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