Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Retro Comics: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #19

More action and heartbreak in Karanthor as John Carter learns "The Valiant Die But Once!"

Now serving as an odwar in the Jeddak's Guard, Carter has to bite his tongue when he see his beloved Dejah Thoris as a consort to the Orovar's ruler Chan Tomar. Things get worse when alone, the couple bicker about Dejah's actions, leaving John with only one friend, Garthon, who rescues Carter from an assault. Afterwards he relates the history of the Orovars and how they survived despite the drying up of the seas and massive volcanic activity. However they may not survive an attack by their enemies the Ptonthians...an attack that leaves just John Carter and Garthon standing!

This issue is pretty much exposition-from Dejah's attempts to explain her plans to Garthon's history lesson, there is little going on here until the finale. The result is, especially after last issue's strong Tars Tarkas centered story-a lukewarm tale. Instead we get more of the sour "Dejah Cheats on Carter" plot, some interesting backstory on these Orovars and the defending of the wall (why is it always walls? From Tolkien to Game of Thrones, those walls have to stand).

Back handling art duties is Ernie Colon and his work is good but after the excellent job by Frank Miller last time it makes you wish Miller had stuck around for more. It's not that Colon's work is bad-even though in some panels Garthon looks like a blonde Vulcan-but it just lacks that extra touch. Still it's not a total loss and the action packed ending is well done and vibrant.

Prepare for a lot of talk, talk and wall action here. Until next time faithful readers.

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