This is part four of my story of how Warlord and his characters came to be to celebrate six years of the webcomic. Read part one here http://www.truthfulcomics.com/1/post/2012/08/tmw-secret-origins-part-1-the-supercyber-war-years.html
to read part two click here http://www.truthfulcomics.com/1/post/2012/09/tmw-secret-origins-part-2-armageddon-death-trilogy.html
and to read part 3 click here http://www.truthfulcomics.com/1/post/2012/09/the-secret-origins-of-tmw-part-3-the-fishnet.html
Also, all the images you can click on them to make them bigger!
This is Alvaro/Lance welcoming you back to another installment of the secret origins of TMW! Last we left, I wrote about issues 0-6. Now, things take a turn for the dramatic in the “Breakdowns” storyarc! And yes, the very few friends who actually read this storyline either got teary-eyed at some point or cried at the end!
As I mentioned in the last blog, to me #6 was the WORST story I’ve ever done (according to myself, anyway) and felt like maybe I had run my course with Warlord. Before that, though, I was curious as to how a dramatic story would work in Warlord. I caught on TV one day “Indecent Proposal” and also had seen the series finale of “Mad About You” (which also influenced a later storyline…). It was actually “Indecent Proposal” that the inspiration for Jane’s ex-boyfriend Charles came from. The rich boy who thinks he can pretty much buy or get anything he wanted and usually did. Also, I wanted a more human foil for Fred and not just super villains all the time, I wanted to give more complexity to Fred’s personal life as well.
And that’s when mid-way through the “Fishnet” storyline I started wondering “what if Jane had a boyfriend that in a way is everything Fred is not? What if he came back to try to win her back? What if he had a deep, personal hate towards Fred as well? And what if she decided to go back to him? And those possibilities actually really excited me.
Where I feel I failed was I guess the balance and the pacing of issue 6 trying to set up that next storyline and in a way frustrated me. Also, by that point, I honestly didn’t like any of the characters, except for maybe Exorcist. I felt the characters weren’t very relatable and even likeable at some points. I even hated Fred at one point during the “Fishnet” storyline. So, when I finally decided to gather up the courage to experiment with the “Breakdowns” storyline, I named it like that not just for the emotional toll on the characters this story would have, but also because I was almost literally breaking down every major character and almost building their personalities up from scratch. I wanted to have a sense of growth for these characters which I felt were pretty much the same since I created them back from 8th grade.
Well, with the inspiration behind this storyline out of the way, let’s dive right into the “Breakdowns” synopsis!
Fred Peterson, Warlord #7- Breakdowns Part 1, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”, August 1996
This marked the first title change I made to the series, renaming it “Fred Peterson, Warlord”. This issue starts of with Tom Blair, aka The Dark Avenger! If you’re up to speed in the webcomic version he’s introduced already in chapter 15 (well, really he appeared as a surprise at the end of chapter 14 and even before that he was the star of the first webisode of book 2). He has a bit of a different introduction here. In the webcomic version of course, he had never met Fred before and was his first time with him. In this version, Tom and Fred had met already since the whole “Armageddon Death Trilogy” so they were familiar with each other.I used Tom here because I liked the dynamic of almost the “buddy cop” movie Fred and Tom had with Fred pretty much being the straightman to Tom’s sometimes over the top antics. I always wanted to do something with Tom’s character but always felt he was better written as a supporting character or part of an ensemble cast rather than being the star himself. So I decided to have him guest appear in this storyline.
So, the story begins with Tom arriving at the Cult City airport where he hits on a girl that works at the terminal of the airport (in a way similar to his introduction in the webisode, where he arrived at the airport to Puerto Rico, but instead Jon was there to pick him up).After mysteriously arriving to Cult City (and getting the girl’s phone number while he was at it)he goes of to find Fred and Jane. After Fred has a dream about Jane he wanders to the roof top of the apartment building he lives at, which he tended to do throughout the series whenever he was pensive (in the webcomic that was replaced with his couch). When he walks back into the apartment he runs into Jane! They get into a big argument which results in both of them saying harmful things to each other, to which she leaves in tears after they said their “final” good byes. Meanwhile, Exorcist is involved in a subplot I really can’t spoil right now since this subplot is one of the few that survived from this original story and is going to be a big part of the webcomic. Sorry.
We transition back to Tom looking for Fred, and he actually runs into Akuma in his civilian mode! Of course Tom has no idea who Akuma is, Tom just asked for directions and casually Akuma says he knows who Fred is and tells him where to find him! As Tom is about to say thank you and introduce himself, Akuma vanished! We see Fred is working at a mini-market (a concept that somewhat survived in the webcomic, long time readers know he works at a supermarket). There Tom finally encounters Fred in hopes of meeting Jane as well. Just as Fred was explaining the current state of his relationship with Jane, trouble is afoot!
A familiar villain was robbing the mini-market…Scan-Man, who readers have seen referred to as Robi in the webcomic, he’s the sharpshooter hitman for Fatfish in the webcomic version. In the original version he was almost all completely cybernetic and was just insane. A sharp contrast to the cold, collective, though sometimes cocky tuxedo versio of the webcomic. The only thing that I kept as an homage was the somewhat cybernetic monocle on his right eye and his fighting/shooting abilities. Also, for those who have kept asking about this character in the webcomic, yes, he is in fact homosexual. I thought it was pretty obvious in chapter 11 and later in chapter 13. I haven’t come out and said it directly within the webcomic because I don’t want to have him be a token homosexual character and have everybody point out he is, especially since very few characters within the story do not know this, so in a sense he’s a closet homosexual within the story. If that makes sense.
