Thursday, February 19, 2015


In the grander scheme of little-known Bronze Age one-shotters, Warhund doesn't particularly have all that much to offer. A barbarian tale in the well-trod phony baloney "world of magic and science" trope which was so common in the era, the one thing which the sword-swinging protagonist of this long-ago issue of Charlton Bullseye vol.2 No.5 (January 1982) has going for him is that he might be the only Charlton character to appear in DC Comics without having been bought by the company.

Taking place in a "forgotten world," Warhund - who's clearly an Asian character modeled on what appears to be a very comic booky interpretation of Mongolian dress, but who has a semi-German name so I dunno - spends the vast majority of his adventure failing to live up to his name. Whoring, drinking, and then riding across the plains, Warhund doesn't have a lot invested in war so far. He doesn't even own a dog. Who do I talk to about this?

Despite a fearsome reputation, Warhund - the only son of an elderly local warlord - shows deep roots of compassion. When he's informed that his father is dying, he takes off at breakneck pace across the inhospitable desert of his homeworld. Despite the urgency of his ride, however, he pauses for several days to nurse back to health the young messenger who accompanies him, after the youngster succumbs to fatigue. Later on, he gets killed by wolves, but still Warhund seems like a nice guy.

Arriving at his father's bedside, Warhund is informed that the villain behind his pop's untimely death is named Assassin, a cloaked baddie on the outskirts of the absence of civilization. Armed with explosive Starburst candies (lime!), Warhund and a few soldiers take on the robots and domed headquarters of Assassin, only to discover a terrible secret: Warhund's dad is a war criminal from space! The whole planet turns out to be an Earth colony, Poppa Warhund admits to being a dick on the futuristic equivalent of a videotaped will, and Warhund is left to somehow carve a better kingdom out of a web of lies. Shakespeare's lost folio, this.

Warhund almost disappears forever following this one appearance, except for a sneaky cameo in an issue of Animal Man further down the road, drawn by Warhund's co-creator Chas Truog. While several of Charlton's Action Heroes - Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, the Question and so on - were purchased by DC, the creator-owned heroes of the Bullseye books, among others, weren't part of the deal. Still, Warhund manages to sneak into a group shot of heroes from lost alternate universes. Basically, he's sort of Charlton's stowaway in the DC Universe, although we're pretty unlikely to see him pop up again any time soon.

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