Wednesday, July 22, 2015

John Carter: Warlord of Mars #9 - A Review

The good news is that Dejah Thoris has solved the mystery of what has been happening to the disappearing townsfolk of a distant village. The bad news is that she discovered this by being captured by the golem-like creature that was abducting the missing people! Now, as John Carter gives chase after the beast, Dejah must free herself and the captive women before the golem forges them into his perfect mate!

In all honesty, this book should be titled John Carter and Dejah Thoris, rather than giving John Carter solo billing. The scripts by Ron Marz and Ian Edginton treat the two as equal partners in adventure. Indeed, recent issues have seen Dejah playing the hero more than her husband!

While she may be a captive in this issue, Dejah is no damsel in distress and she uses her knowledge of science to free herself and her fellow prisoners.  As Dejah notes at one point, while she will always need John Carter, she doesn't need him to rescue her. Nor does she allow John to send her off with the rest of the women, staying behind to fight by his side with a sword in hand. It's a refreshing change of pace from the usual pulp tropes.

The artwork for the issue is equally excellent. Ariel Medel's only weakness is an occasional tendency towards forcing some poses, such as Dejah's unusual fighting stance in the page above. Thankfully, these moments are few and far between. The color art by Nanjan Jamberi is also impressive, as is the lettering by Rob Steen.

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