Monday, April 21, 2014

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #100

Do you like lovable calots? Well this 100th spectacular delivers three tales starring the one and only Woola. Let's dive in shall we?

In the first story, "The Sword of Barsoom Part I" writer Robert Place Napton and artist Lui Antonio takes us back 434 years before John Carter's arrival as Dejah Thoris is summoned to a local archaeological dig by the lead professor, who has found some interesting finds. A drawing showing the start of life on Barsoom and a magical sword that gives its user ultimate power. When a survivor of a Thark raiding party reports that the sword is in the hands of the Tharks, Dejah sneaks into the city of Korad to steal it...with some help from a rather friendly calot. But the sword's power almost costs Dejah's life and is lost...

Which leads to "Part II" where Arvid Nelson and artist Jose Malaga take over. Here John Carter and Dejah are enjoying a hunting expedition when they are overpowered and captured by their own men! Woola escapes and discovers John and Dejah captives of Dejah's old mentor Syl Mak, who has the sword. It's up to Woola to save his master and he shows you don't screw with a man and his calot.

The third story, "Stay" by Mark Rahner with art by Jose Luis, is a touching, largely wordless piece that focuses on Carter and Woola's relationship and how the loyalty between them is unbreakable. But the ending suggests that there may me more to come.

With three stories with different writers and artists it can be difficult to adjust to the styles at play. The three writers though do bring their a-game to this issue, with Napton's piece capturing the best of the Dejah Thoris series, Nelson showing off the action and excitement of his run on Warlord of Mars and Rahner showing a touching side to Woola's affection for Carter that I wouldn't had expected from the guy who wrote The Green Men of Mars series.

The artwork is where some might get thrown as the artists definitely show their own unique styles, not always meshing together well (I'm sure some will wonder about Dejah's shifting cup sizes if you get my meaning). All three stories are well drawn though, with nice splashes of color and action. "Stay" in particular works well since it is being told all through the art and not the writing.

So fans of Barsoom this "100" issue is a definite winner for those who love and wanted more Woola. Just set back and enjoy and I'll be back later (this damn cold permitting).

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