Monday, March 20, 2017

Warlord Worlds episode 14

Editor's note:
Today we're proud to present a special introduction to our friends Ruth & Darrin Sutherland and their great podcast & FB page dedicated to Mike Grell, The Warlord Worlds. 
You can find them at: and at

Everyone reading this blog knows who Mike Grell is...or should! Theirs is a fan podcast and Facebook page devoted to the comic creations of Mike Grell including The Warlord, Jon Sable, Green Arrow...and the Legion of Super-Heroes!  Episodes feature summaries and reviews of a variety of issues from each series. In addition, episode 8 features an interview with Mike Grell himself, and they recently recorded another interview for an upcoming episode.

They are up to 14 episodes, and added the Legion to their repertoire in episode 12. Their past guests have included our very own Legion of Super-Blogger Dr. Anj. This time they welcome guest Michael Lane of the Comics In the Golden Age podcast and Jeff Messer of The Geek Brain podcast. Mike is a long-term Legion fan, and has jumped on-board the Legion of Super-Bloggers space cruiser. We hope to get posts from him on a regular basis in the future...starting with this one! Michael comments on Superboy/Legion #206, and was nice enough to write up a quick review of the stories in that issue for us, too. So read his review below and then check out the podcast here: and at

Hi, my name is Mike Lane and I am one of the hosts of the Comics in the Golden Age podcast. You can probably guess what kind of books we cover. I was recently invited by Ruth and Darrin Sutherland to appear on their podcast to discuss Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #206. They have been having a ton of guests on to cover the Mike Grell era of that title, including some of the Legion of Super-Bloggers. Although #206 was previously covered here, Russell was kind enough to allow me to provide a new synopsis of the issue. I want to thank him for the opportunity and encourage everyone to check out Warlord Worlds. Ruth and Darrin are great people and they put out a really entertaining show. 

Superboy (and the Legion of Super-Heroes) #206 (Feb 1975)
cover: Nick Cardy
reviewed by Michael Lane
title: "The Legionnaires Who Haunted Superboy"
writer: Cary Bates
penciller: Mike Grell
editor: Murray Boltinoff
Superboy is having a nightmare in which he is being chased by Ferro Lad. When Invisible Kid also appears, Superboy wakes up and screams that he must be losing his mind, as Ferro Lad and Invisible Kid are both dead.

Later, Superboy is flying over Smallville on his way to the old armory, which he has promised to help demolish to make way for a much-needed playground. When he arrives, the building begins to crumble on its own. Superboy sees someone inside acting as a super-powered human battering ram. He is shocked to see that it is Ferro Lad, who flies away before Superboy can react.

The next day Clark is walking his classmate Suzy to school when they see a sky-diver being blown off course, unable to open his parachute. The man stops falling and gently lands on the roof of a building, almost as if he has been carried. A costumed figure materializes, holding the man, and Clark is shocked to see that it is Invisible Kid. Once again, the hero flies away before Superboy can recover from his surprise.
That night, Superboy is sitting at home on the Kent farm when he is confronted by both Ferro Lad and Invisible Kid. The duo refuse to reveal to Superboy how they are alive, but they do explain that they commandeered a time bubble and returned to his era because they need his help. They want Superboy to test them to see if their powers are still up to Legion standards, and if not, the pair will forget about rejoining the Legion and exile themselves to another time.
They are interrupted by Superboy's crisis alarm and the trio put their plans on hold to investigate. On the outskirts of town they see a large robot rise from the ground. The robot shoots Superboy with an energy ray that surrounds and paralyzes him. The hero tells his friends to escape because the robot is too powerful for them to stop. Declaring that they are prepared to sacrifice their lives again if necessary, the pair leap into action. Invisible Kid tries to distract the robot and also gets caught in an energy ray, but his efforts have given Ferro Lad time to get behind it. He is able to deliver a powerful blow that takes the robot down.
Having proved that they still have what it takes, Ferro Lad and Invisible Kid return to the 30th Century. As their time bubble approaches Legion head-quarters, it explodes. Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, and Mon-El appear, and it is revealed that the duo were actually clones of the original Legionnaires.

"Ferro Lad II" and "Invisible Kid II" were unable to survive for more than 48 hours. The clones thought that they were the real thing, and their visit back in time was staged to see if the clones could prove to be as reliable and trust-worthy as the originals in the event that Brainiac 5 is ever able to perfect the cloning process. Superboy had been contacted and he had built the robot they fought in Smallville to help Brainiac 5 with his plan.

As a huge Mike Grell fan, I enjoy any Legion story from this era that does not involve Tyroc. The biggest appeal of this story comes from the inclusion of Ferro Lad and Invisible Kid. The fact that Legionnaires died so early in the team's history still fascinates me, not only because it occurred in the Silver Age when such a thing was extremely rare, but also because it happened on a super-hero team so obviously intended to appeal to young children. I think that is a large part of why the Legion gained such a devoted following, and stories like this served to reinforce to the reader that the Legion's adventures involved stakes not seen in other super-hero comics of the time.