So, he’s robbing the mini-market and Fred and Tom try to stop him. Meanwhile Jane is getting re-acquainted with Charles mansion. As the fight progresses at the mini-market, Fred as Warlord starts having hallucinations about Jane and gets distracted, so Scan-Man takes advantage and he knocks out both Fred and Tom. The issue ends with a taunting Scan-man hold up both Warlord and Dark Avenger by their necks. Is this the end of our heroes!?
Fred Peterson, Warlord #8- Breakdowns Part 2, “Easy Come, Easy Go”, August 1996
The issue starts where the last one left off with Scan-Man holding Warlord and Dark Avenger by the neck. Stan (who’s had a nameless cameo in the webcomic in chapter 8, but will be featured more in the future), the mini-market manager, attempts to distract Scan-Man…with a bat to the head! As Scan-man is about to retaliate, our heroes recover and beat him down. Afterwards Fred starts getting dizzy, a subplot that started here throughout various issues, but makes nothing of it. Meanwhile, comedy ensues as Charles hired an etiquette teacher (what the…!?) for Jane to show her rich and snobby mannerisms. I actually hated that scene, but my friends loved it. Go figure. Jane embarrasses Charles which leads them to a small argument and leaves Jane wondering if she made the right choice after all?
We go to Fred’s apartment, where Tom is doing an exposition dump about the demigod baby in Fred’s care, when he gets attacked by the puppy Fred saved in issue 6. You know, comedy! As this is happening Fred receives a visit from Exorcist and someone else I can’t disclose right now. They all decide to go and hang out at…the mall. Yes. A mall. Meanwhile, we are introduced for the first time ever, that curvy ninja assassin from the Otomo clan in the webcomics, Tempest! One of the very first characters created specifically for the Warlord comic, as well as the Otomo jakuza. Here in this iconic debut, she’s in training killing off other ninjas and ends up arguing with her brother. Afterwards, we see that surprise, surprise, Charles and Jane are at the mall! And another side of the mall, Fred has come to the decision that since he’s alone and knows nothing about raising babies, much less a demigod one, he entrusts the care of the baby to Exorcist and the undisclosed person, to which they accept. Everybody is happy, until Fred and Jane are suddenly face to face at the mall! The issue ends with the look of shock on everybody’s faces, including a shocked, yes, shocked Akuma who of course had been stalking Fred! How awkwardly delicious!
Fred Peterson, Warlord #9- Breakdowns part 3, “Party Time!!!”, September 1996
This issue begins with Tempest scouting out an nightclub named “Flavor” (readers of the webcomic might recognize this name as the club in chapter 13 and 14). After seeing a mysterious package arrive, she leaves. While that happens, back at the mall, Exorcist, undisclosed person, and Tom take Charles away for a bit so Fred and Jane can talk a bit. They have a bit of a more calmed conversation and suddenly Fred get’s another dizzy spell like in the last issue. Fred and a concerned Jane come to terms and have a little bit sense of closure. As they are having this moment Charles interrupts to say it’s time to leave, and as a goodbye to Charles, Fred punches him in the face! And of course warns him to treat Jane well. Ha! Also, some hijinks with the cops that appear randomly in the webcomic, Jane and Charles spending some time together playing tennis as she bonds with Charles’ butler.
Then it’s nighttime as we are back at the Flavor nightclub where Tom had convinced Fred to go to take his mind off of things. There Fred runs into Tempest who’s there as a civilian scouting the place again. She randomly leaves and the place is suddenly attacked by ninjas! Fre and Tom stop them as Charles receives a mysterious call saying the ninjas made a failed attack at the club…..The issue ends when people at the club thought the whole fight was staged and part of a show and Fred and Tom decide to just stay and have a good time.
Fred Peterson, Warlord #10- Breakdowns Part 4, “Broken pieces”, September 1996
The issue starts with Exorcist about to start patrolling the city as he has a conversation with the undisclosed character (sorry, still not revealing who).He goes to Fred’s apartment to see if they want to patrol with him since he feels something is a foul in the air tonight, but finds the place empty because Fred and Tom are still at the club. As Exorcist is leaving, Fred (a VERY drunk Fred) and Tom arrive at the apartment. At that moment, Jane, now living in Charles mansion, is out on the balcony, still worried about Fred because of his dizziness from the previous issue, then she starts praying for him.
The next morning, Fred is hung over from the night before, when suddenly Charles comes knocking at his door! Charles in front of Tom even confesses he’s truly not really interested in Jane. He had been harboring a big resentment towards both of them and just decided to drive a wedge between them out of spite! He challenges Fred to go to a party he’s throwing at his mansion as he taunts Fred. After that, the undisclosed person see’s the news on TV that Exorcist is fighting a huge group of ninjas and Tempest at a park! Fred and Tom also see this and they all rush to him to help. A huge brawl ensues at the park when they arrive to help Exorcist and they save him, but he’s badly wounded from his fight with Tempest who was on the verge of killing Exorcist. Fred feeling guilty because he found out Exorcist has earlier been looking for him to help him patrol the city, runs off and encounters a mugger, he he beats the pulp out of. Out of control, the detective that randomly appears in the webcomic runs into the scene and calms Warlord down before he does something he would’ve regretted. The issue ends with Fred alone at the rooftop of his apartment building, thinking about everything that had gone wrong, when suddenly he get’s his strongest dizzy spell yet that forces him to fall to his knees. It ends with Fred screaming at the sky asking why the hell all these things are happening to him at once.
