First Issue Special #8, DC Comics, November 1975

warlordThe first appearance of Warlord by Mike Grell. This was DCs answer to the popularity of Conan over at Marvel. The Warlord quickly became DC’s main Sword and Sorcery title and the Warlord series that this comic launched lasted 133 issues. Written and Drawn by industry legend and fan favorite Mike Grell (who also created Starslayer in 1982 and Jon Sable in 1983). Warlord developed a strong following into the 80s but as the whole genre suffered in the late 80s so did this title and it was cancelled.

If you look at the Sword and Sorcery genre today you’ll see that Marvel is the one found wanting. Dark Horse is doing well with Conan and DC has revived the Warlord series. The Sword and Sorcery genre is one that has built in fans, a fact reinforced by the announcement that principal filming of a new Conan movie is starting in the spring of 2010. But there’s room for more than just Conan in the genre. Quality storytelling and good characters are all fans are looking for.

The Overstreet Price Guide shows a 18/$27/$35 split at the 8.0/9.0/9.2  grades.

Strengths that make this comic book a good long term investment are:

– The major DC sword and sorcery character, with a series currently in publication

– New Conan movie sure to give the genre a lot more exposure

– Mike Grell is a great name to have beside the word ‘creator’

– Dark cover thus harder to find in very high grade

– High end price of only $35.00 means lots of room for appreciation

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada