Monday, December 12, 2011

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars-Fall of Barsoom #4

OK we now go from Mongo back to Barsoom for today's comic book review. Not a snappy opening I know but that's the best I can come up with.

As this issue opens, things are looking bad for the Orovars. The cities of Thark, Warhoon and Korad have fallen and the refugees are being forced to fend for themselves outside the city of Horz, causing them to descend in barbarism. Orovar general Van Tun Bor pleads with the Orovar Jeddak to bring them in but is refused. Fearing the demise of his people Van Tun Bor begins to hatch a plan to save them, unaware that the Jeddak has his own plans. Meanwhile scientist Tak Nan Lee manages to finish and get the Atmosphere Factory running but he also becomes suspicious when the Jeddak informs him he will be there in morning. Fearing that his people's time has come, Tak turns to the captured red woman Anouk to learn how to operate the Factory. And that may be what is needed as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance...(Corny cliche but here a pretty apt description.)

With one more issue to go before the finale, this issue spends most of its time setting up the characters and moving them into position for the final curtain. While short on real action, writer Robert Napton does a good job of keeping the reader interested with the court intrigue involving the Orovar Jeddak, Van Tun Bor's anguish and resolve to save his people and Tak Nan Lee's decision to trust Anouk and face what he feels is his and the Orovar's demise. It's an interesting set of stories leading to the finale we all know is coming.

Also getting an A+ is artist Roberto Castro, who manages to capture the characters and the settings very well. The opening pages, which shows a young Van Tun Bor playing with his brother and talking with his father is so natural looking you almost think you're on Earth before revealing the nasty, brutal fighting that has engulfed the Orovars. It's a subtle touch and I like Castro's handling of it.

With one more issue to go, let's hope the quality remains until the very end. Until next time...

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