Fred Peterson, Warlord #11- Breakdowns Part 5, “Picking Up The Pieces”, October 1996
In the nijarrific next to last issue to the breakdown story, Fred visits Exorcist at a secret hospital, where he gives Fred a pep talk and convinces him to stop feeling guilty. Fred returns home, first to his apartment to get ready to work, and as he leaves Akuma was actually inside Fred’s apartment stalking. I never realized what a creeper Akuma was in this series!!!! After work, Fred spots some ninjas, and he turns into Warlord and follows them, only to run into Mirror-Man, the employee of the eeeevil make-up company that was in issue 6, the one who gained powers from falling into the vat of chemicals. Together, they follow the trace of the ninjas and some ninja fighting action ensues! They beat down the ninjas and Warlord and Mirror-Man start talking, mostly Mirror-Man talking about him missing his family, who he does not want them to see how he is now. Fred, remembering Jon is an agent for a secret government group with access to advanced technology, offered to help him. Next, we’re at an undisclosed lab/hospital where Mirror-Man is transformed back to normal, thus bringing closure to that awful, awful issue 6! As Jon is giving Fred a ride back to his place, he urges Fred to not give up on Jane. The issue ends with Tom arriving at the apartment, he was at the hospital visiting Exorcist, and discovers a note from Fred saying he went to the party Charles mockingly left an invitation for….
Fred Peterson, Warlord #12- Breakdowns Finale, “Fulfilled Dreams”, November 1996
This is one of those stories that actually started out in the middle of the story, then as the issue progressed we see how it got to that point! The issue starts with Fred transformed as Warlord fighting Tempest in the middle of the party in Charles mansion while Tom as Dark Avenger is fighting off ninjas to protect the guests and let Warlord face Tempest one on one. Warlord and Tempest fight to the point they both fall over a window, falling seven stories down! Tempest is knocked out, Warlord staggers to his feet, but once again gets the dizzy spell he had been having these past issues and collapses, as he thinks of how things got to this point.
We flashback to the cemetery where Fred is visiting the grave of his grandfather. Afterwards he’s at the apartment getting ready to go to Charles party. The next scene is the actual party with rich people acting and talking all obnoxious, you know, how rich people act at a party! LOL! Jane is in a corner thinking to herself and worried still about Fred. Meanwhile, Fred arrives at the party where he runs into old college friends (some who have appeared in the webcomic, actually). He also runs into Tom, who’s there undercover! Tom reveals to Fred why he was in Cult City, he was sent to protect a crystal that is in Charles possession. And the reason why they went to the nightclub was because they were safeguarding it there for a while and the Otomo clan found out, so they wanted to steal it before Fatfish and his men did so. So, now he crashed the party undercover because th crystal was there as well. Suddenly, Tempest in her civilian manner appears! She starts talking with Fred and finds herself actually really liking Fred! But she suddenly leaves when she remembers why she was there to begin with. As they were talking, Jane sees Fred is there and talking with a girl! Jane asks Charles why is Fred there, to which he replies he invited him to show no hard feelings (yeah, right).
Charles walks away to present the crystal to the guests, as Jane goes to talk with Fred. As they are talking, they are interrupted by ninjas and Tempest storming the party! Fred and Tom run off to transform into Warlord and Dark avenger, and they fight to the point of where the issue started with Warlord facing off with Tempest. As the flashback ends, Warlord is struggling to get to his feet, but behind him an already recovered Tempest is about to impale him with her sword, but Jane saves tha day by knocking her away. As Warlord warns her people could see her, Jane says most everybody evacuated the place and Tempest vanished, having to retreat. Warlord has a heart to heart talk with Jane where he confesses he still had feelings for her, to which Jane at first doesn’t know how to respond. Warlord pretty much has given up at this point and says goodbye to her, convinced it was truly over between them. After that, Fred goes to that small gazebo type thing at the beach that was actually the same place that was used for the Book 1 Prologue of the webcomic. Fred is wondering about how to reclaim his life now without Jane, when she suddenly appears behind him. They continue their heart to heart talk and Fred reveals he had her engagement ring in his pocket. The storyline ends with Fred slipping the ring back on Jane’s finger and them getting back together. Actually that gazebo on the beach and the ending as a whole was inspired as I mentioned before earlier on this blog by the movie “Indecent Proposal”, so that was a bit of an homage to that
Fred Peterson, Warlord#13- “Home Coming”, December 1996
In all honesty, this is perhaps my most favorite issue of the entire run in the notebooks, it’s just a mix of drama with plain silly! In this final issue on this notebook, we start of with Fred and Jane (along with the puppy from issue 6, named Skippy) together in the apartment. They come to the decision of getting their own house because Fred found a deal that was to good to be true! The detective that appears now and again named Oscar Mendez in this version appears in his apartment pondering about his own past. Then we see Fred and Jane visiting the house they were talking about the night before. They buy the place and decide to visit Jane’s parents to let them know the engagement was still on. They run into first Jane’s step-father who welcomes them with arms wide open. Then they meet up with Jane’s mom, who very much like in the webcomic, is not excited at all to see them. She does not get along with Jane and has nothing but hate for Fred. She basically tells them she doesn’t care and that she’s throwing her life away, and then she just walks off, leaving Fred to console Jane. After that it’s moving day as Fred and Jane are moving their stuff to the house, where in slow fashion, wind up discovering things in the house break pretty easily….Fred leaves for a job interview at a advertisement company and as he drives of from the garage, Akuma is nearby stalking them! After Fred leaves, Jane is surprised by a visit from her mother!
