If you were being ruled by a despot, hell bent on destroying your planet, would you just sit there and do nothing?
Previously in John Carter: It has been centuries since the Martians have seen John Carter, let alone needed his aid to save the planet, but now, a terrible despot has arisen and the search for John Carter begins!
RETIREMENT ISN’T ALL IT IS CRACKED UP TO BE
There are many interesting character developments that writers Brian Wood and Alex Cox bring to this first issue. Life for John Cater and his wife, Queen Dejah Thoris, isn’t milk and honey, as they’ve had their problems over the years. The duo seem so lonely and isolated on Titan; the spark of romance and true love seems to have faded. Then, the green martians arrive, and share an amazing revelation about their son that causes the relationship to become even more strained and in danger of falling completely apart.
While it does make for an interesting premise, and the changes on Mars are frightening (and quite possibly a reflection of what is going on on Earth), I’m concerned that this story may have veered too far from what we know of John Carter. Sure change is good, and shaking things up, can lead to an interesting story, but you have to have the right characters to make it work. I guess we will have to wait for chapter two and see if it is good direction or not for our hero.
THE GREEN MOON TITAN
Way back in the long ago times, comic book art got all pointy and scratchy. Audiences reading these comics thought this stuff was the bees-knees and flocked to this style as a new wave of comic art that would radically change the world of comics for the better. I wasn’t a fan of the style when I first saw it in the ’80s, and today, this art style still turns me off. Lines where lines don’t belong, random changes in the direction of shadows, and the ballpoint pen look to the inks simply turn me off. While I understand this is a style that many readers will like, it is just not for me.
Is there good composition? Do the characters have weight on the page? Is there balance in the page? Yes to all of these, which is why I can still appreciate and see what Sherman is doing, even though the final product does nothing for me.
BOTTOM LINE: THIS IS DIFFERENT
Over the decades, we’ve seen John Carter’s adventures span the planets and the ages, all while Carter and friends stay the same age. Time is catching up to our heroes, and I like that this first chapter feels like a one last ride for ancient heroes type tale. I hope it plays out for the better, but I wasn’t super impressed with this issue. I always have high hopes for any John Carter series, but perhaps my fond memories of reading Edgar Rice Burroughs for the first time shade my enjoyment of what has come since. I’m troubled by the over direction the story is going, as it doesn’t feel like my John Carter. I hope the rest of series changes my mind.