6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2012
Originally Reviewed at: Mother/Gamer/Writer(This was reviewed in conjunction with the movie. Visit the site to see full review of both)
Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: NetGalley
Never having read the original John Cater series created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, I don't really have anything to base my review of the movie and graphic on other than my overall opinion of the finished product. With that being said, I must admit I absolutely adored both! John Carter is not your typical superhero; in fact he is nothing more than an ordinary bad mouthing, gun slinging ex-cavalry officer in the Confederate Army with a short temper who just happens to end up on Mars. He's a tad bit arrogant, very compassionate, and just can't seem to stay out of a fight. All of these qualities combined make John Carter one tough Science Fiction character not to love.
The story begins in 1866 at the close of the Civil War in a small frontier establishment in Arizona. In the graphic novel, John is accompanied by John K. Powell; however in the movie he meets Powell with his fist shortly after arriving in Arizona, literally. The circumstance in which John Carter ends up on Mars, or Barsoom, are slightly different in both the graphic novel and movie. I won't go into too much detail about how he mysteriously arrives on the planet, but Carter tends to get himself into a mega amount of trouble.
Diving into the graphic novel first, Warlord of Mars Volume 1 embodies everything I love about comics and graphic novels. It's full of action, has beautifully illustrated artwork, and an over the top storyline. Volume 1 consists of 266 pages, 170 or so being the actual story and the rest is artwork (at least in my review version from NetGalley). There are 9 Issues from the Warlord Series, and each explains the complicated story of John Carter on Mars and how he became infamous. The legend of John Carter is EPIC. And by epic I mean there is plenty of fighting, ruthless killings, Barsoomian creatures, futuristic cities and machinery, a scantily clad man, and one well endowed woman to rev even the tiniest sci-fi nerds engines.
Once I started reading I couldn't strip my eyes from the pages. They were super glued, to every frame, every creature, and every battle. I loved meeting all of the major characters, Tars Tarkas, Princess Dejah Thoris, Sola, and a little green monster dog named Woola who was so slimy and cute I couldn't help but smile at her overzealous behavior. What I liked most about Warlord of Mars was the back story. While the movie failed to give us history and depth to our characters, the graphic novel excelled at delivering the who, what, when, where and why certain things where happening. Though the storylines were different, it was still nice to get a sense of who our characters were and what made them into the people they are today.
Overall, the story of John Carter and his victories around Mars are told brilliantly in this graphic novel. I highly, highly, highly, (and in case you didn't hear me) HIGHLY, recommend Warlord of Mars Volume 1 to all Science Fiction/Fantasy/Adventure lovers. And due to the extreme graphic nature of this comic, please read responsibly and keep it over 18.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Aside from a few stray issues of Marvel's JOHN CARTER, WARLORD OF MARS series that I picked up when I was a kid in the mid-'70's, I haven't really had much exposure to Edgar Rice Burrough's heroic Virginia soldier. The recent movie piqued my interest enough to give Dynamite's WARLORD OF MARS series a try, though, and I'm glad I did. Comprised of the first nine issues of the series, the first volume tells of John Carter's arrival on Mars, his initial meetings with future ally Tars Tarkas and future Wife Dejah Thoris, and features more outrageous adventures and gratuitous gore and nudity than you can shake a stick at.
Having never read the source material, I can't really say how faithful this adaptation is, but Writer Arvid Nelson and Artists Stephen Sadowski and Lui Antonio have really done an outstanding job. There are some things that are intrinsic to the John Carter story that just seem, to me, anyway, patently ridiculous.....The fact that almost everyone on Mars exists in a state of nudity or near-nudity, for instance, Carter's Superman-esque abilities, I could go on and on.....Nelson makes all of these things go down easier by telling an enjoyable, straight-forward story that reminded me why comics are so much fun. The book is INCREDIBLY Gory, so I wouldn't recommend this for younger readers. In addition to the first nine issues, WARLORD OF MARS, VOLUME ONE also features a complete gallery of every regular and variant cover, a small design gallery, and an extensive section featuring John Carter's journal entries regarding Martian life and civilization. An excellent read all around.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2012
There are two publishers doing John Carter comics right now. Marvel is doing stuff for the upcoming Disney movie and Dynamite is doing this series, as well as the ongoing Dejah Thoris comic. Unless you are buying comics for a 3-6 year old, buy this one. The first volumes from each publisher retell the same ERB novel, A Princess of Mars, but it seems that only the folks at Dynamite bothered to read the book first. Sadly, the writing is where Marvel's adaption shines best, as the art looks like something your not-very-artistic child drew for you and begs you to hang on the fridge. It's literally impossible to tell what is happening in half of the Marvel version. Their own John Carter comics in the 70s looked 1000% better. The art and story here are top notch, only to be outdone by their own Dejah Thoris spin-off, which I'll review later.