At the advertisement company, Fred earns the job on the spot, and discovers he;s going to be working closely with another new employee that was just contacted….Tom Blair!!! Yes, this issue marks Tom as a regular cast of the series. He decided to stay in Cult City, but being a secret agent needed a job to keep people not suspicious of him so by chance (yeah, right) he is now working with Fred at the same place! What are the odds? Back at the house Jane and her mother are getting into a heated argument. She is offering Jane one last chance to leave Fred and go back to their home. Jane says no and more arguing ensues to the point Jane gets slapped in the face by her mother! She leaves angry at Jane. Afterwards, it starts raining and Jane has to put buckets all over the place because there apparently are small holes all over the place on the roof and many leaks! Jane decides to cook something as Fred arrives. He sees an explosion coming from kitchen and as he goes to see what happened, in true Dick Van Dyke fashion he trips over the buckets plummeting to the ground! As he’s getting up Jane says the kitchen “attacked” her and they look over the damage. The issue ends with them leaving together to go eat out
Fred Peterson, Warlord Mini-Comic #1- “Freeze Frame”, October 1996
This was an out of storyline mini-comic I made with typewriting paper! Inspired by the mini-comics that were inset in Wizard Magazines, I did a small 12 page story with Warlord. It starts with Warlord in a supermarket being attacked by a villain named Deep Freeze. Warlord had gone to the market to get some things Jane asked him to get. Warlord winds up being frozen by this Dr. Freeze like character, but breaks free and takes him down. Fred returns with the stuff, and in a bit of irony, Jane casually says he forgot the ice-cream, Fred storms out of the apartment ranting about ice-cream leaving Jane perplexed wondering what she said wrong. Comedy!
Well, that’s all for this set of stories I did all throughout 11th grade. Thank you for reading and join us next week as we look at issue #14-19, which includes a Christmas issue, the famous wedding issue, and the first volume of one of the bigger storylines in the notebooks, “Heroes At Last” which also introduces ‘Dita/Rocker as a regular part of the cast as well! Again, thank you for reading, and stay safe!
~Alvaro “Lance Danger” Cortes Ortiz Jr
This is part three of my story of how Warlord and his characters came to be to celebrate six years of the webcomic. Read part one here http://www.truthfulcomics.com/1/post/2012/08/tmw-secret-origins-part-1-the-supercyber-war-years.html
and to read part two click here http://www.truthfulcomics.com/1/post/2012/09/tmw-secret-origins-part-2-armageddon-death-trilogy.html
Also, all the images you can click on them to make them bigger!
Welcome back for more old school stuff detailing the origin of “Fred Peterson: The Mighty Warlord”! This is Alvaro/Lance here, and last we left, we spoke about the “Armageddon Death Trilogy”. After that I put on hold the last part of the trilogy, I dabbled around in doing small stories with the other characters like “Dangerzone” and “Exorcist”. I decided to work on a full on “Exorcist” story, but felt compelled to not flesh it out. I was intrigued by the ending I had written out for the “Armageddon Death Trilogy”, as I wrote in the last blog, Fred and Jane wound up living together, adopting an infant demi-god that tried to rule the world in it’s adult form, before being regressed into an infant state when he was defeated. The idea was so ridiculous; it just had to be a story that HAD to be told! Also, “The Ray” from DC comics, the mini-series that in 1992 made me want to make comics, returned as an ongoing series in 1994 with Christopher Priest (formerly James Owlsley…long story) this time writing and with newcomer Howard Porter on board as artist. And thus, came “Warlord #0”.
Warlord #0- “Price of Justice”, September 1994
Intended as just a one-shot, in this pulse-pounding, dramatic issue, Jon (Rising Star) comes to Fred to warn him that Akuma (who I mentioned in the previous blog, was written into continuity during the “Armageddon Death Trilogy” as Cheryl’s murderer) was wrecking havoc in Cult City. You read that right. Cult City. See, Warlord was not based in Puerto Rico at all at the time, he was based in the fictional American city from an undisclosed state, Cult City. Well, they both go to confront Akuma and run into ‘Dita (Rocker) who was at the scene trying to face off with Akuma.
In the heat of the battle, Akuma reveals to Fred that his costumes and powers were a result of an experiment gone wrong and that he never should have had these powers to begin with, claiming he was trying to murder Fred to get his hands on the symbiote that Fred has, but accidentally killed Cheryl in the process. After mocking her, Fred is on the verge of killing him when Jon stops him. Akuma escapes, and the issue ends with Fred in his apartment with Jane and the baby, as Fred proposes matrimony to Jane, and she accepts. D’awwwww! All’s well that ends well, right?.......right…?
