REVIEW: Warlord of Mars #22

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Dejah Thoris has been taken and John Carter is in hot pursuit like Barney Fife. Carter is flying close behind Shang’s airship in an attempt to overtake them. Will he succeed and be reunited with his love? Read on this Major Spoilers review.

WARLORD OF MARS #22
WRITER: Arvid Nelson
ARTIST: Leandro Oliveira
COLORS: Chiago Ribeiro
LETTERS: Marshall Dillon
EDITOR: Joe Rybandt
PUBLISHER: Dynamite Entertainment
COVER PRICE: $3.99

Previously in Warlord of Mars: The high priest of Issus and a Black Martian named Thurid have absconded with Dejah Thoris and Thuvia of Ptarth. John Carter is not pleased and is following secretly in an attempt to remedy the situation.

EASY TO JUMP IN

John Carter is hot on the heels of Matai Shang after the abduction of Dejah Thoris and Thuvia. Carter is pursuing Shang on a flyer, but is shot down over the jungle of Kaol and stumbles onto a war band of Green Martians. He slaughters them in defense of Thuvan Dihn, a Red Martian and the father of Thuvia. Manly friendship ensues and the two set off into the jungle to save Dejah Thoris and Thuvia.

“Warlord of Mars” was in single digits when I last read an issue, so I expected to be completely lost when I jumped into this one—especially because it’s part two of a new arc. Gladly, though, I was wrong. Between the recap on the inside front cover and the extremely well-crafted expository dialogue in the first few pages I quickly was able to pick up on the story and enjoy it without worrying I was missing something.

I really enjoyed the writing in this issue—it felt like a pulp novel and was much sharper than I remembered from the earlier issues.

PRETTY PICTURES

Leandro Oliveira’s art is particularly gorgeous in this issue. Carter’s initial incursion into Kaol is beautiful and the setting looks sufficiently alien—even for Mars—and makes the point that this is terra incognito for Carter and company. Some panels seemed a little too airbrushed but it ultimately didn’t bother me even though it stood out.

Fight against the Green Martians felt lacking, though. There was clearly blood and fighting, but the impression of action was lost amid the squabble. It felt more like people posing for a painting of a battle rather than actually fighting one—there was no dynamism.

BOTTOM LINE: SOLID PULP ACTION

I enjoy watching Martians fight and ride around on eight-legged horses and this issue did nothing to abate that enjoyment. It was a quick, enjoyable read and made me regret not following the title more closely. If you enjoy watching Martians fight against and beside John Carter, than you should pick this up as well. Even if you don’t keep reading it’s worthing looking at and might induce you to follow it for a few issues. 3.5 stars.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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