Sunday, November 16, 2014

Comic Review: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #1

A week late but here it is, my thoughts on the first issue of the new adventures of John Carter and company. Warning Spoilers ahead!

As usual Barsoom is facing a threat, in this case an invading alien race called the Kahori. While John Carter and Tars Tarkas are engaged in battle elsewhere, Helium is captured along with Dejah Thoris, who is then forced via a truth serum-infused alien bug to reveal the history of Barsoom to their new enemy. An enemy who has a past with John Carter that he wants to settle...To say more would be to spoil the reveal at the end (even though you get an idea in the first five pages at least where the bad guy comes from) so get ready to be surprised.

With the full support of ERB Inc. this time, Dynamite's new series gets off to a somewhat slow start as writer (and longtime ERB fan) Ron Marz takes the reader through a brief history of the story up to this point (which may bore some but provides a nice introduction to those new to the characters) as well as establishing at least the main villain. Some might take issue with Dejah being held captive again and the fact that Carter's time in this first issue is minimal but Marz deserves credit for jumping in and creating an intriguing setup.

The real star here is the artwork by artist Abhishek Malsuni, an artist I admit not being familiar with but whose work here is great. He captures the weird creatures of Barsoom vividly, captures the action sequences with Carter and Tars with the best artists who have tackled them before and has a nice style that compliments Marz' storytelling. Granted I should mention that, as usual, Dejah sports the usual full balconies but at this point I guess it is to be suspected. I also have to give a shout out to the coloring work by Nanjan Jamberi, which adds a lot and for once makes the red men RED.

With this first issue fans of John Carter of Mars will be pleased the series in stable hands and will enjoy the imagination on display and the tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs' greatest hero. For those who haven't yet delved into the books don't worry as it doesn't get too bogged down in backstory or references to the books to make it confusing. Pick it up now! Until next time Barsoomians, Kaor!

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