If you are interested in the upcoming Disney movie or better still, are already a fan of the books, do yourself a favor and grab the first volumes of this series and Dejah Thoris, and pre-order Dejah Thoris volume 2. They're all well worth your money.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2013
These books are just gorgeous and yes, there're a lot of very hot chicks wearing not much in them. (The original books, however, specified that the Red Martians never wore ANY clothes. So there.) They do have that pulp feel to them - which can make them feel kind of stupid to modern and sophisticated audiences.
on October 24, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Action, adventure, passion, violence, and larger-than-life characters are all staples of the tales told by Edgar Rice Burroughs and this comic collection of nine issues from Dynamite's WARLORD OF MARS captures all of those ingredients masterfully. I really enjoyed this book. Featuring an introduction by Burroughs himself which sets an appropriate atmosphere for what is to follow, this collection features excellent artwork (colored flawlessly), exciting adventure, a 15-page pictorial glossary at the book's end which includes a Martian map (as drawn by John Carter) and which fills in details about Martian life, as well as full-page variant covers for each of the issues. The stories are printed on the same kind of thin, glossy paper that you find in individual comics, making it a bit difficult to turn a single page at times but this is a minor nuisance given the rich panorama the artwork provides for the eye. Full page covers at the start of each issue are also featured.
The comics are rated Mature and the abundance of partial or complete nudity (as originally imagined by ERB himself in his Mars books, albeit with discreet shading where appropriate here) makes that rating understandable. It is a fun, smooth read, thanks largely to the artists' use of full-page panels to give breadth to their expansive landscapes (both of Earth and of Mars), interesting dialogue and narration, as well as tighter, smaller panels to create tension during heated verbal exchanges or hand-to-hand combat sequences.
As a sidenote, it's interesting that two of ERB's most iconic characters shared the same initials: John Clayton, Lord Greystoke (aka Tarzan) and John Carter of Mars. Fans of ERB and science fiction, in general, should enjoy this book. The artwork alone will demand more than a second look.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2012
Shadowhawk reviews the first volume in the retelling of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic Princess of Mars. This is a nine-issue collection with additional bonus material that somewhat parallels the story of John Carter the movie as well.
"Expect to be bowled over by this fantastic retelling and wowed by the amazing artwork as Arvid Nelson tackles the origin story of one of the world's first superheroes. You seriously cannot miss reading this." ~ The Founding Fields
I am a recent convert to the world of John Carter, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs all those years ago. It began with the movie John Carter and then progressed through to reading the first two volumes of Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris and now with this. I have to say that I really can't get enough of this entire setting and the characters and the location itself. They are all just too evocative and immersive. You can get lost for hours and not even realise how much time has passed. Warlord of Mars Volume 1 is just utterly fantastic in that way.
Warlord of Mars Volume 1 is John Carter's origin story in that it tells of how he comes to Mars and becomes a legend in the histories of both the Tharks and the Red Men. In all aspects, this is a very mature and serious narrative that really shows the more brutal side of John Carter's first visit to Barsoom, as Mars is known by the natives. Comparatively, John Carter is very upbeat and even Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris often has a less serious tone. That was the charm of this graphic novel for me. I wasn't reading just a comic-book adaptation of Princess of Mars, but something much more that can really appeal to the adult readers.
The story is very much a romp through the world. We get to see the workings of the Thark society throughout as Arvid Nelson exposes John Carter to this Orcish race of the future and then later with the Red Men as the hero gets embroiled in their inter-city conflicts. This helped me in immersing myself into the narrative. By the end of the collection, I felt like I understood both the Martian societies as they were well-developed and well-characterised. In any SF setting, in order to portray alien societies as realistic and unique, it is important to work on developing them in detail, whether it is a direct experience for the reader through the eyes of the "aliens" themselves or through the "non-alien" characters. It also helps if there is a strong basis for contrast with something that the readers will be familiar with: our own Earthly societies and cultures.
A full review can be found over at The Founding Fields:
on August 6, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Great book for comic lovers.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2014
I'm probably going to get as much flak for this review as the other reviewer who only gave it three stars (vs the five star reviews everyone else is giving it) but....
My overall impression is "not bad".. some might consider this both unfair and unrealistic but I reserve 5 star ratings for what many comic fans would consider "epic" graphic novels that fall into the "universal acclaim" category.. while there are those who would differ with me that list includes the older Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman, Watchmen and V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller... anything short of that I don't give 5 stars.
The art is pretty good.. compared to say Alex Ross's painted artwork in "Kingdom Come" for example I'm not sure I can give it 5 stars... and as far as the depiction of Dejah (cringes)...
(warning, minor spoilers follow) Okay, you have to understand that this is based on the original novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs back in 1912... that's a long, long time before the feminist movement, advocating for equal rights for women, and so forth.. I'd like to think we've come a long way since then and it probably explains why I winced in pretty much every panel Dejah appears in... my thought process reading the book was "Oh, okay, this guy is in the middle of the Confederate war and suddenly finds himself on an alien planet, cool, okay he's stronger than everyone else due to the way gravity works on Mars, that's a neat twist and.. OH MY GOD THIS WOMAN IS NAKED !!!!! ... okay, he's adapting to the strange alien warrior culture of the big green martian giants, cool and ... DEAR GOD IT'S THE NAKED WOMAN AGAIN! ... okay here he is civilizing the green martians and making them better people and HOLY CRAP NAKED WOMAN !
