Monday, November 22, 2010

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #2

Unless something pops up this will probably be the only post this week until after Thanksgiving. Just FYI. And now our look at Dynamite Comics' second issue of their trip to Barsoom. (Spoilers ahead!)

Picking up where the last issue left off, we now find John Carter and James Powell prospecting when they find a rich vein of quartz. And if you've read A Princess of Mars you know the rest as the first section follows the novel pretty closely-Powell's ambush by Apaches, John's rescue and his fleeing into the cave, etc. The second part of the story picks up on Barsoom with Tars and Tarkas presenting their report to the Jeddak Tal Hajus and coming to blows-literally-over the fate of Sola, with Tarkas being pushed by a manipulative female Thark named Sarkoja...

After the first issue, I didn't really know where this series was heading. John Carter's gun fight with the Union soldiers and the Tars-Tarkas plot twist seemed out of left field but with this issue writer Arvid Nelson turns it back towards Edgar Rice Burroughs. The opening section nicely condenses the first chapter of Burroughs' novel and prepares us for the next issue. The resolution of the Tars-Tarkas conflict and the introduction of Sarkoja are also well handled and again ties in pretty well with the novel while setting up the conflict that we know is coming.

As for the artwork it like the writing has gotten stronger. I know some friends of mine who are big John Carter fans weren't pleased with the Tharks-the lack of antenna and the blank eyes-but if anything it adds to the alien look of them even more. And the final fight between Tars and Tarkas is especially well drawn with blood and severed Thark parts flying-something I sincerely doubt we'll see in Disney's version (that and a buck nude John Carter so you might want to be careful where you read this.)

So in the end this issue is a vast improvement over the first issue. The only complaint-again Dejah Thoris gets prominent placement on most of the covers-except the one posted above-even though she's nowhere to be seen. She better be one hot Martian babe when she shows up!


Paul said...

That the Joe Jusko cover pictured above?

MCR said...

No that cover is by an artist named Patrick Berkenkotter. You can see the Jusko cover here

Venusian said...

I can't find your email so if you could be so kind as to email me ?- Jeff