Retro Comics: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #26

Our heroes are back but can they survive the "Night of the Long Knives!"

Following her rescue from the catacombs beneath Helium, Dejah Thoris and Kantos Kan manage to eliminate their captors and raise the alarm. But with only the royal family and Sola to fight off the assassins, things look grim until John Carter and Tars Tarkas arrive with a Thark army to provide support. Things look to be under control until a final twist leaves everyone shocked and Carter seeking vengeance.

This issue lives up to its title as the entire issue is pretty much one long sword fight, stretched out for 20 plus pages. That leaves no fat and provides a rousing, suspensful rush as the characters find themselves facing overwhelming odds. Where the issue does jolt the reader is in the final pages, where Chris Claremont throws in a tragic event that shakes not only John and Dejah but the reader as well. I won't spoil it but fans might be surprised at how grim it gets before the finale.

Handling art duties is the team of Mike Vosburg and Ernie Chan and both bring a good style and steady craftsmanship to the design and execution of this issue. There is enough to show off here, from rousing action to character that both excel at and make the issue eye catching from start to finish.

Two issues left to go folks. Next time prepare the final chapter of "The Master Assassin of Mars" story. Back later with more comic goodness.


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