Gulliver Jones has never been to Barsoom before. For the Major Spoilers look at his first visit, take the jump. . .
Previously in Warriors of Mars:John Carter and Gulliver Jones of Earth end up on Mars. This is Jones’s first visit to Barsoom. Honestly I didn’t read the previous issue so all I have is the opening that calls it a tale of Old Mars and what I’ve already said here. We’ll discuss this fact in a moment.
We open in medias res as John Carter and Gulliver Jones are fighting a bunch of greens. The two are handling things well enough but taking time that they apparently don’t have. At the mention of Dejah Thoris they jump into the River of Death at which point we flashback to, presumably, find out why they were there (yes, that’s what we do). In that quick scene we actually establish a few things, including the appropriate witty banter, who these guys are, part of why they are there, and a bit of their relationship, without saying anything specific about those other than some names. At this point I’m fully along for the ride.
So, we’ve done a bit of a flashback and are told as such with the Martian term for a month and given a timeline of many years after John Carter’s return to Mars, world building and context, good. The scene unfolds as a Thither scavenger, the first of his kind to venture into Helium (at least that Dejah knows of) is bargaining with Princess Dejah Thoris over some items that may be from her mother’s people. John Carter distrusts him but continues to back down at Dejah’s command, another good nod to their relationship. In the middle of the night, a rug that no one could unroll draws the princess so she can free Gulliver Jones from it. While they discuss who he is we find out Carter was right to distrust the Thither as he stayed on the castle grounds to steal but is now finding more pertinent info, such as the Thither’s greatest enemy being alive. The Thither heads back to his boss and they hatch a plan to kidnap Dejah to draw in Jones. Over the next few pages we are shown Jones adjusting to life in Helium through training and then an outing to take on some apes, while Carter continues to become more jealous of him. Once Dejah is kidnapped the pair hurries to her rescue immediately, Gulliver leading them to the Thither Kingdom, right into the ambush our story started with. The fight is rushed, since we’ve seen it before and we are given just a bit more before the book closes.
Jadson is good. Dejah Thoris is suitably attractive, the two male leads are different enough to tell apart without hair color, and the rest of the cast have enough variety to remain interesting. Nothing here bothered me, and most of it looks really good. The art in this book just plain works.
BOTTOM LINE: GREAT
As I said earlier, I hadn’t read any of the issues leading up to Warriors of Mars #3 and I never felt like I needed to. The opening page set up of the “first visit of Gulliver Jones to Barsoom” was all I needed to get an idea of what was happening, everything else was set up in the story very well. We are also given a good look at how the relationships are going to play out, with Carter being subservient to Dejah as the princess and his jealousy of Jones that is clear with how he treats him but never outright stated by anyone. This is a great example of how to write a title that doesn’t alienate new readers and as such Warriors of Mars #3 earns a very good 4.5 out of 5 stars.