John Carter: Warlord of Mars Vol 1: Invaders of Mars TPB

John Carter, who once was a Confederate Soldier in the United States’ Civil War, must now face and defeat a foe from his past…and, in so doing, he will save both his adopted world of Mars and his homeworld of Earth. A savage race known as The Kahori have invaded Mars.  Led by their warlord, Captain Joshua Clark –a former Union officer in the Civil War, they have imprisoned Princess Dejah Thoris (wife of John Carter) and overtaken the city of Helium.  Clark is obsessed with avenging a humiliating defeat he suffered at the hands of Carter in Manassas, VA years ago. He also intends to conquer Mars…and then Earth!

John Carter, along with his friend Tars Tarkas and a small group of freedom fighters, has just won a heated battle with The Kahori many miles from Helium.  They attempt to secure a Kahori scout ship in an effort to travel more quickly to the city under siege.  Their attempt is unsuccessful, so Carter “flies” ahead to Helium, leaving the others to travel by foot.

Clark is preparing to execute the Princess. As the ax swings, John Carter arrives to save his beloved. After the couple embrace and share a brief kiss, Carter is greeted by Clark; who speaks of the unfinished business they have. The two longtime rivals engage in a deadly sword fight. Clark gets the best of Carter this time and threatens to finish him off. Dejah Thoris saves her wounded husband by stabbing Clark in the shoulder blade. With his wife in his arms, Carter “flies” away to safety. Realizing that he must defeat Clark to save his planet (as well as the planet Earth), Carter returns to the arena in Helium and challenges the Kahori warlord to a “winner-take-all” duel. Clark accepts the challenge…and the duel begins!

Meanwhile, Tars Tarkas and an army of Warhoons have arrived and successfully storm the gates of Helium. Inside the arena, the sword fight goes back and forth with neither opponent gaining a clear advantage.  After a lengthy battle, Carter manages to plunge his sword into the midsection of Clark. It’s then that Carter realizes that Dejah is being kidnapped by Vush Tanzar, who has betrayed his own people and is hopelessly enamored with the Princess he cannot possess.

If you want to discover how this all ends, I encourage you to pick up a copy of this publication and find out for yourself.  I’ve told you more than enough to pique your interest…

This six chapter compilation is very fast-paced with plenty of action sequences. The fact that this story combines elements of the Civil War with strange races of extraterrestrial creatures is interesting and fun. Clark is a villain you love to hate with all the cliché dialogue you would expect to go along with his overconfidence. There are some important secondary characters that deserve recognition, as well—such as Vush Tanzar, Woola, and the White Ape. They add some additional pathos and humor to the tale.  Kudos to Ron Marz!

I loved the artwork, especially the splash pages and battle sequences.  High quality from start to finish! Both artists are very good with rendering facial expressions and intricate body movements. All in all, a job well done!

To learn more about this and other John Carter adventures, please visit www.dynamite.com

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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