Warlord #1- The Fishnet Part 1, “Lake of Fire”, December 1995
After over a year of doing little short stories and developing other characters, I decided to do a series with an alien character I had named Orion that I had created back in 9th grade. It was your typical alien arrives to Earth, adapts, becomes a hero, etc. And the “Spider-Man Animated Series” came on the air Saturday mornings on the Fox Kids block. Mind. Blown.
I in all honesty loved that show, it even had Joe Perry of Aerosmith rockin’ the theme song on his legendary guitar! Well, yeah, that final season sucked like all hell, but at least I enjoyed it while I could! And it reminded me of why at that point I started REALLY hating the actual comic book version of Spider-Man with all the clones and what not. I even remember the first episode I saw of it, it was the origin of Hydro-Man. And I started brainstorming, “hey…I already did a somewhat origin issue of Warlord last year. Why not make an actual series, have it be my own little version of ‘The Ray’ combined with what I missed about the ‘Spider-Man’ comics. I tore out and threw away the Orion story from the notebook, and thus began “The Fishnet”, the first ever story arc in Warlord!
In the first ground-breaking issue, Fred is living the life with Jane and the adopted baby demi-god. When suddenly a fire-torch bearing villain known as “Fletcher” started putting things on fire randomly and hijacked a jewelry store. Fred rushes into action and defeats him, but finds out that a crime boss only known as “Fatfish” had put out a bounty on Fred’s head! The issue ends with Fred telling Jane about this and Fatfish hiring a villain known as Graveyard, who had appeared in other stories I had done during the year between issue #0 and #1, to kill Warlord!
Warlord #2- The Fishnet Part 2, “Graveyard Shift”, January 1996
A small aside: The character Fatfish was actually created by my best friend and co-writer on Armageddon Death II, Alfred. When we reached high school, he decided to give his characters to me since he was not interested in writing stories anymore. So I decided he would be the perfect foil to Fred in the introductory story because I really wanted a Sheer Khan from Jungle Book/Talespin, mixed with Zarathos from Gargoyles to be the cool bad guy. Anyway, in this issue, Graveyard starts destroying streets in Cult City to draw out Warlord. He goes to confront the villain and have a fight. It spills over into a house where Graveyard in an attempt to distract Warlord is about to kill a little child. Warlord takes the deadly blow to save the kid, and he’s pretty much beaten to a pulp. He’s about to be killed off by Graveyard when he is saved by…..Akuma!?!?!?!? Graveyard leaves believing Fred will never be Warlord again if he even survives, and the issue ends with Jane suddenly running into Akuma in their apartment, leaving Fred barely alive in their living room, Jane crying over Fred’s body.
Warlord #3- The Fishnet Part 3, “The Curse”, February 1996
I can’t give away too much details of this issue, since it would spoil current storylines happening in the webcomic currently. Other characters like Exorcist rush to Fred’s aid. It’s a bit of a more introspective story as Fred during a fever dream sees his dead grandfather and remembers how everything got to this point, while Jane is feeling devastated at how badly Fred was injured. The issue ends with Akuma in a nearby rooftop, wondering if he should finish off Fred now, or help him….
Warlord #4- The Fishnet Part 4, “The Bully”, March 1996
An injured Fred escapes the watchful eyes of his friends to walk around the city. Feeling defeated he’s pondering what’s his next move, as he runs into Akuma! Akuma convinces Fred that only he can help him, though doesn’t say why he’s suddenly helping out Fred. Meanwhile Jane discovers Fred had escaped and gets pretty mad, and hilarity ensues! Then the uneasy alliance of Warlord and Akuma go investigating the whereabouts of Fatfish, but instead run into Graveyard at the end of the issue!
Warlord #5- The Fishnet Finale, “Showdown”, April 1996
This is it! It’s Akuma and Warlord vs Graveyard! Only, Akuma runs away mid-fight! As the fight is starting to favor Graveyard a little more, Exorcist and Rising Star arrive with Jane to balance things out a bit when Fred suddenly starts losing his powers mid-fight. Exorcist and Rising Star are barely holding their own as Fred and Jane argue. Fred suddenly has his powers back, returns and single handedly defeats Graveyard once and for all. Afterwards at the apartment, Fred and Jane make up while Akuma is wondering if he should have just taken this opportunity to kill Fred already. Hmmmm…And with the uncertainty (for now) of who Fatfish was and why he wanted Warlord dead, this story arc came to a close.
Warlord #6- “Mirror, Mirror”, June 1996
This was the final issue in this notebook. This is considered by me, by far the worst Warlord story ever XD So bad I actually considered never doing anything Warlord ever again after this! In hindsight, what killed this issue was that it was a let down from the previous storyline and at the same time the setup for the next one, so it was kind of sandwhiched between the two, and it didn’t come out too well. In this issue, Fred is starting to come to terms of being Warlord. The more this happens, the more isolated Jane feels, who’s gone from high action super hero to suddenly a stay at home mom with a live in boyfriend and an adopted demigod baby. Yeah. So while this is happening, an evil make-up company (and which is a GOOD make-up company?) is up to no good! An employee finds out a terrible secret and is believed dead when he accidentally fell into an experimental vat of make-up. Meanwhile, Fred picks up an abandoned puppy and takes it home. Fred and Jane spend some alone time and when she wakes up, she finds Fred is away superheroing making her feel all lonely. And to make matters worse, her ex-boyfriend, Charles, making his first appearance here, is back to try and win Jane over! Feeling overwhelmed and lonely, Jane goes to Charles.
