Tagline: GIANT-SIZED Fabulous Fantasy Filled 1st Issue!
Published By: Marvel Comics under the Star Comics banner
Released: November 1987
Cost: $1.50 US / $2.00 CAD / £0.40 UK

Written By: Jim Salicrup
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inks: Romeo Tanghal
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Julianna Ferriter
Editor: Bob Budiansky
Editor-In-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Episode Summary

We see Prysmos in its age of technological wonder. Elaborate looking science fiction like cities sit between mountains and low level fliers fill the skies above New Valarak. Merklynn enters the Iron Mountain Diner restaurant in the mountains above the city to witness the end of the Age of Science, and more importantly the beginning of the second Age of Magic. As the restaurant falls, as it is unable to support itself on the mountain side without machinery, Merklynn teleports everyone to safety below. Merklynn declares to all gathered that their only hope for survival is to create a brave new world out of the old one before he promises to return.

The entire planet is thrown into chaos as the laws of science as broken and machines no longer function. The implications of this new age become instantly recognisable from the obvious devastation as machines explode, vehicles crash and so forth right down to the lack of communications and no power. The cities descend into violence as people revert to a barbaric nature to stay alive.

From the ashes of the old society several people band together and form groups of knights, forging armour from the old machinery and train together to hone their battle skills. We immediately see Darkstorm, Mordredd and Reekon successfully capturing people as slaves. They are only saved by the timely arrival of Leoric, Feryl and Ectar. Merklynn appears in the midst of the battle and summons the knights to Iron Mountain near New Valarak promising them power if they journey there in fourteen days. In this surprise revelation Darkstorm and his men make good their escape. Darkstorm returns to his domain and declares himself the rightful leader of Prysmos, citing they need a leader with strength and determination. To this end he decides they will investigate Merklynn offer. Mordredd readily agrees with his master, as always, Reekon seems indifferent. Meanwhile Leoric has second thoughts about Merklynn and his offer but reluctantly decides that if they are to stand against Darkstorm they must go. Unknown to Leoric and his knights, Cravex listens in and learns of Merklynn's offer.

Fourteen days pass and knights from far and wide journey to Iron Mountain. Merklynn's face forms on the side of the mountain out of stone and challenges them to find his private chamber within with a warning that only the strong of will and vision can hope to succeed. Leoric leads the knights in with a heroic speech.

We meet Galadria first off as she outwits the first trap, her fellow (generic) knights falling prey to a giant stone mouth. As the three knights are ejected from the mountain Merklynn encourages them to try again but they leave, Merklynn being highly amused by this. Six other knights, one being Witterquick, enter through another cave but come to a tunnel of moving blades. The other five knights turn back even though Witterquick made it.

Elsewhere Darkstorm, Mordredd and Reekon cross a rope bridge but cut it when on the other side, sending three knights down into the crevice below, one being Arzon. They try to scale up the side of the hanging rope bridge to escape but it turns to snakes. Narrowly escaping, Arzon uses some large leaves growing on the crevice side to create makeshift wings and soar ahead of Darkstorm's group.

Later Darkstorm and his knights hear Leoric, Feryl and Ectar approaching. Mordredd pretends to be a knight is distress and calls them down a tunnel allowing Darkstorm and Reekon to get ahead. In an infrequently seen act Mordredd challenges all three heroic knights to battle but then runs as Darkstorm calls him. Leoric and his men give chase but stumble into a chamber with a huge sleeping stone gargoyle in it. Mordredd throws a rock to wake the creature up before making good his escape. As the knights flee for the exit Reekon traps them by dropping a portcullis over the escape. Feryl and Ectar begin exchanging goodbyes but Leoric is quick to turn on the gargoyle with a brave berserker change. The huge monster actually turns away and flees with some comical yipe yipe noises, Ectar remarking he used to deal with bullies the same way when he was a kid.

Further ahead Darkstorm's group have become separated in the dark and winding tunnels. Darkstorm lights a match and investigates a skeleton chained up on the wall, only for the creature to come to life and blow the match out and kick him down a pit. Using his strength Darkstorm braces himself on the pit walls he begins the climb up, vowing the break every bone in the skeleton's body three times.

