Monday, September 15, 2014

The Rise of Skartaris?

If you're anything like me, you've given next to zero thought as to Skartaris.

Even as you read this, I can hear your brain scrambling.  "That's ... a planet?  A... Supergirl foe?  An ... evil island nation?"

Skartaris, for (all) those of you who've forgotten, is the subterranean mystical 'Lost World' that was the setting of the adventures of WARLORD (or Travis Morgan, as his mom calls him). Mike Grell, master of minimalist couture and extremity in stance, invented it in 1975.  It had all the regular stuff and then some: dinosaurs and names stolen from the collective cultural conscience,  like 'Shamballah", and... well, it's easier to show you:

It's outer world is as a divorced mom and a secretary at a state government office in Nebraska;
it holds all this inside it, all day.  "Ms Skartaris, are you listening to me...?"

"Warlord" has been seen for, oh, several universal reboots by now, and I certainly haven't missed seeing it.

Although I certainly HAVE missed seeing Travis Morgan.  Sigh.

The only thing that brought it to my mind was some research I've been doing into ... Villainy Inc.

Now, SURELY, some of you remember "Villainy Inc.', if only because of the hilarious name that you'd be proud to see in your stock portfolio.  

They invested heavily in animal print, polka-dot skirts, and metal cone bras.

It's the 'super-group' of female foes of Wonder Woman who kept her so busy in 1948.

In fact, they kept her... all tied up.

Since then, they've only had only other big arc, during the Jimenez run on Wonder Woman.  You know, the one with hunky dreadlocked diplomat Trevor Barnes.  This modern Villainy Inc tried to take over ...Skartaris. For reasons.  They were led by Queen Clea, ruler of a lost Atlantean colony (as mentioned in my previous post on "Rise of the Seven Seas").  I'm skimming this story, mostly looking at the visual redesigns of the Villainy Inc members when THIS catches my eye:

Sentient Ancient Atlantean computer viruses? Right, whatever. I'd still marry you in heartbeat, Phil.  Particularly if you were dressed like Travis Morgan.  Sigh.

Well, well, well. I'd completely forgotten that Skarataris is, in fact, supposed to be a lost Atlantean colony.

Could Skartaris be one of the Seven Seas?   Could Geoff Johns be bringing Skartaris back into the DCU this way?  What do you think?


SallyP said...

Well, I knew of Skarataris, but I had no idea that it was a lost colony of Atlantis. Those Atlanteans got around!

Bryan L said...

Actually, I did know about the Atlantis connection, but didn't really connect (ahem) the dots. In fact, Skartaris has been retconned into another dimension (let's face it, the center of the earth thing really doesn't fly, with apologies to Verne and Burroughs), much like Mera's kingdom, so it makes even more sense to add it to the Seven Seas. Plus, it would make sales sense to bring in the Warlord. That was a pretty popular book for a fairly long time -- gotta be a few of us out here who remember it.

John said...

I almost mentioned it commenting on your "Seven Seas" post, but decided I was getting too wordy. Oops.

But yeah, that's a pretty safe prediction. I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a repository for all the forgotten sword and sorcery characters.

Anonymous said...

Scipio -- you could do one of your two-layer maps, with Metropolis on one side and Skartaris on the other.

The Hollow Earth thing IS real; Neal Adams says so.

Bryan -- yep, I read a crazy lot of "Warlord" back in the day. (Every now and again I still use the code "B-100-D" for some thing or other. For those who had better things to do with themselves 35 years ago, the evil sorcerer Deimos used the Scrolls of Blood as the source of his infernal power, but it was eventually revealed that one of the Scrolls of Blood was actually a book labeled "Technical Manual B-100-D -- Solid Light Projection". That was an early clue to the nature of Skartaran "sorcery".)

Special place in my heart for "Warlord" annual #1; get it if you can. It was a fun story.

Scipio said...

So...the idea of a computerized, technical underpinning to Skartaris is, in fact, part of the original series? That's interesting...

Bryan L said...

I actually didn't read it back then, Anon. My comic funds back then were extremely limited and I had to seriously pick and choose. I had a friend who was crazy about it and she would fill me in on the high points. I read the odd issue here and there, but nothing consistent. It's one of those titles that I've been meaning to go back and read in its entirety, but haven't gotten to yet.

That said, I'll be glad to see it return and would happily read about it. Unless, y'know, they completely screw the pooch. With DC these days, it's hard to tell.

Anonymous said...

Per teh Grell: Atlanteans discovered and colonized the world of Skartaris, and made it a place of technological marvels. But they also had weapons known as "deterrents" that were too terrible to use ... well somebody used them. This led to crazy mutations throughout Skartaris, from cat-girls to devolved humans to fantastical monsters.

So more or less "Adventure Time" with art by Tom of Finland.

Anonymous said...

Here Scipio, because I love you, I found a review of "Warlord" Annual #1:

It's a good intro to the character and the series. The introduction to Travis Morgan is especially nice: he charges into battle on his horse and appears to be yer average barbarian hero, but just as a caveman is about to nail him with an arrow, he whirls around, shoots the caveman with his Magnum, and says "I swear this place is getting as dangerous as Central Park". If this had been your first contact with the character, I imagine that would have been a major "WTF?" reveal.

Jacob T. Levy said...

Skartaris was used just one universe ago, in a very fun Secret Six two-parter. Indeed, I think there was a Warlord series post-Infinite-Crisis.

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