Meanwhile, Fred is trying to calm down the employee that returned with super powers trying to kill the eeeevil CEO of the make-up company. After all his bad deeds are revealed, the eeeeevil CEO is arrested and taken away. The issue ends with Fred making his triumphant return to the apartment, only to find out Jane is gone…apparently forever!!!
And that concludes the adventures of Fred and co’s first solo adventures. I did these throughout 10th and 11th grade. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for story arc number two….”Breakdowns”, and what marks the turn of Warlord into a more dramatic comic! Stay tuned, and stay safe!
~Alvaro “Lance Danger” Cortes Ortiz Jr
This is part two of my story of how Warlord and his characters came to be to celebrate six years of the webcomic. Read part one here http://www.truthfulcomics.com/1/post/2012/08/tmw-secret-origins-part-1-the-supercyber-war-years.html
Also, all the images you can click on them to make them bigger!
Welcome back to another installment of the secret origins of my webcomic, “Fred Peterson: The Mighty Warlord”
! This is Alvaro/Lance here, and last we left off, I wrote about how Warlord came to be through the “Super/Cyber Wars”
along with my middle school friends. But how did Warlord’s back story come to be? Well, it all happened in the Armageddon Death Trilogy
(in hindsight, to make it sound snazzier I should have named it the “Armageddon Death Thrillogy”
Armageddon Death I- Feel The Power.....
When I was in 8th grade, there was this store at the local mall that sold a ton for stuff for a dollar and such. One of the things they sold was actually a package of like four comics, that turned out to be 80s comics from the defunct studio First Comics. I adored the titles there, but one that really grabbed my attention was Grim Jack. I loved how dark and moody it was. Especially this storyline that I got a couple of issues named “The Demon Wars” where the main character helped fight off an invading force from hell. I was pretty invested in the story by John Ostrander. But I never got to finish it because the comics were packaged at random (sometimes I’d even get repeats of particular issues). And it set my mind in motion.
“What if I pretty much finish off the story in a way, but with my own characters?”. And thus, Armageddon Death was born!!! The story centered around Fred as Warlord, Exorcist, Jon as Rising Star, Tom as Dark Avenger, and actually Nic from my other webcomic, DTF6, as well. This was basically an introduction to the Warlord story as an origin as well, and when I connected Fred and Jon as childhood friends and how they were connected to Cheryl and Jane (though Jane does not participate in this story in particular). This story also introduced the majority of the villains in book 2 of Warlord, specifically Deathmate and a villain that made his presence felt in book 1….Akuma.
So yes, even though in an odd twist, my friend who I was “warring” at the time, Heimdall, was written into the story because he was also a character in this saga (as was Alfred and myself), he actually was involved in the death of Cheryl on the actual wedding day in the beginning of this story when he sent a hitman to kill Fred, but then I eventually changed it to Akuma (check out the debut of Akuma in the TMW world in the revised version I did of Armageddon Death in high school by clicking the image to your left) when I thought ahead if I wanted to explore this story more on my own later on, so Akuma was created out of the necessity of replacing Heimdall. Alfred saw what I was doing and got interested.
He was a huge fan of Evil Dead and such movies, and since I told him how the Demon Wars inspired me, he suggested I implement the necronomicon in the story. So essentially this story was pretty much the origin of Warlord, as Deathmate and his henchmen tried to steal the necronomicon to take over the world! Riveting, I know! So our heroes actually wind up going to hell to stop Deathmate from using the necronomicon to rule the world. Due to the constant stories with Heimdall, I never got to finish that story, only made it to little more than halfway through, though we all knew how it was going to end, with Warlord and company saving the day, of course. But that didn’t stop me from doing a sequel!!!
Armageddon Death II- Jane's turn to step up...
And so 9th grade came and Alfred asked me whatever happened to Armageddon Death 1 and if I ever had plans to continue it? I was pretty much a high averaged student in grades so I was a bit caught up between school work and the battles with Heimdall, so I pondered about it, until he said he would help me write it, writing the structure of the story and plot, and I would do the art and dialogue since even back then my friends liked how I wrote dialogue in my “Super/Cyber War” comics and such. And this became the first official story of Prospecto Comics (no, it was later named Prospeto Arts years later in high school).
This one took place not too long after the “ending” of the first Armageddon Death. Only this time, the main villain was a name familiar in the Warlord webcomic….Dark Warlock. Dark Warlock and his band of henchmen "The Bloody Brothers", all created by Alfred, took over the necronomicon eventually and was about to take the world over. He even captured the Exorcist and crucified him. In hell. It was up to Warlord and our band of heroes to once again save the day. This time around, Jane was an active character in this story and an important one, too.
Characters from the first story came back as well as new ones were introduced. At the end of the day, they are able to over throw Dark Warlock and his Bloody Brothers, and saved the day. The end of the story was Fred and Jane actually becoming a couple. But…..a henchman of Deathmate, who was in the first part and in this one too, had secretly stolen the necronomicon, and not just that, hijacked Santa Clause’s sleigh and his reindeers and stealing his Santa cap, with Santa hanging on for dear life (also, there's an evil Barney the dinosaur toy in the toy bag, click image below for bigger image!), leaving it open for a third story!
