Story: Ron Marz & Ian Edginton
Art: Ariel Medel
What They Say:
Experience Mars in all its barbaric glory, as John Carter and Dejah Thoris continue their search for a way to preserve their dying world. But their journey may lead to certain death, as a mysterious foe stalks their every move!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Having connected at long last with the John Carter, Warlord of Mars with the last two issues after struggling to find any of the other series connecting for me, the latest issue continues to be a pretty fun one that is helping to keep my interest. Part of that is that right now it’s just focused on our two leads and an adventure gone wrong out in the wilds of Barsoom. I’m coming into this pretty late so I have no idea what’s been covered before, but just from experience and the way it’s truly an open world in many ways there’s a fertile layer of adventures to be mined here. It’s a big world with a rich history that can have all kinds of little offshoots to work with. And this installment, seemingly a one-off for the most part, looks to be a continuation of that angle.
Having survived the encounter with the Orovar, it doesn’t take long for John and Dejah to end up in more trouble as their flyer didn’t last all that long. Apparently colliding with a mountain is not a good thing. So what we get here is fairly standard introductory material where they’re making their way across the desert with nothing left for supplies and are on the verge of their end. But in tried and true fashion, they’re not giving up and are struggling to survive. Considering their adventures to date this is no surprise. The fun comes when they luck upon an oasis that’s actually real, though as John notes anything that looks too good to be true usually is. The creature under the water is a familiar riff, but it opens us up to this whole other cavernous world that exists down below for them to partake on. Once they survive the land-octopus thingy.
Therein lies the fun adventure as they travel along and make discoveries. For John, coming from Earth where there’s continuous mystery to be had in all parts of the world, he just takes it in and enjoys it. For Dejah, however, having thought she knew the world and what it was all of this is a revelation. A welcome one, in fact, because it means there’s so much more to discover. With this being an Orovar area it’s little surprise that we find a bit more underground of theirs and that makes for some simple but effective material with plant men creatures similar to ones that they’ve encountered before. It gives them the requisite fight scene but it also continues to reinforce the dynamic between John and Dejah as he continues his version of chivalry while she just chides him for the continual protection when she can and wants to be fully involved in the fighting. It’s a familiar problem for the two of them over the course of the property that takes on more significance these days as she asserts herself more and more.
The journey home continues here with another side story and it’s one that works well for the most part, giving us some good time between the two leads without adding new named characters that would likely end up being throwaway characters. The faceless creature side works well in this respect and lets Medel shine a bit with some creativity in design as well as the general look and flow of the action since it’s not the usual humanoid creatures for some of it. The planet creatures are pretty creepy all on their own and having a horde of them makes for a pretty fun sequence, even if you know they’re not going to devour either of our leads. It’s a fun little adventure that expands our knowledge of the world and the mystery of it all while leaving you wanting more.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 25th, 2015