Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: John Carter - the Gods of Mars#1

In my review of the graphic novel Tale of Sand, I wondered what the future held in store for artist Ramon K. Perez, feeling he was definitely a talent worth keeping track of. Now I have my answer: he's drawing the 5-issue mini-series John Carter: the Gods of Mars for Marvel Comics.

Not an entirely prestigious assignment, especially given how lackluster the John Carter movie has been performing at the box office, but no one give up on this book before cracking the cover. My scanner can't do this beautiful art proper justice:

The Gods of Mars is adapted by Sam Humphries from one of Edgar Rice Burroughs' original John Carter novels and follows on from A Princess of Mars, previously adapted for Marvel by Roger Langridge and Filipe Andrade. That series isn't recapped here, except for in a single-paragraph block of text. Reading A Princess of Mars or having a basic familiarity with the John Carter franchise might help a new reader, but I don't think it's strictly necessary. What we have here is simply a grand, high adventure science fiction tale. John Carter finds himself on Mars, as inexplicably as his first visit had begun and ended; he quickly meets up with his friend Tars Tarkas and is anxious to look up his wife, Dejah Thoris, but Carter and Tarkas are soon emeshed within local troubles when they find a group who have been claiming their land is the afterlife ("Mars is Heaven?"). It's a standard action-adventure tale, but it's all in the telling and Perez is quite capable in that department!

However you feel about John Carter, please consider giving this book a chance. It may be the most beautiful thing Marvel is currently publishing and I doubt many will even notice its coming or going.


Colin Smith said...

Gosh. I was - stupidly it seems - ready to just leave this to one side as another example of lackluster product. Thanks for the nudge.

Michael Hoskin said...

You're welcome, Colin! If you're the only person I convince to read Gods of Mars, then the post was well worth it.