Sunday, August 9, 2015

Retro Comics: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #27


We reach the final stretch as John Carter must endure the "Marathon of Death!"

Having failed in his pursuit of master assassin Tal Mordin, Carter is found by Tars Tarkas and continues the pursuit, Having damaged the assassin's ship with a radium shell, Carter and Tars end up in the city of Maharn, where Tars barely escaped following his duel a few issues earlier. Finding the assassin John escapes death...as does Mordin since it's just a stand-in who meets a grisly end. Speaking of grisly, on their way back to Helium they discover the remains of a flier's crew and worse, a cloak that bares the scent of Dejah Thoris. Evidence points to Warhoons, so Carter must again put everything at stake to save his true love...and the secret she is carrying.

Except for a touching ending this issue is sort of anti-climactic. I can understand the need to save villains and allow Mordin to escape but there is just something more satisfying about seeing the bad guy get his just desserts, especially in the world of Barsoom. That said the return to the haunted city was interesting-if still too much Conan the Barbarian-and the final battle with the Warhoons rousing.

Helping is again strong artwork, this time from the team of Vosburg and M. Hands. Both handle the characters well and the action set-pieces have flair and style to them. Granted Tars Tarkas seems to change shape throughout-from lithe to Hulk-ish-but still a good job all around.

One more issue to go in the main series. Return next time for "The Weapon Makers of Mars!"

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