Friday, August 5, 2022

Comics Review: JOHN CARTER OF MARS #4


STORY: Chuck Brown
ART: George Kambadais
COLORS: George Kambadais
LETTERS: Jeff Eckleberry
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Jonathan Lau
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (July 2022)

Rated Teen+

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 #4 opens on Earth, and the ruse of John and Eite is revealed.  Now, the two must come together to save Earth and Mars from merging, and also from the plot of the Therns and their approaching asteroid of pure Ninth metal.

On Mars, Dejah joins Thai and her husband, Lt. Fred Hines, and his fellow army officer, Charlie.  They hatch a plan to take on the Therns and their mad leader, Etor.  As Etor moves up the invasion, on Earth, John is facing death again.

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is John Carter of Mars Volume 1 #4.  It is the fourth solo Dynamite John Carter comic book that I have read.

Writer Chuck Brown continues his fresh take on John Carter, this time, with strong action and violence.  Artist and colorist George Kambadais shines in this fourth issue as he holds the story together as it jumps from planet to planet and from one plot twist to another.  As usual, Kambadais' art super-charges Brown's script and transforms it into powerful and attention-grabbing storytelling.

John Carter of Mars is fun, and I think it can be so even for teen readers.   It surprised me, and I am delighted that it did.  I hope this version is around for a bit.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Dynamite's Barsoom comic books will want to try John Carter of Mars.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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