Monday, November 25, 2013

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #29

John Carter faces betrayal and possible death. What else is new?

Barely escaping with their lives from the experimental Thark they found, John Carter and Tars Tarkas decide to leave, only to be captured by the yellow man Marik, who then reveals the real story: Yellow men created the green men through a breeding program involving apts, white apes and the red men. They also included a "ganglion," which acts like a psychic receptor in the brain. And if that wasn't enough, Carter also discovers that Talu, the man he helped to overthrow former Jeddak Salensus Oll, is behind the whole thing. But to cover it up they decide to have Tars "kill" Carter in front of the public of Okar until Carter discovers a way to break their control of his friend, leading to one command, "KILL JOHN CARTER."

I know that this series has played somewhat fast and loose with Edgar Rice Burroughs' series but this one really takes it a little too far. Forgotten is the fact that Burroughs established that most life on Barsoom sprang from the Tree of Life and its first offspring, which then led to the development of the green and red men of Mars, not genetic manipulation. That threw me but the biggest change is the decision to rewrite Talu and the yellow men as the villains of this piece. Granted moving past the opening trilogy doesn't leave many villains left from the books that are in public domain but still something would have been better than turning a previous ally into an enemy. Plus there seems to be no shortage of big bads in the Dejah Thoris series...

With that the issue still manages to create an interesting premise, helped by the artwork, this time by Rafael Lanhellas, who I think is a newcomer to the Warlord of Mars series. He manages to bring a nice look to the issue, with Tars Tarkas in particular standing out. Granted most of this issue is people talking and Carter chained to a wall but it still manages to be well-drawn and moves the story along.

Still this issue is a stumbling block to what has been a pretty good, exciting storyline. Maybe it gets resolved in the next issue's finale but it will take some heavy lifting to undo this turn. Until next time folks.

1 comment:

pascalahad said...

Well, to be honest, I never completely bought the "tree of life" bit. It's what Barsoomians believe in, that's for sure, but they also believed in Issus. That's the mythology of Barsoom and I would be surprised if Burroughs himself considered it as the "real thing". It could be another one of those false beliefs. So I'm not necessarily taken aback by the storyline, but I can understand why it could bother you.