Armageddon Death III- The Final Battle!
School year came to an end. Heimdall, Alfred, and myself moved on to different schools for high school, though we remained in contact through the phone. With the “Super/Cyber Wars” now behind me, I thought to myself “now what?”. I began slowly to do back stories to my other characters to have them be their own separate entity rather than just be related to the stories bonded to the arcs with Heimdall and myself. In that process I was actually starting to develop “Danger Zone”, which of course is the team commanded by Jon/Rising Star. But in the course of doing that, I re-read the Armageddon Death stories and decided it was time to finish the trilogy. As thus began Armageddon Death III!
It picks up right where the last one left off. The character that escaped with the necronomicon, killing Santa Clause in the process, arrives to his destination, where it’s reveled that Deathmate was still alive all along. So of course, he takes the book and opens portals to other dimensions in hell and brings forth new villains (some introduced in my webcomic recently). And once more, the battle begins!
In this version, Dark Warlock actually joins forces with the rest to help stop Deathmate. Also, a character that made her debut in this comic is non other than Yolanda “Dita”, aka Rocker! Yep, the teenage hero made her debut here, just as in the webcomic version, she is a high schooler rather than a college student like everybody else in the webcomic (and actually, Fred and the majority of the characters weren’t even in college in these stories, they were actually in their mid twenties!), so in a way Rocker is probably the most truest character that remained like her original self when I remade the story for the webcomic. Click on the image on the left to see a bigger version, 'Dita makes her debut on the right side the page with a slightly different look, but the familiar Warlord flair.
Unfortunately, since again I was busy with school work in high school, I couldn’t keep up and it wound up being unfinished when I was only one chapter away from ending it. But much like with the first Armageddon Death, everybody knew how it would end. Warlord and company save the day and eliminate the threat once and for all when Deathmate’s brother Judgment Day comes from the depths of SPACE and defeats Deathmate. Not only that, he and a character that will later appear in Warlord (sorry if some descriptions are vague, just avoiding possible spoilers for the webcomic) magically transforms Deathmate into an INFANT once again. And the one responsible for giving Deathmate a second chance at having a normal life….was Fred and Jane who were living together at the time. Yes. Fred and Jane adopt a demigod that nearly destroyed the world. Twice.
And thus, the Armageddon Death Trilogy came to an end. Well, not an end in it’s own title, but it did have somewhat of an unofficial end in Warlord #0. Wait….what?
Yes…that’s right. Next time, we shall talk about Warlord #0 and the first ever story arch of Fred Peterson, The Mighty Warlord: The SERIES!!! Until next time, thank you for reading, and stay safe.
-Alvaro “Lance Danger” Cortes Ortiz Jr
Click on images to make them bigger.
Armageddon Death I
Armageddon Death III #1
Armageddon Death III #3
Armageddon Death II
Armageddon Death III #2
Armageddon Death I Revised
This is Alvaro "Lance Danger". August is a very charged month. It's my mother's birthday. My best friend's mom's birthday. Actually, my birthday is in August too. And it's also the anniversary of my webcomic, "Fred Peterson, The Mighty Warlord", which turns six years old as a webcomic. But it wasn't always a web/print comic. Many of it's characters has it's roots dating back to seventh grade school notebooks. And in honor of that, you will read over the following weeks on Wednesdays the secret origins of the characters of this webcomic as it all developed since 1992.
I have lost throughout the years many of my old notebooks from that time, including this one time my mom threw away many notebooks and artwork trying to help tidy up my room. And more got damaged to the point they had to be thrown away when hurricane Georges hit Puerto Rico in the late 90s.
Some of the images aren't the best since they are pretty old, but if you click the image, you will see a bigger version to see a bit clearer, like this image here to the left that features "classic covers" to some of the "Super Wars" and "Cyber Wars". Those stories were from eighth grade while this particular image was done I believe in ninth grade. But, what are the "Super Wars" and "Cyber Wars", and what does that have to do with Warlord? Glad you asked....
The Super Wars- 1992-1993
It all began in 1992. It was towards the end of the semester. I used to own a pencil case that to me, was the coolest thing ever! It had so many secret compartments and small things that it was like the Swiss army knife of pencil cases. And to top it all off, it had the illustration of a mecha on it that was just tooooo cool! So cool, that it inspired me for the first time really, to just draw. So I drew that mech, and a close friend of mine by the name of Heimdall saw the drawing I had made.
He looks at it. And stares. And glares. Now, he too was a big comic and anime buff, and he did draw a lot. A lot more than me at that point. And he simply goes (and I'm paraphrasing because I really don't remember the exact words) "...Crap. That really sucks. I can do better. Who's that supposed to be?". I promptly replied in an ironic way I guess that he was "The Peace Robot" (Robot de la Paz as you can see in the illo to the right, which by the way is not the original drawing. This is the Peace Robot circa 1994).
So, of course since I had named it the Peace Robot, he stormed to his desk, and he drew up "El Robot Nuclear", or "The Nuclear Robot", and proceeded to tell me point by point how it was superior to anything I could create. It was on.
