Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #13

And today's entry in the Barsoom comic book battle offers up walking plants, white apes, a banth, hot red chicks in chains and John Carter in action.

This issue opens with a two page text piece, catching the reader up with Edgar Rice Burroughs, who has received a telegram to meet his late uncle John Carter in Richmond. Upon arriving he discovers his uncle alive and the same as before. And with him another manuscript telling of his adventures on the red planet...Upon his return to Barsoom John Carter doesn't land in the Atmosphere Plant but rather in a lush forest near a flowing river and with strange blue, plant-like inhabitants. But he doesn't get a chance to look around long as he rushes in to rescue a group of green men led by his friend Tars Tarkas from the vicious Plant Men and a pack of white apes. Escaping into a cave John learns that his beloved Dejah Thoris still lives and that he and Tars are in the Valley Dor, the promised paradise that all Barsoomians depart to when they believe their time is coming to an end. But as they soon discover they are alone in the cave as John finds a white blond man and a chained up red woman, the Princess of Ptarth Thuvia. When John kills the man he discovers that he was one of the Holy Therns and that contrary to rumor they are very human, a discovery that could rock the very planet itself...

As you can tell, this issue kicks off Dynamite's adaptation of The Gods of Mars and it pretty good style. Writer Arvid Nelson shows that he read the books and manages to keep faithful to the original story, which I respect even more now, especially after Marvel's abysmal A Princess of Mars series. From the opening of John's arrival to the introduction of Thuvia, it maintains Burroughs' breathless pace and tone.

For this run, the artwork is being done by another artist, this time Edgar Salazar. I admit to being a little disappointed that artist Stephen Sandowski, who drew the last three issues, wasn't brought back, but Salazar does a good job, capturing the Plant Men, the Apes and Thuvia pretty well. The backgrounds are a little nondescript though, lacking the detail necessary but hopefully that will change once we head into Issus' kingdom and the action picks up.

In closing, this gets a thumbs up. We'll see how it goes from here. Until next time then.

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