Friday, November 14, 2014

Retro Comics: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #7

I promise to get my thoughts on the new John Carter, Warlord of Mars up this weekend but for now let's return back to Helium as "Dejah Thoris Lives!"

After surviving the vengeance seeking mob from last issue, John Carter is teetering between life and death with Sola tending to him. Meanwhile Dejah is alive and a prisoner-or rather "a guest"-at the secret headquarters of the Council of Five, a group that consists of members of each race of Barsoom, even black and yellow Barsoomians. She also discovers the truth of the Council's plans from guard Gargan, who has plans of his own for the princess (if you catch my meaning). But hell hath no fury like a princess manhandled and Dejah escapes and commandeers a flier to stop the Council's scheme-the destruction of the Atmosphere Factory and the rise of a smaller, select race to rule Barsoom.

With this issue we welcome back Dejah and Marv Wolfman and company do a good job making her both a proud princess, a brave soul and determined fighter. With enough exposition to help explain the plot without getting bogged down and enough rousing action sequences the issue flies by quickly, even with John Carter lying in bed the entire time. There is some bumps-really Dejah would bath and dress in front of someone who isn't her husband-and some contradictions (she sees black and yellow Barsoomians yet never mentions them to Carter or anyone since in The Gods of Mars and The Warlord of Mars its made clear they are both considered rumors and legends, not real) but besides those little things the issue delivers.

Handling the art duties again is Gil Kane, now joined by Tom Sutton and as I've said before, the artwork is gorgeous, filled with enough action, good character design and distinct designs to make you wish this had been used as an influence on the movie (and shows you can do good Barsoomians without butt ugly tatts and just "look at the colors" distinguishing them).

So there you go folks, another high octane issue. Next time "The Creature That Destroyed Helium!" Can it live up the promise of being "The Greatest John Carter Story of All!" We'll see.

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