Dynamite Entertainment 2017
Written by Brian Wood & Alex Cox
Illustrated by Hayden Sherman
Coloured by Chris O’Halloran
Lettered by Thomas Napolitano
Centuries have passed and time has taken its toll. Conflict burns across the landscape of Barsoom. A war of supremacy and genocide at the hands of a brutal despot has brought the planet to the edge of collapse. A search party has finally located an aged John Carter and Dejah Thoris, living in quiet seclusion on a desert moon, in perpetual mourning for a lost son. How could they be Mars' last hope?
I’ll be honest I have never been a big John Carter fan but when a new number one comes out I always like to read it to see what’s going on. Add into the mix Brian Wood’s co-writing this one and well that makes it a no-brainer to give it a go. One of my biggest hesitations about reading John’s adventures is that there are so many and he has a rich history that often I feel lost coming into a series. So I enjoyed that while this seems to be culmination of previous stories it is still new reader friendly. I found the explanations in the narrative/dialogue to be extremely forthcoming in telling us where things are. This made it easier for me to get behind this I mean let’s face it no one wants to see just the end of a movie we wanna know a bit of how it got to that point.
The opening sequence grabs your attention nicely and makes you wonder what the heck is going on and how is Titan littered with the kind of civilisation that we’re seeing. Granted it looks barren but the fact that the landscape is interchangeable with buildings or building like structures makes the mind race with possibilities and that means we’ve been hooked into going deeper into the story.
So I like how this unfolds the whole science fiction aspect of planet hopping and using technology that shouldn’t be available yet alongside the almost barbarian style of dress see it all has this inexplicable feel about it that tugs at you. The mix of action/adventure into the drama of the storytelling to show us how bad things have gotten on Badoom since the pair left well it’s got all that we need and then some. The heart strings are pulled, stretched to the breaking point for various reasons and they come at once.
With that how this issue plays out well that’s a perfect example of a story structured to near perfection. This along with the premise, characterisation and story advancement draw in the reader give them familiar elements some of which are harder to place than others and yet still keep that interest level maxed.
While i’m not usually a fan of this style of artwork it does have a certain appeal for this story and genre. The use of linework here to bring the characters and their surroundings to life is extremely well done. The use of light and dark, shadows and such are impressive to me. The mood, tone and feel the work brings to the reader is really both exciting and mysterious. They do well here in keeping the artwork in tune with the writing.
Longtime fans of John Carter will love this and if you’ve wanted to give him a try now's a perfect time to do so this is one that will thrill, excite and mesmerise readers.