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Review: Warlord of Mars #1

Friday, October 15, 2010 - 10:10
REVIEW: WARLORD OF MARS #1 WARLORD OF MARS #1 Writer:   Arvid Nelson Artist:   Stephen Sadowski Colorist:   Adriano Lucas Covers:   Alex Ross, Scott Campbell, Joe Jusko, and Lucio Parrillo   Warning:  Contain Spoilers   It’s hard to believe that the John Carter of Mars series of stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs will turn 100 years old in just two short years.  I can remember reading the old stories around the age of 12 and being completely enthralled.  I loved the old John Carter of Mars Marvel Comics series – one of the best comics adaptations of the material ever produced.  I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the live action movie currently in production.  Burroughs’ John Carter series falls within what I call the “soft” or “high fantasy” end of the cosmic continuum in terms of storyline; but it represents the best that the high fantasy end of cosmic has to offer.  In fact, the John Carter novels are often considered to be a major influence if not the outright forefather of modern high fantasy cosmic stories that have a sword and sorcery bent. Writer Arvid Nelson really knows the Carter lore.  That much is evident from page one of this comic.  He’s written what is essentially a prequel to Burroughs’ first John Carter novel,  A Princess of Mars.  I must say that I’m impressed with his work.  He’s taking his time and introducing us to Carter – giving us greater insight into the man who will become Mars’ greatest warrior when Carter is still just a downtrodden former Confederate soldier.  Thus, much of the first part of the story takes place in the mid-19th century western frontier of the United States.  Nelson kicks the cosmic into the story at mid-point as we turn to Mars to see the beginning of the ascendance of Tars Tarkus to a warrior and leadership role among his tribe of “green men.” Sadowski’s art and Lucas’ colors work well together to bring both the Old West and the planet Mars to stunning life.  I was lucky enough to snag three of the four magnificent covers to this comic.  The cover art is nothing short of stupendous – some of the best John Carter art I’ve ever seen. I’ve got a new favorite on my cosmic pull list and it’s called Warlord of Mars.  Seriously guys, check this one out.  It looks like it’s going to be a fairly faithful adaptation of the books with an eye toward a subtle re-boot to bring the stories into the modern age.  Article by:  Bill Meneese