Monday, January 20, 2014

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #32


Taking a break from Tarzan news we find John Carter fighting for his life and family against a new threat...his own great-father-in-law!

With Tardors Mors suddenly found, John Carter relinquishes his title as "Warlord" and returns power to Tardors. But that proves to be a mistake as Mors quickly disbands the League of Barsoom and orders by force the removal of all First Born, Therns and other undesirables. He also strikes a deal with the Warhoons to be his allies. When Carter confronts him, John discovers that he is now powerless to stop the new Jeddak and has to go on the run with Dejah and Carthoris, leaving Helium-and Barsoom-in the hands of a madman...

Well talk about twisting expectations. While the purist in me kind of cringes at some of the plot turns, the lover of a cool adventure story finds the setup and this issue a cool thrill ride. Finding Carter for the first time since his arrival on Barsoom on the run and a hunted animal makes for an interesting story, especially as he now has to confront a man he once respected. In addition writer Arvid Nelson also raises some interesting concepts about race and hatred in Tardors's sudden decision to oust everyone who isn't a red man or had been a tyrant before only to show his own tyranny. The story also raises how Carter has been blind to what he people feel as Kantos Kan tells him that no one wanted to stand up to him. It's a thought provoking story and I'm interested in seeing where it goes.

For the artwork, artist Wagner Reis continues and well it's again a mixed bag. Some of the character designs are great-especially love his Warhoons-but Carter and some of the other characters come off less well defined. On the plus side Reis stages the action scenes well and gives a good sense of direction so it sort of counter balances the flaws.

In short this issue is a gripping thriller that hopefully won't derail in the next few issues. Until next time (or more Tarzan news shows up) Kaor!

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