinal has succeeded in a truce with the human settlement and the Harahashan. But there is still resentment between the two people. They are building a pipeline to bring the water from the underground ocean to the surface. Just then the Mulge a fungus type people raid the pipeline and take captives. One of the captives is Skinner.

So in this issue it is mostly exposition on this future world. It was very informative. A future ecology destroyed is a realistic possibility. We find out that Skartaris is settled by the surface world and Morgan is a legend. Kind of a scary world in which those not chosen for resettlement were offered euthanasia or if wealthy enough cryogenics. It was a surprising development that Skartaris in the future has been taken over by the surface but a unique twist instead of the expected nuclear war scenario. Sets up an interesting homecoming for Morgan and Shakira next issue.

The Barren Earth is advancing along nicely. Jinal is showing herself to be a real leader in uniting these two warring peoples. In the beginning you wouldn’t have expected her character to be the one to survive. And we get introduced to the Mulge which seem to be a sinister opponent. It ends with them realizing that Skinner has been taken prisoner and we will see the exciting rescue next issue.