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Review: John Carter: Warlord of Mars #3

JCWoM03-Cov-A-BenesThree issue into the Dynamite reboot of their own John Carter franchise and things are still not looking good for the heroes. After starting off the first issue kidnapped by Captain Clark, Dejah Thoris has not been able to escape from his control, and John Carter is seemingly no closer to rescuing her or freeing Helium.  Meanwhile the villains seem to be able to continue unabated in their own plans for domination.  This treatment of the main characters gives a sense of desperation within the plot, but it does not necessarily work to the benefit of the overall story.

This series has been entertaining at times thus far, but there are also some evident problems with this series as it progresses. Though it is a story based on a pulp science fiction story, it contains a lot of the problems of this era. Dejah Thoris, often portrayed as a competent hero in her own right in contemporary versions of the character is often relegated to the dominated heroine in this version, the chains being used to restrain her being a creative allusion to the writers of this series not really willing to let her loose. That is solved about halfway through this issue, but the manner in which this occurs is also disappointing, with the minor villain that is guarding her changing too easily his own convictions at her suggestion. Without the main heroine in a heroic role, there is little at times to distinguish this from the classics which inspired it, as John Carter is himself heroic, but not evenly remotely outside-of-the-box in his presentation thus far.

The series still has some ground to catch up on in order to be headed in the right direction. While this is based on a science fiction closer to fantasy, it seems to be bogged down by it, not thriving in the fertile ground that such stories can use to their benefit. As a reintroduction to the characters, this first story arc has maybe done its job, but it has done so in a lacklustre way, and the series would benefit from moving beyond this first story arc into something more meaningful.

Story: Ron Marz Art: Abishek Malsuni
Story: 6.8 Art: 8.0  Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass

Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.  

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