Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Comics Review: JOHN CARTER OF MARS #5


STORY: Chuck Brown
ART: George Kambadais
COLORS: George Kambadais
LETTERS: Jeff Eckleberry
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Vincenzo Carratu
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 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 #5 opens in John Carter's mind, as he contemplates the sins of his past and the destiny that is his future.  Now, it is time for him to join his wife, Dejah, and the human, Thai, in their battle to stop the conspiracy against Earth and Mars hatched by the Therns and their Green Martian allies.  Meanwhile, Thai's husband, Lt. Fred Hines, and his fellow army officer, Charlie, travel through the “Carrion Caves” to retrieve the “Ninth hands.”

Ninth technology can bring the humans back to Earth and send the Barsoomians back to Mars, but only if John Carter can use his abilities to destroy a deadly meteor of Ninth metal hurtling towards Mars. However, in order to save two worlds, someone must make an impossible sacrifice...

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 #5.  It is the fourth fifth Dynamite John Carter comic book that I have read.

Writer Chuck Brown brings his fresh take on John Carter to a close.  Brown fills this series with strong action and violence and constant plot twists and turns.  John Carter of Mars is a revamp of the franchise into an energetic science fiction adventure with an ensemble cast of heroes.  It feels like there are numerous possibilities for another series.

Artist and colorist George Kambadais shines throughout this series with his splashy graphic design and dynamic illustrations.  He brings Brown's script to life as a fast-paced comic book that feels as if it not only spans worlds, but also time.  Kambadais' art super-charges Brown's script, from beginning to end, and the result is a thoroughly satisfying read.

John Carter of Mars is fun, and it feels like there should be more.  Dear readers, enjoy this while I hope for another adventure across two worlds.

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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