Yep, another comic book review for the week.
As this issue opens Dejah Thoris and Sola question a servant named Okat, who tells them he was arranging John Carter's possessions on the order of the palace steward Vem Drost when he found the mysterious amulet that was discovered in the last issue. But it looks like Vem Drost has disappeared. Meanwhile Carthoris and Tars Tarkas are attacked by a group of Warhoons who plan on holding the duo to their arena for deadly sport. Luckily Kantos Kan and and his scouts rescue them and allow them to go on their way. Cutting back, we find Dejah engaged in a game of Jetan with the Holy Hekkador of the Therns where she asks him about their history until Zat Arras arrives with news about finding Vem Drost, stuffed into a locker. Finally reaching the Atmosphere Factory, Carthoris and Tars find the caretaker's assistant, injured and babbling about the Therns, Plant Men and a valley and that "there is more than one. Not so special now..." With that cryptic warning, the pair find another amulet and an the hope that the truth lies in a mysterious journal...
With the second issue of "The Heretic of Mars" plot line, Arvid Nelson is doing an interesting job bridging the two first two Barsoom novels. The mention of the Valley Dor and the actual nightmare it holds is a good build up to what we know is coming, as is the attempts by Zat Arras to carry favor with Dejah Thoris. The mystery angle adds tension and helps expand what was going on during John Carter's absence. I know some fans may not like this fill in the blank approach but for those who've enjoyed the series so far it's fitting in well.
Helping move the story along is Stephen Sandowski's artwork. He captures the savage battle between Carthoris, Tars Tarkas and the Warhoons exceedingly well, as well as capturing the characters well. Granted the backgrounds are a little bland, lacking the vibrancy you would expect of Barsoom but that's the only complaint I have about the work. All in all another entertaining issue. And one more to go before John Carter's return so Carter fans hold on.