Okay, technically she's got nipple-cap-glue-on-things of some sort and a thong but.. for all practical intents and purposes, naked. Every time I saw her she also fell into the stereotypical "damsel in distress" situation and was constantly in need of rescuing. And don't get me wrong, I'm not a prude.. I see no problem at all with nudity when it makes sense given what's going on in the story... Dejah's about to make love to John Carter? Okay nudity totally makes sense. But walking around with the two nipple covers and a thong as the entire outfit all the time? I suppose that sort of thing would have been part and parcel of what Burroughs did and did well in his novels .... manly-macho-men rescuing women and "reaping the rewards" if you will, but...
Again I get that this is based on a novel written before feminism really hit it's stride... there's a lot to like in this comic but... I just can't really enjoy it as much as I normally would given the outdated treatment of females. And I'm a heterosexual male who enjoys seeing pictures of scantily clad women as much as I suppose any other heterosexual male would ...still just couldn't get past the guilt and secretly wishing she would just pick up a sword and start kicking ass right alongside Carter (maybe she does in later graphic novels? No idea...).. I'm wondering what opinion a female pro-women's-rights-comic-book-reader (and there are a fair number of them out there google it .. heck I read a lot of their blogs) would have about this though hopefully they will take the dated material the graphic novel is based on into account.
Still, for someone like me who hasn't read the original Burroughs novels it's a fun peek at what many would consider to be one of his classic works... in comic book form at that which is pretty neat. And again, given what the author's novels tended to be like in the first place (I did read his Tarzan novels) I'm guessing this is actually a faithful adaption of the his original Barsoom books that does them justice... I guess if you're not the kind of guy who cringes at the whole "damsel is ALWAYS in distress and scantily clad" sort of thing then you might give this 4 or even 5 stars. Even putting the feminism thing aside I still wouldn't give it 5 stars (though again my 5 star standards are very high, see above).
Again I realize I'm going to provoke a lot of angry comments here.. folks, free speech is your constitutional right but please bear in mind fiction (including comic books) is a VERY subjective thing, what one person loves another person may hate.. each person is still entitled to their own opinion and attacking someone else for their opinion just because you disagree with them... that's a bit narrow minded don't you think? Feel free to disagree with me but I humble suggest you do what I strive to do even when I publicly disagree with others on the 'net - keep it civil and remember that the person whose review you are commenting about is just that.. a person. It's hard to keep that in mind when that person doesn't have a face and they're just some anonymous presence on a computer screen a zillion miles away but.. honestly, I think that's the civilized thing to do.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Fans of the classic Edger Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars will really appreciate the new look of this classic story.
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
On Warlord of Mars: Well let's start with the good. The cover illustrations that are inclued in this collection of the original comic book series are absolutely beautiful.
The interior art is really not up to standards. You have to keep fliping back and forth pages to even tell who is talking or what is happening. Everyone looks the same. Granted in the original ERB's series the martians are claimed to be of no different in appearance. However even animals of the same kind have differences. You can tell one lion from another, just like people.
Being someone who has read ERB's Warlord of Mars the entire series at least three times, I still had a hard time following it. I was able to fill in the missing gaps in the story. As for the writer, he did ERBs justice in keeping to the original text and was true to the writing. However he used the language of the martians in a made up language. I personally liked this touch. However that combination with the artwork made it very confusing.
I don't know how anyone that never read War Lord of Mars could even follow this story. I know is has recieved possitive reviews from other readers, plus the sales seem to be good. This series is a dream come true for a pure ERBs fan. I was very disapointed. I purchased the first issue and I am also going to purchase the second issue when it comes out. On issue #2 I really hope they correct the artwork problems. This is a dream job for many better artists.
I am a cartoonist by trade and the simple rules of comic book art is to make people recognizeable, from panel to panel,and page to page, includeing expresions. To make one character even if it is of the same race have some way to tell one chartacter from another, perhaps a scar, blemish on the skin, even a mole or a broken tooth. This artist attemped to do these rules, but not effectively.
I recomend this book to only the present day comic fan. If you are a true ERG's die-hard you will find yourself a little disapointed. Like I said this was a very hard call. Plus I'm still going to purchase the next issue. I just hope they can fix things before I give up on it. That would be very disapointing for me.
Dynamite is putting out a lot of good stuff. I have read several of their books as we speak. Out of all the Graphic Novels I've read I like this title the least. They are a very good company and even the big guys have their fall out titles. Right now I'm just going to keep the faith and hope they can fix the problems.
Theodore Raymond Riddle Creator/Cartoonist/Author