Elsewhere in the mountain Galadria is carefully making her way across a tiny walkway beam that runs over a lake. Sneakily Virulina tries to attack her from behind only for Galadria to spectacularly duck at the last second. Some brief verbal sparring follows before Virulina knocks them both into the water. A giant octopus moves to attack the pair, Virulina turning tail and fleeing through an outlet tunnel. Galadria accidentally stumbles across a lever that drains the lake and saves her from a grisly fate. As she regains her composure she vows that she and Virulina will meet again. In another part of the mountain Cravex drops three killer bee hives on some knights, forcing them to flee. As he remarks to himself on their incompetence he claims their dropped weapons for himself.

In an icy cave Cindarr and Cryotek in the midst of a battle, instantly we get an indication they are old enemies and rivals through their banter and quips. Cindarr scales an ice wall and strikes some huge icicles, making them wall and bury his foe. With a burst of strength Cryotek erupts from the pile of ice, again using his agility Cindarr flees from the berserker Cryotek. Cryotek cries out after Cindarr that the next time they meet only one of them will survive.

Meanwhile Darkstorm has finally climbed out of the pit to find himself in a giant spiders den. He has concluded that he needs more knights to his cause, ones who share his views on the pitiful planet but lack imagination. Seeing Lexor, Cravex and Cindarr approach he turns over a vat of spiders milk on them, trapping them to the floor. He forces the three to swear loyalty to him or he will leave them to the spider, they readily agree. Meanwhile Darkstorm has finally climbed out of the pit to find himself in a giant spiders den. He has concluded that he needs more knights to his cause, ones who share his views on the pitiful planet but lack imagination. Seeing Lexor, Cravex and Cindarr approach he turns over a vat of spiders milk on them, trapping them to the floor. He forces the three to swear loyalty to him or he will leave them to the spider, they readily agree.

Elsewhere Feryl leads Leoric and Ectar through the tunnels into a chamber of golden statues. Ectar narrowly saves them a grisly fate as he warns them of an ambush by Darkstorm and his dark knights. Ectar names them as Darkling Lords for the first time as he launches himself into battle. Cryotek, Galadria, Arzon and Witterquick arrive and immediately jump in to help Leoric and his knights. Galadria remarks she didn't see Virulina amongst the Darkling Lords. Lexor shows his cowardice as he hides in the battle, ducking behind a golden statue. Virulina arrives just in time as Merklynn's face appears on the great wooden doors to his chamber and orders them to cease battle. Merklynn tells them that they will now face their greatest challenge, Arzon and Darkstorm immediately voicing everyone's concerns that it might be another trick of the wizard. Merklynn leavers them by saying the choice is theirs.

Leoric goes to enter but Darkstorm insists they enter together. Within the chamber great surges of magical energy fly about, some containing images that will soon become familiar. The knights think they have confronted demons but again Leoric shows courage and leads them on. Galadria thoughts show us she is proud to follow Leoric, Darkstorm questioning that if Leoric is a fool what is he to follow him.

They find Merklynn standing over his magical orb, congratulating the knights form passing through the maelstrom of magical spirits. Some of the knights who had never seen him in person before ask him who he is; Merklynn introduces himself as Magic Incarnate. He reveals the first Age of Magic, a time when men farmed and did not rely on machinery. knights roamed the land the best of these dabbled in mystic arts and became Mages of Prysmos. Only the greatest Wizards foretold of the end of the Age of Magic and secluded themselves away much as Merklynn said he himself did. He declares the knights as Visionaries, giving each their totems as a reward. The wizard warns them that the totems are like emotions and may be uncontrollable. It is Witterquick who questions the point of having magic totems they cant control. Merklynn says there is more and orders the knights to dip their staffs into the Mystical Pool. The pool gives the staffs powers that befit their owners. Reekon and Virulina challenge Merklynn for favouring those with staffs but he promises in time that they too will possess great power. Tiring of the knights Merklynn transports them to outside Iron Mountain with grim words that the fate of Prysmos is now in their hands.

Interesting Facts

Were you paying attention to this issue? Here's some interesting facts that you may have missed.

