Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Retro Comics: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #21


John Carter faces certain death in "The Lady and the Lion!" What else is new?

Barely escaping the guards of Chan Tomar, Carter and Dejah Thoris almost make it to the rendezvous point where Garthon and Hira are hiding when they are recaptured by the winged Orovars. Given one more night together by the cruel Jeddak, Dejah pleads for forgiveness from John for her actions and the two prepare to meet their fates-a battle in the arena with a hungry banth, Dejah tied to a pole and a crazy, revenge seeking Jeddak with a bloodlust. Talk about your really bad days...

With the Orovar storyline about to come to a close, Chris Claremont throws in a lot of elements that any Edgar Rice Burroughs fans would recognize-failed escapes, times in a pit, arena action, hungry creatures and mad rulers. In short this might be the best issue of the entire "winged orovars" plot as it simplifies the action and focuses on our leads and their attempt to escape, along with their bond. Granted we get the end of the whole "forced slave Dejah" plot, which is a good thing as it ranks as the worst plotline in the history of John Carter stories (even though Shape Shifter Shang and his battle against Mopey Movie Carter does top it).

As usual a good job by Ernie Colon on art duties, even though the color gets a little bizarre in some panels (at one point Dejah is actually yellow. Or was she replaced by an Okarian?)

For fans this is a good action packed issue with some nice twists and turns. Of course we'll be back as "John Carter and Dejah Thoris Must Die!" Who can resist a final line lack that?

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