One of my favorite comic books releases today – John Carter Warlord of Mars. The Ron Marz and Ian Edginton written series for Dynamite Comics is consistently one of the most entertaining monthly titles that I look forward to each month. Issue 12 is available now at your local comic shop and it’s amazing to think of how this series has already been a year in publication. It feels like just yesterday we brought word to you of Ron Marz and John Carter, which you could re-read here. Whether or not you are a fan of the Edgar Rice Burroughs classic stories and/or the 2012 Disney movie, it’s a series worth picking up.
“Lost Empires” Part Two continues where we last left off in John Carter Warlord of Mars issue 11. You could find our review here. Our heroes, John Carter and Dejah Thoris, have awakened the Orovars, an ancient race on Barsoom (Mars). The Last Orovar named Aron has been asleep for five hundred millenia and he tells John Carter and Dejah Thoris of their failed plans to save Barsoom. The ideas Ron Marz and Ian Edginton present within John Carter Warlord of Mars issue 12, while faithful to the known mythology of Barsoom, borders more on 2013’s Man of Steel and the 1994 film Stargate than anything else. It would be easy to overlook if I had not just watched Man of Steel a few nights ago. The Last Orovar named Aron tells us that in trying to save the dying planet, the Orovars had to “look to the stars.” It’s a line that Jor-El (Russel Crowe) says in the first ten minutes of the film. He goes on to speak of the terrestrial transformer and gene banks, which are not all that different from the World Engine General Zod uses on Earth, along with the Matrix-y gene banks we see on Krypton and in the scout ship. Near the end, we see Ariel Medel’s depiction of Aron’s ship, which resembles a pyramid. It brings to mind the pyramid transportation ships from the film Stargate. Earlier in the issue, Aron makes mention of having previously visited Jasoom (Earth). Could the Orovars have inspired the ancient Egyptians?
The similarities Ron Marz and Ian Edginton’s issue 12 script shares with Man of Steel is forgivable as the concepts in both the film and comic book work as very interesting science-fiction. The Orovars are not all that different from *The Therns in their appearance and presentation and so it’s fitting that they are presented as scientifically arrogant beings that regard themselves as gods
- *The Therns are a shadowy and sometimes villainous race within the Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter stories.
John Carter Warlord of Mars issue 12 is episodic as most of the issues are and feel very close in tone to the original Marvel series. However, the Dynamite series of John Carter Warlord of Mars is much closer in tone and spirit to the Edgar Rice Burroughs stories. Ron Marz and Ian Edginton continually exhibit knowledge of the books that help create an authenticity to each issue that any fan of the original books will recognize. Before John Carter and his wife, the Princess of Mars, Dejah Thoris battle with Aron, he tells them “oceans were shrinking, the vast bodies of water that defined my culture were atrophying.” This is nearly a line for line quote of what was originally written in the Edgar Rice Burroughs short story “The City of Mummies.”
I’m very happy to see that Dynamite’s John Carter Warlord of Mars series has been in publication for a year now. It’s a fun and adventurous title that never disappoints. Mind you, I am a fan of the Edgar Rice Burroughs stories and film, but Ron Marz and Ian Edginton have written an extremely accessible story for just about anyone that loves comic books. With issue 12 out and the first trade now available, this is the perfect time to get caught up in a good, old-fashioned story featuring the romanticism of adventure!
John Carter Warlord of Mars issue 12 gets four stars and is available now,
John Carter Warlord of Mars vol. 1: Invaders of Mars is available in trade now. You could purchase that here!
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