  1. Prysmos had no Astrologers; if they did they might have predicted the fate awaiting them when the three Suns aligned.
  2. There was a first Age of Magic long before the Age of Science. We see more of this in the final part of the opening story.
  3. New Valarak was called so even before the old scientific city was rebuilt into the medieval one we know and recognise.
  4. Humans in the Age of Science relied heavily on robots as well as machinery.
  5. The Iron Mountain Diner was essentially built on Merklynn’s home. Since he was also seemingly powerless at this point (when entering the restaurant) we can assume that he had been simply forced to sit back and watch throughout the Age of Science, unable to do anything since he had no magical power.
  6. Merklynn displays a rare show of compassion and saves the people in the restaurant as it tumbles from the mountain.
  7. The narrative says small and simple mechanical devices still work.
  8. When Merklynn appears to the Knights for the first time his face is inside a diamond shape reminiscent of the chest plates each will possess by the end of the story.
  9. Cravex refers to himself as Cravex the Curious, a name he supposedly has earnt for being a spy.
  10. In the mountain we see Galadria display her Dolphin totem intelligence right off as well as Witterquick’s cheetah totem speed.
  11. In a comical moment Darkstorm orders Mordredd to shoot Arzon down only for the slimy sycophant to reply that he has no bow. You displease me Mordredd is a classic line.
  12. Arzon displays the abilities that will earn his totem as he soars on the leave-wings.
  13. Leoric charges the Gargoyle fearlessly, displaying the courage that will earn him his totem.
  14. There isn’t anything inherently dolphin or shark like about Galadria and Virulena's water fight other than the fact they're in the water. Galadria's earlier display of intelligence seems more appropriate.
  15. Cindaar and Cryotek must have a long and bitter rivalry going from their banter in the fight. Several times they refer to each other in the past tense (from experience).
  16. Cindaar displays strength and uncanny agility, much like the gorilla totem he will receive later. Cryotek shows berserker strength, again much like the bear totem he will receive himself.
  17. Cravex is the most reluctant to join Darkstorm's group, even warning Darkstorm to rule him well or suffer the consequences.
  18. Feryl uses his brilliant sense of smell to lead Leoric and Ectar through the tunnels towards fresh air, earning his totemic power.
  19. Ectar names the Darkling Lords, Darkstorm remarking that he likes the sound of the name.
  20. Merklynn declares himself as Magic Incarnate. He might be the embodiment of magic itself on Prysmos. Either that or he has a bigger ego than anyone could have guessed.
  21. Merklynn may have once been a Knight himself, he says the Mages rose from the ranks of the Knights of Prysmos.
  22. The Knights receive their totems in the following order:
    1. Arzon – Eagle
    2. Cindaar – Gorilla
    3. Witterquick – Cheetah
    4. Cravex – Phylot (a Prysmos airborne scavenger)
    5. Ectar – Fox
    6. Mordredd – Beetle
    7. Feryl – Wolf
    8. Virulena – Shark
    9. Galadria – Dolphin
    10. Lexor – Armadillo
    11. Cryotek – Bear
    12. Reekon – Lizard
    13. Leoric – Lion
    14. Darkstorm –Mollusk (a giant monster snail)
  23. The staff powers are announced as:
    1. Leoric – Wisdom
    2. Witterquick – Lightspeed
    3. Arzon – Knowledge
    4. Cryotek – Strength
    5. Darkstorm – Decay
    6. Cindaar – Destruction
    7. Cravex – Fear
    8. Lexor – Invulnerability
  24. Merklynn comes off as some kind of God. Taking an interest in the affairs of the Knights but clearly seeing them as humorous at best, and often tiring of their questions. That said the fact he has provided them with the means to reshape the world shows he does care for them to some degree, maybe in a father role.


Mistakes happen within the comic industry, here is a list of this issues mistakes.

  1. In the mountain we see Galadria display her Dolphin totem intelligence right off as well as Witterquick's cheetah totem speed.
  2. Mordredd is coloured as Reekon at one point in the first battle between the Knights.
  3. At Leoric's heroic speech upon entering the mountain a hooded man has a thought bubbler saying Bah! Soon that power will be mine!. This is unclear who it is although it seems like the bubble should have belonged to Darkstorm who is not in the frame.
  4. Arzon loses his helmet when he falls but has it in the next frame. Maybe he found it lying about?
  5. The chamber Darkstorm emerges into from the pit is not like the one he fell from. It is well lit and has a giant spider web and spider in it.
  6. Inside Merklynn's chamber Galadria is miscoloured.
  7. As they enter Merklynn's chamber Lexor has a thought bubble of As ever. My senses tell me to trust Leoric. that seemingly should belong to Feryl in the same frame.

Featured Characters

  1. Merklynn
  2. Leoric
  3. Arzon
  4. Cryotek
  5. Ectar
  6. Feryl
  7. Galadria
  8. Darkstorm
  9. Cindarr
  10. Cravex
  11. Lexor
  12. Reekon
  13. Virulina
  14. Unknown Knights
  15. Witterquick
  16. Mortdredd
  17. Unnamed Villagers


- Introduced.
- Named only or dropped.
- Vehicle.
- A note is attached.