Double Review| John Carter (Movie) & Warlord Of Mars Volume 1 (Graphic Novel)
I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
Warlord of Mars Vol #1 by Arvid Nelson, Stephen Sadowski, Lui Antonio
Published by: Dynamite Entertainment on 10/11/2011
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Science Fiction
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
The original warrior of Mars comes to Dynamite! Warlord of Mars is an enhancement of the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs story, Princess of Mars. If you thought you knew the story, think again! Featuring John Carter, an ex-cavalry officer in the Confederate Army who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars, joined on his adventures by Tars Tarkas, his Martian comrade, and Dejah Thoris, a Martian Princess. Collects the first 8-issues of the hit series, along with bonus material and a complete cover gallery featuring such great artists as Alex Ross, Joe Jusko, J. Scott Campbell, Lucio Parrillo, and more.
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.
And if you are a fan of gorgeous artwork, check out some of the covers below.
Graphic Novel Rating
5 out of 5 Controllers
When I heard Disney was making this movie I pretty much cringed at the thought. I expected it to be clean cut, lack vibrancy and luster, and pretty much turn out to be a total wash. If I told you how wrong I was would you go see it, support it, and then buy the comic?
John Carter was a BLAST! I haven’t had this much fun watching a movie in a long time. The action was explosive. Director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) did a phenomenal job creating extreme battle scenes and making them believable as if they truly were on another planet. Lately special effects, CGI, and live action scenes get a lot of bad press when not implemented correctly. But in my opinion the special effects were one of the best aspects of the movie. It reminded me of the first time I watched Transformers (the first one) at the IMAX and saw Optimus Prime transform. It was that “oh” “ah” feeling of little butterflies in the pit of my stomach excited to see what was going to happen next. With every amazing aircraft, to even the ugliest alien, the whole package was spot-on.
If you love your fantasies rich and engrossing, your storylines exaggerated, your heroes and heroines beautiful, sexual, and kick-A$$, then I highly recommend John Carter!
As far as stories go, John Carter doesn’t offer anything unique when it comes to Science Fiction. But what it does offer is an adrenaline thrill ride that will leave you wanting more – trust me when I left the theater the first words that flew out of my mouth were, “I can’t wait to see the next one”. As I previously stated, there is not much character development, which is not necessarily a bad thing considering how much action is transpiring. You are given just enough to understand why this man is here, what his goals are, who the evil villain is, and who John Carter has to save. Never having read the book, the movie has turned me into an instant fan of the series and I have since downloaded every graphic novel, eBook, and whatever else I can find on the story (and I only saw the movie a couple of days ago).
Characters in my opinion can make or break any story. And even though there was no real development for many of them, what each did bring to the table was fun to watch. Dejah Thoris, the esteemed princess of Helium, is not your typical damsel in distress. Nope, she’s a sword fighting, opinionated woman on a mission. Faced with evil, she never hesitated on her quest or gave up on her people. This to me made her a true heroine. A true sci-fi heroine.
Another character I enjoyed was Tars Tarkas. Though he is more prominent in the graphic novel, my heart broke for him as he struggled with his emotions and being a leader of the Tharks. In their society, showing signs of sympathy, compassion, or fear are incomprehensible and if someone does possess those traits they are looked down upon and often killed. With other Tharks hanging in the shadows just waiting like leaches for him to make one tiny mistake, let’s just say that how this story develops was both funny to watch and great to experience. Nice guys, or Tharks, don’t always finish last.
Overall John Carter is a tall tale of epic proportions! My only complaint is that I saw this movie in 3D, which is not needed (please do NOT see this in 3D). While I can’t vouch for fans of the original series (because I have no idea if it sticks to the original story), what I can do is tell you that this movie exhibits all the qualities of a great Science Fiction story. If you love your fantasies rich and engrossing, your storylines exaggerated, your heroes and heroines beautiful, sexual, and kick-A$$, then I highly recommend John Carter.
GO SEE IT!!
4.5 out of 5 Controllers
Recommended Ages: 13+
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