We both created spin-offs of those characters and decided we should have a war... a Super War! We made small stories of the fights, and even re-enacted it in the school yard. But summer vacation came upon us, and there really was no clear winner. We didn't keep much in contact during summer vacations because we lived relatively far from each other, but we, as we would find out, were brainstorming during those summer days.....
During that summer, it was the most time I had ever spent drawing and creating characters. Many of it didn't have to do with Heimdall and our one-up-manship, but more like finding a new outlet for my creativity. As far as characters related to TMW, the very first character I created from that particular universe was actually Exorcist. He was basically a combination of comics I was reading at the time, namely Batman, The Black Hood, and a villain from The Comet named The Hangman I believe his name was. At that point, he was my favorite character I had created and many stories revolved around him. He was pretty much the first character I actually made an effort to give him a bit of a personality and some story behind him.
I created other characters here and there but they really don't reflect upon TMW really. And then, summer vacation ended. And of course, the first thing Heimdall and I do are show each others creations, and once more, The Super Wars had resumed, deadlier and more ferocious than ever, and this time, we had an entire school year ahead of us!
The next characters created that dealt directly with TMW are brothers Jon and Jeff Gardner, aka Rising Star and Fallen Star from the team Danger Zone. Two of the team members quite didn't make it into the webcomic. This team concept really was born out of my love for G-Force (Battle of the Planets), Voltron, Robotech, and when I was also getting into X-Men at the time. Actually, not much has changed for either Jon or Jeff in terms of personality traits or even looks. Jon/Rising Star of course was and is the leader of Danger Zone. Around that time I created a different character that was introduced not too long ago in the webcomic.
Ah, Tom Blair, The Fantastic Dark Avenger! He's always been kind of a secondary character, pretty much playing the foil to the more serious faced characters. He was born out of my favorite X-Men character at the time, Havok, as redesigned by Joe Quesada. I always kind of wanted to use him more as a central character but for some reason I never really felt I could tell interesting stories for him solo. His personality also remains almost entirely intact, arrogant, cocky, but at times kind of sympathetic, even if he himself doesn't admit it. At this point I realized I had too many male characters, and decided to do something Heimdall hadn't done yet....create female characters.....
And this is Janemarie Jackson, or simply Jane as most of you know her. Here she only had her codename, "Space". She was actually sort of going to turn into a "Phoenix" from the X-Men type of character more or less. But I pretty much shelved her concept for a little while. This illustration to the right was done like a year maybe or a couple of months after I had created her and already had connected her to Warlord's story. And speaking of Warlord.....
Here he is, the man of the hour, Fred Peterson, The Mighty Warlord.This was the second time I had drawn him. The first was accidentally thrown away by my mother. The character was inspired by an ad for the Robocop vs Terminator comic. I just rally liked the pose of the Terminator. So I drew just the pose and got to brainstorming. "What if he had Deathstroke The Terminator's mask on him, they're BOTH Terminators in a manner of speaking!" And later "What if he was wearing an Masamune Shirow's Appleseed type of outfit?", and almost by accident, there was Warlord.
He just immediately became my favorite character I created. And he became the favorite character of many of my friends, and even Heimdall swallowed his pride and admitted to liking him. I drew Warlord all the time back then toward the ending of eighth grade. As I began to flesh out the character more and give him more back story, our friend and eventual collaborator Alfred jumped into the fray, and he created his own characters to fight against both Heimdall and me. Thus, ended The Super Wars, again no real clear winner, due the arrival of a new challenger.....
The Cyber Wars- 1993-1994
A new challenger arrived in the form of Alfred. For the remainder of the year the three of us waged war in a distant future from The Super Wars, and we were all in deep into The Cyber Wars! But as the school year started winding down and summer vacation once again looming close, something different happened. Alfred and I were discovering we had a ton of stuff in common and wound up talking more. To the point summer vacation came and we started brainstorming over phone stories and character ideas. For one story where I finally wrote down the origin of Warlord, that's when I created the most polarizing character to date in the webcomic: Cheryl Smith/Gravity.
I am going to be honest here. She was a character I created to just kill off. I really didn't have much of a back story to her. She was just a new member of Danger Zone and that's it. There are 4 different variations of Warlord's origins, and in all four she dies. Sorry, Cheryl fans! The only real character development she had was in the webcomic, because she always got killed pretty much in the beginning of the original stories.
As a result of that story in a way, we are introduced to Liri Reeves. She is one of my favorite characters, but unfortunately, she won't be introduced into the webcomic until we are well under way the last storyline in book 2 of Warlord. I even had to crop off the top of the page to not give away spoilers to who she is exactly. But needless to say, she becomes a very important character to this story of Warlord. Quite a few characters that didn't make it into the webcomic were created and The Cyber Wars were about to wind down since Alfred and I were invested in doing stories straying away from the concept and Heimdall was losing interest really. And so, without fanfare, just before summer vacation, the legendary Cyber Wars came to an end. The three of us were in a private school, and all three of us were going to different schools after ninth grade, so ended The Cyber Wars with again no clear winner (though if you ask Heimdall, he'll always say he won).
But...how did all these characters even come together in the first place? And what exactly were Alfred and myself writing and brainstorming well into high school despite being in different schools? Come back next week for TMW: Secret Origins Part 2- The Armageddon Death Trilogy.....
~Alvaro "Lance Danger" Cortes Ortiz Jr