John Carter is on Mars, in the company of the Tharks – an honored warriors held in high regard. But what about the boobies? Dejah Thoris seems to be the main attraction for new readers, and in this issue the red Martian makes her grand appearance.

Writer: Arvid Nelson
Artist: Lui Antonio
Covers: J. Scott Campbell, Joe Jusko, Patrick Berkenkotter, Lucio Parrillo
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Joseph Rybrandt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Warlord of Mars: Having defeated one of the Thark chieftains, John Carter has been welcomed into the group – though the green Martians do keep a close eye on the new arrival. Finding himself bored one evening, Carter explores the city, only to come face to face with the white apes that seek to destroy anyone in their path.


I think I like the serialized telling of this series much better than reading it in book form.. As a book, the entire Princess of Mars tale can be read in a single overnight sitting, so there is no anticipation of what comes next. As a monthly, those who aren’t familiar with the source material will constantly be wondering what happens next, especially when they’ve been teased for three months with a half nekkid woman on the cover.

The red Martians are introduced in this issue, and introduced in a grand style as the Tharks fire upon a passing fleet, causing one of the flying ships to crash into the city. Carter, not knowing what is going on, finally comes face to face with Dejah Thoris. And what an introduction! It’s clear Carter is smitten with her on first sight, and while some might point to hormones as the driving force, Carter confronts the Tharks on their moral code, killing another chieftain in the process, and “winning” Thoris’ freedom in the end. Unfortunately, the way Carter goes about saving the girl he will eventually marry (SPOILER), causes a rift with many of the Tharks. Fortunately, Tars Tarkas is still on his side, and all will work out in the end (SPOILER).

Compared to previous issue, the narration takes center stage as Nelson adapts the Burroughs classic in a way that still holds up, but like the original story, the constant droning of the central character becomes difficult to maintain for long periods of time. Hopefully, now that Carter has mastered the language, the descriptions will fade, and more actual dialogue will move to the forefront.


I wasn’t paying attention to the art in the previous issue, but I noticed it right away this time. I like the cut lines on the male characters, as muscle definition is detailed nicely. Carter does look a bit like He-Man when he’s in full regalia, but I think that adds to the feeling of a big epic story. The really dark shading that I’ve mentioned before is present here and there throughout the issue, but there are enough bright scenes where lighting and coloring look more natural.

And for those who are wondering about Dejah Thoris – she looks fabulous.

There are several full body shots that show her soft features compared to the rugged bodies of the Tharks and Carter, and it works wonderfully. If you like scantily clad women, who might as well be nude, Lui delivers, but I would ask that readers look at Antonio’s full range of work in this issue from the male and female form, the great grasp of technological objects, and his architectural skills. He knows his stuff!


Even with the over use of narration, I really enjoyed the continuation of the story. Carter is learning the customs and inserting some of his own on the beings of Mars, and big confrontations are on the horizon. Lui Antonio’s art is really good in this issue, and I’m hoping he continues on the series. Warlord of Mars #4 is certainly worth a look, and earns a solid 4 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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