JOHN CARTER OF MARS, VOL. 1 #2
STORY: Chuck Brown
ART: George Kambadais
COLORS: George Kambadais
LETTERS: Jeff Eckleberry
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Dave Acosta
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Joseph Michael Linsner; Jonathan Case; George Kambadais; John Royle; Dave Acosta; Rachel Hollon and David Turner (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (May 2022)
Based on the characters and stories created by Edgar Rice Burroughs
John Carter is a character that first appeared in the serialized novel, Under the Moons of Mars (The All-Story, 1912), written by Tarzan creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs. When it was first collected and published in hardcover, the novel was re-titled, A Princess of Mars (1917), the first of Burroughs' “Barsoom” novels, which were set on Barsoom, a fictional version of Mars. The novel also introduced Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars.
John Carter is a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War who is transported to Mars via “astral projection.” There he gets a new body that is similar to the one he leaves behind on Earth. John makes several trips back and forth between Earth (which the Martians call “Jasoom”) and Barsoom, and Dejah and John eventually marry and have two children.
John Carter first appeared in comic books in the early 1950s and continues today as a comic book character via Dynamite Entertainment. His latest comic book series is John Carter of Mars. The series is written by Chuck Brown; drawn and colored by George Kambadais; and lettered by Jeff Eckleberry. In the new series, a re-imagining of and a sequel to the original “Barsoom” novels, John Carter is back on Earth and discovers that Martians are being transported to Earth while humans are being transported to Mars.
John Carter of Mars Volume 1 #2 opens on Barsoom. Humans and their motor vehicles are being hurled down to the planet, and the humans are desperate. Luckily Dejah Thoris, Princess of Barsoom is there to answer desperate pleas.
Meanwhile, John Carter continues his boogie-woogie with the Green Martians. Lieutenant Fred Hines will fight with Carter in order to find his own missing wife, Thai, who is now on Barsoom. But can Fred and his partner, Charlie, help a princess find her husband?
THE LOWDOWN: In July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles. One of them is John Carter of Mars Volume 1 #2. It is the second solo Dynamite John Carter comic book that I have read.
Writer Chuck Brown created in John Carter of Mars #1 the kind of comic book that I could not stop reading. I couldn't stop reading John Carter of Mars #2. What a blast! This series may be the freshest take on John Carter, if not ever, then, in a long time. Brown simultaneously reinvents Burroughs influential series and revitalizes it with fast-paced cross-planet action. He balances the action energy with strong characters, making each chapter a great read. There are, of course, some interesting new characters that hopefully will play a larger part in the narrative.
George Kambadais's art and coloring remind me of the work of Bruce Timm and of the graphic design of the Cartoon Network series, “Samurai Jack.” Kambadais' compositions contain an energy that seems to bounce off the walls of the panels like a careening ball of fire. He super-charges Brown's script and transforms it into powerful and attention-grabbing storytelling. This is also a new look for the John Carter property, and I welcome that freshness.
I hope that these first two issues are not flukes. After only two issues, I am highly recommending John Carter of Mars.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of Dynamite's Barsoom comic books will want to try John Carter of Mars.
[This comic book includes “Dynamite Dispatch” May 2022, which features an interview with writer Jordan Clark.]
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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