Review: John Carter: Warlord of Mars #3

Written by Guest Contributor: Jason DiGioia

I’m continuing to enjoy how fun this series is. I think I mentioned in a review of JCWM #1 how it feels like an old sci-fi serial mixed with some Saturday morning cartoons, and that description is holding true. While there are no major story breakthroughs in issue #3, the action is thick and the rollercoaster of a story is there in full force.

JCWoM03-Cov-A-BenesThe hook with this issue is that both John Carter and Dejah Thoris are getting closer and closer to reuniting and really bringing the hammer down on Joshua Clark and his invading army. Ron Marz does some great work with carrot-and-stick storytelling, leading us along, enticing us with small twists and then major setbacks for the main characters. I have mixed feelings about Vush Tanzar, a traitor and Kahori army conspirator. On one hand, his character is hackneyed: a jealous coward. On the other, I like him as a foil for Dejah Thoris, one formidable lady who takes the title of princess and turns it on it’s head. The final pages of this book really left me feeling concern for the heroes, and I have to give it up to Marz for making me feel all kid-like.

Abhishek Malsuni’s art is still a pleasure to soak up. Action is crisp and clear, as are facial expressions. His work on bodies is particularly strong, and it has to be when nearly all the subjects are just about naked. Yes, Dejah Thoris’s boobs can be a distraction, but I have a feeling Malsuni didn’t make that call on his own. Whatever the case may be, he’s a great artist, and the whole series thus far has a distinct style that I could pick out of a lineup, as opposed to generic art that looks the same as everything else.

As this arc develops, a few things are clear: Ron Marz is a great storyteller, Malsuni’s art is a perfect complement to that storytelling, and JCWM continues to be a must read.

Score:5 /5

Writer: Ron Marz Artist: Abhishek Malsuni Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/7/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital