Sunday, March 20, 2011

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #5

Another comic book review, this time with big swords!

When we last left John Carter, he had just met the incomparable Dejah Thoris and vowed to hold anyone accountable if harm befalls her. As this issue opens the two share a moonlight stroll where John reveals the truth about himself and then like most guys makes a blunder-guys never ask a woman about her romantic past. He also talks about escaping, plans overheard by the scheming Sarkoja who relates them to Tars Tarkas. As the Tharks make their way home, John finds himself shunned by Dejah and then faces a really big problem-Zad, an o-mad warrior who has a big sword and a bad attitude.

At this point the series has hit a good stride, sticking close to the novel. That does leave readers familiar with the story though little suspense though since we know how it turns out. But after the DC and Marvel series I at least appreciate the effort by Arvid Nelson to tell Burroughs' story in comic book form, without going off on subplots that seem out of place with the narrative or conflict with what Burroughs established.

As for the artwork again artist Lui Antonio does this issue and it's sort of back and forth as far as the characters go. While he does a good John and his Dejah is still attractive (even though I'm falling for Carlos Rafael's version in the Dejah Thoris series) I didn't care much for Zad's appearance-he looks like the Hulk-and Sarkoja's whithered old crone look reminds me of the Crypt Keeper (or possibly Issus from the Weird Worlds series). Still the fight between John and Zad is drawn well and the series has begun to find a good artistic version of Barsoom.

So after five issues, I feel the series has hit its stride pretty well. It's doing a good job portraying the world of Barsoom and while I know there are some who have issues-some don't like the Tharks and how Dejah is drawn-their sticking to Burroughs, which as a fan is something I appreciate. And one final note-the cover shown above by Joe Jusko is my current favorite of the entire series so far and is worth the price just for that alone.

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