Mars certainly is a desert planet. Of course, it's also a barren, frozen lifeless rock with almost no atmosphere. So if, for the sake of John Carter, we're going to overlook the temperature and lack of air and populate Mars with various fauna, we're not allowed to hope for a tree or two? Maybe a few cactus? Some sagebrush? What're all these people living on, given the lack of good farming country? Where are the bleeding canals?
As to the leaping about like a jackrabbit on steroids, Mars gravity is a little more than a third of Earth's. Not two or three percent, which is would allow young Mr. Carter to casually leap the half-mile or so illustrated. Even LeBron couldn't do that in .38 G.
I'd also carp that despite John's leaping abilities, everything else on Mars seems to obey Earth gravity, and fall with about the same acceleration you'd see on Earth.But that'd be even nit-pickier. Being faithful to the novel isn't necessarily a good thing, if the novel is bad pulp. I don't blame ERB for not doing hard science fiction. But the whole jumping thing must've looked better on the page, 'cause on screen it looked pretty dumb.
Superman flying.... How does he does that, anyway? No wings for lift, so it's got to be all thrust. But, no propellors, so...jet propulsion? Like a ramjet, in one end and out the other?
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