Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Weekly Reading: March 21 or "A Tale of 2 John Carters"

Are two John Carter's better than one?

This is the first time I've purchased the "official" John Carter series (based solely on the shop owners Facebook recommendation), and as I am catching up with Dynamites Warlord of Mars series, it seems a good time to make some comparisons. Had I not come across the news story about the Burroughs' family's lawsuit against Dynamite regarding their John Carter series (yes , there are spinoffs), I would not have realized that the Dynamite one was not "official." ( Some of Burroughs' Barsoom books have lapsed into the public domain in the United States, though the complaint notes that they remain under copyright protection in the United Kingdom.)
Dynamite's Warlord of Mars #13
Marvel's The Gods of Mars #1.

While a fan of the character, and having recently re-read  A Princess of Mars, I am not necessarily a John Carter aficionado--at least not yet. The Marvel series is the second in what I would anticipate will be a larger series of miniseries eventually adapting all of the novels. Picking up where the first left of (presumably where the movie left of too as Disney--which produced the recent film--also owns Marvel).

As luck would have it, both books are entertaining, but for different reasons. Marvel's The Gods of Mars is very polished in appearance and Ramon Perez's artwork (aided by Jordie Bellaire's colors) has an almost independent-cartoon quality to it. Visually it reminds me very much of both Oni Press's The Sixth Gun and Images' Prophet--which is not a bad thing. (Ironically I picked up new issues of both of those books as well this week.)

Dynamite's Warlord of Mars also includes some wonderful pencils by Stephen Sadowski, an artist I have no previous familiarity with. While utilizing less detail than say Phil Jimenez, there are some similarities. I also enjoy the serialized pulpy quality of the story telling--this may, however be attributed to my having read this book for much longer; it's hard to think of Marvel's book as a serial as this week's was my first issue.

Interestingly, Marvel's Gods is covering ground recently covered by (but being read for the first time in old issues by myself) the same story (both based on Burroughs' second novel) featured in Warlord, so this will definitely provide for a better comparison of the two... it just so happens have both publisher's first issues of the same story line to look forward to!
Some other sweet purchases were also made this week:
Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter The Gods of Mars #1 (Marvel)
Prophet #23 (Image)
Zorro Rides Again #9 (Dynamite)
The Sixth Gun #20 (Oni Press)
Road Rage #2 (IDW)
Ragemoor #1 (Dark Horse)
The Goon #38 (Dark Horse)
Planet of the Apes #12 (Boom! Studios)
Batman #7 (DC) Warlord of Mars #12, 13, 14 (Dynamite)
Not only are two high-quality John Carters worth the extra expense, but nothing reaffirms my love of  comic book collecting  like the anticipation of a fresh stack of comics that (at first glance) are all worthy of repeated readings!

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