DCE Suggestions: The Warlord
If history has taught us anything, kids and adults love swords and sorcery. Warner Bros., over the last decade, concentrated mostly on the latter half and only flirted with the former, but never fully committing to it. While the Clash of the Titans franchise is only growing, perhaps DC Entertainment could revive a property in a pair of mediums that combines both genres with easy while keeping it in tune with the mythologies created and set in the DCU.
You want to see the short version of the story? Here goes:
An Air Force pilot named Travis Morgan crash-landed in an ancient kingdom within the Earth. This land, Skartaris, has been beneath the Earth for millennia and is a savage world without modern technology and weapons. Morgan finds himself drawn in the eternal struggle between the peaceful savage kingdom of Shamballah and the sorcerer Deimos. While Morgan could easily reign as their king, he chooses the life of an adventurer, protecting those throughout the lands with new-found allies and taking on new enemies. Armed with a sword and a pistol, Travis Morgan becomes the Warlord, the hero this savage land needed.
If I was in charge of DC Entertainment, I’d have three things happening at once in regards to The Warlord. The first thing I’d do is reintroduce The Warlord in a four-part DC Comics Presents story. Essentially, they would update and reintroduce the franchise in a four-part story with the core of what Mike Grell introduced completely intact. The series starts over again, and a new generation of comic fans would be introduced to the world of The Warlord.
And hey, wouldn’t it be nice if that mini-series spun off a regular series?
The second thing would be a Warlord live-action film. An epic sword-and-sorcery film with a relatable hero from our world in the lead. Get someone like Jon Favreau, Darren Aronofsky, Luc Besson, or Danny Boyle to direct/executive produce it and writers who know the character and can adhere to the core of the fantasy element of Warlord without compromising the story for pointless comedic elements just for comedy sake.
The third thing is an animated series. A serious action-animated series mixing the same sword-and-sorcery storytelling with Western sensibilities. I’d like Paul Rudish to be the executive producer and showrunner of this series because he has a lot of experience working on a lot of action properties, many along with Genndy Tartakovsky including Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, the original Emmy-award-winning Clone Wars microseries that Lucasfilms is pretending never existed and will likely never be seen or released ever again in any format, and Sym-Bionic Titan, which he, Tartakovsky, and Bryan Andrews co-created.
The revival of The Warlord wouldn’t be complete without the cooperation of the franchise’s creator, Mike Grell. His presence on the properties, whether is plotting the film or writing episodes of the animated series, would not only legitimize them, but show that creators really do matter in presenting their original vision across all mediums.
The Warlord could be a great franchise for both DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. It’s not something most would associate with DC Comics in the media, but in the right hands, it could be.