Sunday, March 29, 2015

John Carter: Warlord of Mars 2015 Special - A Review

The Warlord of Mars and his queen are newly returned home from an adventure on another world, with little on their minds but rest and taking comfort in one another. Alas, it is not to be. For the Morgors of Sasoom haven chosen this night to invade Barsoom! And to retake their world, John Carter and Dejah Thoris must travel the stars again in search of allies... however unlikely they may be.

I have mixed feelings about the script by Robert Place Napton.  This issue draws upon the setting of Edgar Rice Burrough's Barsoom quite well and Place takes care to explain various minutia (i.e. who all the various leaders are, what race lives on what planet, etc.) for those who have not read all of the original stories, both through the dialogue and the caption boxes. At the same time, I have to wonder if it was really a good idea to do such a continuity-rich story with the monthly John Carter: Warlord of Mars comic only recently rebooted and many newer readers ignorant of who Bandolian and Ul Vas are.

The artwork is similarly conflicted. Rod Rodolfo's original art is clear and serviceable enough. Yet his inks obscure more of the pencils than it enhances in some panels.  This is particularly vexing given the bright colors used by colorist Nanjan Jamberi, which seem at odds with Rodolfo's heavy inks.

Despite these flaws, the John Carter: Warlord of Mars 2015 Special is an enjoyable enough read. However, it is better suited to those who have already traveled to Barsoom rather than new readers, who would do well to check out the monthly series.

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