TITLE: Conqueror of the Barren Earth Issue #1
COMPANY: DC Comics
Writer: Gary Cohn
Artist: Ron Randall
Colors by R. Le Rose
Letterer: P. Felix
Editor: Ross Andru
In the 63rd issue of “The Warlord” (Nov. 1982), a backup story called “Barren Earth” was created by writer Gary Cohn (best know for his work on “Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld”) and artist Ron Randall.
A few years later, a 4-part miniseries titled “Conqueror of the Barren Earth” was released in 1984 by DC Comics.
The series begins with an announcement being made Admiral Rizeki of the expedition to the homeworld (Earth). Tapes from Renewal’s crew captured a fight between the Renewal and a Qlov Battleglobe. The human council must decide if a second mission is warranted to insure that Earth is not controlled by the Qlov.
As the Renewal and the Battleglobe crashed into each other, two lifecraft, one from each ship were launched and those who were able to escape includes cadet warrior, Jinnal Ne, the lizard chieftain Barasha, his mate Lur, the warriors from Arq, Skinner and Rena and Yishrah, the Itiner and Shaman.
The crew land on the barren Earth with winter approaching, the crew must endure the cold weather. As the crew rests in a cave, the morning they go out, they are approached by male attackers on Slizks.
While Jinnal Ne and crew are able to defeat them, they find a city in ruins, burning and humans tortured and tied.
As they look around, they find one of their own telling them to go to the Water Works, but they see painted in blood, “Zhengla”, the people responsible for massacring people and destroying the city.
As they reunite at the Waterworks, they discover more human survivors but they are not safe as the Mulge army are not far behind.
For the most part, the first issue is adventurous as humans hope to reclaim the planet, just to find out how huge the dangers are in the area and also the troubles that humankind have been facing. But the first issue is introductory and showcasing the vastness of what could have been a longer series than four issues.
But I did enjoy the series, especially the first issue as the final panel no doubt sets the pace of the upcoming storyline as the crew will come into contact with Zhengla the Conqueror. Will humanity survive?
Overall, a solid story by Gary Cohn and wonderful artwork by Ron Randall. But while too early for me reading-wise of how good the mini-series will be, I will say that I did enjoy the first issue and its take on space exploration and humans trying to reclaim Earth before another alien race can. But to the surprise of the humans, another race appears to have conquered Earth.
“Conqueror of the Barren Earth” is worth checking out!