Brainiac 5's plan to clone deceased members is both touching and disturbing. It is touching in that they are seeking to bring back friends that they have lost. But it is disturbing if one thinks too deeply about the implications. Brainiac 5 knew that the clones would only survive 48 hours, but he created them anyway to test them. By modern standards, the morality of Brainiac 5's plan is highly questionable. On the one hand, that's not necessarily out of character to Brainiac 5. On the other hand, what is surprising by modern standards is the other members' casual approval.
title: "Welcome Home, Daughter----Now Die!"
writer: Cary Bates
penciller: Mike Grell
editor: Murray Boltinoff
Princess Projectra decides to visit her home planet of Orando. Prior to leaving, her boy-friend Karate Kid throws a temper tantrum because he is feeling neglected. He complains to her that he stayed by her bedside waiting for her to pull through an illness, only to see her immediately want to leave now that she feels better.
After he storms off, Projectra departs in her spacecraft, annoyed that he never gave her the chance to explain. She is worried because it has been a long time since she visited Orando, which is still in a stage of development similar to our Middle Ages, and there have been many attempts to overthrow her father, King Voxv.
Projectra arrives home earlier than expected, still feeling a bit fatigued from her recent illness. She is immediately taken prisoner and is brought before the King, who is not her father. He tells her that her parents are in the dungeon waiting to be surrendered to the Morgu, and that because she is a Legionnaire and dangerous, she must be disposed of without delay.
Her flight ring is taken and she is led outside the castle to await the coming of the Morgu, which turns out to be a large, spider-like creature. Unable to out-run the creature or use her illusion powers, she is rescued by Karate Kid, who swoops her away from the monster.
Overjoyed at his arrival, Projectra leans in to kiss him but he slaps her. She asks why and he explains that he is trying to clear her head. She is suddenly aware that they are standing on a barren landscape. Still experiencing the residuals of her illness, she had lost control of her illusion powers and created the image of her parents' kingdom on a lifeless planetoid. She wonders how she could have created something as horrible as the Morgu when the creature re-appears.

An actual inhabitant of the planetoid, it attacks and Karate Kid is unable to stop it with his blows. Fortunately, Projectra has regained control of her powers and creates a gruesome illusion that causes the Morgu to pause long enough for them to escape.
Karate Kid apologizes for being too hot-headed to understand her feelings about her parents and she forgives him. She also invites him to return with her and the two depart for Orando.

The story was well-written and entertaining, and the idea of Princess Projectra's illness affecting her powers was a great premise. Although Projectra is not one of my favorite Legionnaires, I have always loved the idea that she comes from a primitive planet. It is a nice contrast from most of the other planets and cultures that are usually seen, so I enjoy any visits to Orando (although technically this was not a true visit to that world). I loved Mike Grell's portrayal of that world of knights and castles, and one particularly beautiful panel was when Projectra was recalling the image of her father, King Voxv. The only weakness to the art was the appearance of the Morgu, which I found to be a bit silly.

To hear Michael, Darrin, and Ruth discussing these two stories, go to The Warlord Worlds at: then follow whichever link you prefer (Stitcher, I-Tunes, or Google Play) to listen to podcasts. This is episode 14! And remember, it also includes Jeff Messer of The Geek Brain podcast talking about Superboy/Legion #207 and reviews of The Warlord #s 33-34 and Jon Sable #s 25-26, for even more Iron Mike goodness!

Or start with episode 12, which features Jeff Messer again and our own Dr. Anj discussing Superboy/Legion #s 202 and 203. Those were the very first Mike Grell Legion issues.

Then listen to episode #13, which also features Dr. Anj and Philip Schweier, from The Comic Book Bin podcast, talking about Superboy/Legion #s 204 and 205.

By the way, on Who's Who in the Legion podcast episode #1 Legion of Super Blogger Kyle jokingly asked Darrin & Ruth to ask Mike Grell about Anti-Lad (from S/LSH #204). They read Mike's email response in episode #13, and there's a follow-up information in episode #14!

Warlord Worlds is part of the RaD Adventures Podcast Network, which also features "Trekker Talk" about sci-fi bounty hunter Mercy St Clair from the comic Trekker by Ron Randall and "Xenozoic Xenophiles" about the Cadillacs and Dinosaur series Xenozoic Tales by Mark Schultz.

Mike Grell, Ron Randall, and Mark Schultz are the Sutherlands' favorite comic creators, so they wanted to do podcasts to share their love of their many great comics. Over the years they have met and become friends with all three men and have recorded interviews with each of them for their podcasts. (Hence that awesome signed Grell work that adores the top of this post!)

The podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play. In addition, episodes are available on YouTube under the RaD Adventures Network.

So check it out. That's Warlord Worlds at

Long Live the Legion!! 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed Grell's art and still have them in my collection and consider him one of the top five Legion artists !

    However his style looked a lot like Dave Cockrum's who had updated the Legions look and left because of a dispute with DC .